How to Recover Deleted Emails in Mail for iPhone & iPad

Dec 6, 2019 - 2 Comments

How to Recover Deleted Emails

Have you ever accidentally deleted an email within the stock mail app on your iPhone or iPad? Most of us have been there at some point. There’s even a good chance that if you’re reading this, you’re panicked because you couldn’t immediately figure out how to recover an email you either accidentally deleted, or intentionally deleted but now want back.

Well, don’t worry, because this tutorial will help you with that. As most of you may know already, there are plenty of email service providers to choose from today, like Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, Outlook and more. The default iOS Mail application that comes preinstalled with your iPhone and iPad allows users to connect just about any email account they have regardless of the service they use. The Mail app is good enough where most iPhone and iPad users don’t even bother installing the other email apps of their respective providers from the App Store, and instead stick to Mail app that’s pre-installed on their device’s home screen.

In this article, we provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to recover the emails that you may have unintentionally deleted on iPhone or iPad, as well as provide you with additional tips and tricks to make sure you could avoid a similar situation in the near future. This might be particularly useful for users who find themselves accidentally deleting emails on the iPhone recently.

The stock Mail app, just like any other mail application lets users delete as well as archive their mails. More importantly, the apps are designed in such a way that it’s usually a lot more easier to archive a mail rather than just straight up deleting it. Therefore, we’ve decided to cover steps on how to recover both deleted and archived emails.

How to Recover Deleted Emails on iPhone & iPad

The steps that we’re gonna discuss here are going to be fairly similar regardless of the email service provider you use within the Mail app. However, depending on the service, the deleted emails may or may not be stored under a different folder name. Here, we’ve opted to use Gmail as it’s the most popular email service today with a user-base of nearly 2 billion.

  1. Open the “Mail” app on your iPhone or iPad home screen and tap on “Mailboxes”.How to Recover Deleted Emails
  2. Now, tap on “Trash” (or “Bin”, depending on your region settings). If you’re using any other email service provider like Hotmail, you might not necessarily find Bin, but rather a different name let’s say Trash or Junk. So, make sure you check those two folders as well.How to Recover Deleted Emails
  3. As you might have guessed, your deleted emails are stored here in the Trash folder. Emphasizing this is deleted emails, because they’re totally different from archived emails and those are stored elsewhere. Once you’re in the Trash / Bin folder, tap on “Edit”.How to Recover Deleted Emails
  4. Here, you’ll be able to select all the emails that you’d want to recover. Once you’ve selected them, tap on “Move”.How to Recover Deleted Emails
  5. In the next menu, you’ll be able to choose where you want to move your recovered emails to. If you accidentally deleted the emails from your inbox, just tap on “Inbox”. If not, choose “Drafts” or “Sent” depending on your preference.How to Recover Deleted Emails

That’s all you need to do to get back and restore your lost or deleted emails. Once recovered, you’ll find them exactly where they once used to be.

Note that if you wait too long to attempt to recover a deleted email, they may be gone for good. This time can vary per email provider, so basically if you know you deleted an email and you want it recovered, you should try to restore it sooner than later.

How to Recover Archived Emails on iPhone & iPad

Archiving emails within the Mail app is a whole lot easier than deleting, so we wouldn’t be surprised if you accidentally archived some of your mails while you were trying to swipe through them. These emails are stored in a completely different location though, so make sure you follow these step-by-step instructions.

  1. As you can see in the screenshot below, all it takes is an accidental swipe to the left and the mail would get archived immediately without requiring any further confirmation. To find them, simply tap on “Mailboxes” at the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. If you’re using Gmail like me, tap on “All Mail” as shown in the screenshot below. However, depending on the email service provider that you’re using, you may have a dedicated “Archived” section. Tap on this section if you can see it.How to Recover Deleted Emails
  3. Here, you’ll find all your archived emails mixed along with your other emails, especially if you’re using Gmail. This can be a little confusing with some email providers, but depending on the different email providers it may give you a dedicated Archived mails section where you’ll be able to easily find them. Once you find one of the archived mail that you want to recover, swipe left on it and tap on “More”. Now tap on “Other Mailbox” as displayed in the screenshot below.How to Recover Deleted Emails
  4. In this menu, you’ll be able to choose where you want to recover the archived email to. Let’s say you want to move it back to the inbox. You simply need to tap on “Inbox” and you’ll find it right where it used to belong.How to Recover Deleted Emails

Those are all the steps you needed to follow to recover and restore your archived emails right where it used to be. However, we’re not done with the article yet, as we want to make sure you don’t end up in a similar situation and go through a hassle again, so next up is a quick trick to undo an accidental move in the Mail app on iPhone and iPad.

Instantly Undo & Recover Deleted Emails

The next time you unintentionally swipe and delete/archive an email, you don’t really have to go through all these steps again. Thanks to this nifty iOS gesture that you may or may not have heard of, you’ll be able to instantly recover a deleted mail within a second or two. When you’ve accidentally deleted or archived any mail, simply shake your iPhone or iPad once for an “Undo Delete” option to pop up on screen. Just tap on “Undo” to confirm and recover the deleted email and you’re good to go.

How to Recover Deleted Emails

It’s worth noting that you can only use this gesture to recover a deleted mail as long as you haven’t closed the Mail app. So, make sure you aren’t too late or you’ll have to go through all the previously mentioned steps again, which is a hassle you wouldn’t want to deal with. That being said, we hope this tutorial helped you to recover plenty of emails today.

Were you able to recover your lost or deleted emails on an iPhone or iPad with these tips? Let us know how the procedure went for you, and tell us what you think about these tips and tricks in the comments section down below.


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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks


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  1. John Zebatto says:

    While this is a very worthy topic. The real problem for those of us who are looking for so-called deleted emails occurs when we have deleted trash. So looking for emails in trash is not an option in that event. I then look in “all mail” with mixed results but more wins than losses if you will. I also do a spotlight search to start with to find a missing and presumed deleted email. Regards.

  2. Sheila Resino says:

    Thank you for this information. Can you please tell me what is the difference between an ARCHIVED email and a DELETED one?

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