How to Recover Deleted Emails From a Laptop Computer

by Jocelyn Kerr
Email LCD display image by Alex Yeung from

If you've inadvertently deleted an email, even hard deleted it, there's still hope of recovery. As long as you haven't overwritten your deleted email with new data, the email is still sitting somewhere on your laptop's hard drive. You can use a built-in email recovery program to retrieve deleted email. Outlook users, for example, can access deleted email with just a few clicks. Users of other email programs may also have a built-in recovery utility; if not, commercial data recovery software is available.

Step 1

Check the "Deleted Items" folder and the system trash bin just in case the deleted email is still lingering there. If you find it you can drag it back into your email program to recover it.

Step 2

Locate your email recovery tool. In Outlook, you'll find it under "Tools" then "Recover Deleted Items...." Explore your email client or check the help file if you're using a different email program.

Step 3

Open your email recovery tool. In Outlook, a list of deleted email messages will appear. Scroll through and select the email you want to recover. Other programs should work in a similar manner.

Step 4

Click on the "Recover" button, or similar, and wait for the deleted email to be restored to their original email folders. The email has been recovered.

Research data recovery software at established technology websites such as CNET if you don't have a built-in email recovery tool. Read independent reviews before deciding on a software program, and look for one that specifically restores email.


  • Always download software from a trusted source. If you choose a commercial product, research it thoroughly and download directly from the software provider or a website that guarantees their downloads are spyware- and malware-free.


  • Data recovery software can find and restore files that haven't been written over with new data. If you've accidentally deleted important email, don't install or save anything new to your hard drive until you've recovered what you lost.


Photo Credits

  • Email LCD display image by Alex Yeung from

About the Author

Aubrey Kerr is a writer and photographer. With a B.A. in media arts and public relations, she has helped small business owners design and implement online marketing campaigns since 2004. Her work appears on several websites including and the Houston Chronicle.

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