How to retrieve sent email

Updated February 21, 2017

Sometimes, after sending an e-mail, you may need to retrieve it for purposes such as sending it to someone you forgot to include in the original list of recipients or to print it. Fortunately, most e-mail programs store every e-mail you send within an archive in the program.

Open the email program on your desktop. If you use a web-based e-mail program such as Gmail or Hotmail, point your web browser to the email provider's website and log into it to access your e-mail.

Choose the email account (if you have more than one) containing the sent messages you want to retrieve.

Click on the folder for sent mail. This folder may have different names, so refer to your manual for the correct name.

Choose the email you want to retrieve. You will then be able to review it, forward it to another recipient or print it.


Consider printing e-mails that you consider important, so that you have a paper backup in case of a technical failure.


In most cases, it is impossible to take back an e-mail that has been sent, so be certain you want to send it and that the correct recipients are in the "To" field before pressing "Send."

Things You'll Need

  • E-mail account
  • Desktop or web-based e-mail program
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About the Author

Jay Darrington has been a professional writer since 2006, specializing in technology. He has published on several online blogs, including iTech24, iPhoneland and Tech101. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication technology from California State University.