Recovering deleted emails with Recuva

Normally, when you delete an email in a desktop email program, it is moved into the email program's Trash or Recycle Bin. But if you empty the email program's Trash or Recycle Bin, you're out of luck.

Fortunately, Recuva's got you covered. It can recover deleted emails from the following programs:

  • Mozilla Thunderbird 
  • Microsoft Outlook Express (default mail program included with Windows 98 to XP)
  • Windows Live Mail (default mail program included with Windows Vista and 7)

NOTE: Microsoft Outlook is not supported with this feature.

Instead of recovering each email individually, Recuva recovers all emails and bundles them into a ZIP file called [email program] recovered emails.zip. Each one of the emails is in the .EML format, which most email programs can read (and many can import).

To recover deleted emails using Recuva:

  1. Do one of the following:
    Using Recuva's Wizard mode: On the File Type pane, specify Emails as the type of file Recuva should search for.
    Using Recuva's advanced mode: To specify what Recuva should search for, use the filter drop-down next to the Options button to select Emails.
  2. Once Recuva has produced a list of files, you will see the ZIP file or files in the results list.
  3. Recover them using the normal process.
  4. Use a ZIP program (such as WinZip, 7-Zip, or Windows' built-in Compressed Folders utility) to open the ZIP file or files.
  5. To view an email, double-click the .EML file. The email displays in your default desktop email application.

Depending on the email program, you may also be able to import the EML files back into the program's database.  Consult your email software's documentation for more information.

NOTE: You cannot securely delete the ZIP file in Step 2 before you recover it, as it does not yet exist. Recuva only creates the ZIP file when you choose to recover the emails.

Was this article helpful?

Need to find your product license key?

Go to our license lookup page and enter your registered email address to retrieve info about your products, including product download links, license key(s), and expiry dates.

Send me my license details

Articles in this section