How to Recover Sent Email

Updated March 21, 2017

E-mail providers understand that sometimes it can be difficult to find old e-mails, especially if they were sent months or even years before. To make it easy for you to recover sent e-mails, e-mail providers such as Hotmail, Yahoo! and Google provide e-mail search engines and filters to find sent e-mails. As long as you can sign into your e-mail account, you can access these features. If you can't locate an important e-mail that you sent, don't worry, there are two easy-to-use options that should deliver successful results.

Find the "Search Mail" tab, which is only accessible from your e-mail page. Sign in to your e-mail account using your user name and password. For Gmail accounts, the tab is located at the top-left side of the email page. For Yahoo! accounts, the tab is located at the far left-hand side of the email page, directly beneath the "Check Mail" tab. For MSN accounts, the tab is located at the top-right side of the email page. The phrase "Search Your Email" may also be used.

Enter a phrase, subject line, recipient name, e-mail address or key word that can be used to identify the sent e-mail. Type the information into the search box.

Click "Go," "Enter" or click on the search mirror icon. The system will search file folders, saved e-mails, sent e-mails and e-mails that are currently marked for deletion in your Trash folder.

Browse the results. Multiple e-mails may be tagged if the keyword you use is very common. Narrow your search if there are too many results to browse.

Click on the "Settings" link on your e-mail page. Log-in to your e-mail account to access your e-mail page.

Set up a filter for sent e-mails. Choose to save a copy of each sent message in the Sent folder by checking the appropriate box.

Click "Save Changes" to save the changes and return to your Inbox. Once this feature is in place, you can recover future sent e-mails by clicking on the "Sent" folder and browsing sent e-mails there.

Browse sent e-mails by date, subject line or recipient.

Click on the sent e-mail you wish to recover. Wait for the email message to load. Forward or print, if necessary.


You can recover any sent e-mail that is saved in a folder.


If you've deleted all copies of an e-mail, you cannot recover it. A file that is in your "Trash" folder is marked for deletion; however, until you or the system deletes the sent e-mail, it is still recoverable.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Internet access
  • E-mail account
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About the Author

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.