We all know the feeling: you're sure that you received an important email weeks ago, but you have no idea where to find it. When you use Hotmail, there are several ways to recover an old email, depending on whether you know the name or subject of the email, as well as whether the email was sent to a specific folder. If the email was not deleted completely, it will generally not be difficult to find.
Determine whether you filed the email in a specific folder. If you may have done so, click on the folder's name in the left margin of your Hotmail screen. Then browse through the files in that folder to try to locate the desired email.
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Find the email using the search engine, if you have not filed the email. To find the email, locate the "Search your e-mail" text box at the top-right of the screen.
Type a search phrase that you think was used in the email. Be as specific as possible. For example, search for the sender of the email, if you definitely know who sent it, as opposed to searching for a random word that you think was in the email.
Click on the desired email when you locate it. If desired, move it to the appropriate folder so that you will not misplace it again.
Make your folders as specific as possible to avoid misplacing old emails. For example, if you receive many emails that would all fit into one folder, consider dividing that folder into various "monthly" folders, such as "eHow Project 11/09," "eHow Project 12/09," etc.
Never delete an email in Hotmail unless you are absolutely sure that you will no longer need it. Although you can recover an email from the Deleted folder immediately after deleting it, Hotmail will purge the folder often. When in doubt, file an email rather than deleting it.