How to recover emails deleted out of the trash bin

Updated April 17, 2017

Accidentally deleting an important e-mail can be frustrating. When you delete an e-mail from your inbox in most e-mail systems, the email is moved to the "Trash" folder. These e-mails are still accessible and can be returned to the inbox. When you empty the "Trash" folder, however, you permanently delete everything within the folder. If you mistakenly delete an e-mail permanently, it is unrecoverable in many e-mail systems. However, Yahoo! Mail, Microsoft Outlook Express and Mozilla Thunderbird Email allow you to recover your lost e-mails.

Navigate to the Yahoo! Mail login website (see References). Sign in to your Yahoo! Mail account by providing your Yahoo! ID and password.

Determine how many hours have passed since the email was deleted from your trash bin.

Print or save all e-mails received after the time determined in Step 2. All e-mails you received after the selected recovery time will no longer be available once your e-mail account has been restored.

Navigate to the Yahoo! Mail Restore Help Form (see References). Click the "Please complete this form" link.

Fill in your name, Yahoo! ID, e-mail address and the time you would like to reset your account back to. Yahoo! breaks the recovery date down into two-hour increments. Click "Submit" when finished.

Check your e-mail for a confirmation from Yahoo! Technical Support. It should arrive within six to eight hours after you submit your recovery request, and your mailbox should be restored to the time you selected.

Shut down Microsoft Outlook Express. Click "Start" on your computer's taskbar, and type "Regedit" into the "Search" or "Run" box. This will open Windows Registry Editor.

Choose "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" and select the "+" to view the full menu. Choose the "Software" folder. Select "Microsoft," followed by the "Exchange" folder. Click on the "Client" folder and select "Options."

Navigate to the "Edit" menu, and select "New." Choose "DWORD Value" from the menu. In the box labelled "Value Name," type in "DumpsterAlwaysOn" without spaces.

Type in "1" for the "DWORD value." Click "OK."

Open Outlook Express and select the "Trash" folder. Choose "Tools" on the menu bar, and click "Recover Deleted Items."

Exit Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail. Click "Start" on your computer's taskbar and navigate to "Profile Manager" under "Programs."

Select "Create Profile." Type in a name for your new profile. Click "Choose Folder."

Choose the file that contains the data you want to restore.

Click "OK." Then click "Finish."

Choose the profile you just created from the list. Restart Mozilla Thunderbird. All deleted e-mails will be available in the new profile.


Act quickly. Yahoo! e-mails can only be recovered within 24 hours of deletion. You must have a Microsoft Exchange account in order to retrieve permanently deleted e-mails. Mozilla Thunderbird Email can only recover e-mails when a profile has previously been backed up.


Improper use of Windows Registry Editor can create serious, irreversible computer problems.

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About the Author

Bethany Smith has been writing since 2004. Her articles have appeared in the “Charlotte Sun Newspaper” and “Harbor Style” magazine. Smith interned at her local newspaper in high school and has worked as a freelance writer throughout college. Smith will graduate from the University of Florida in 2011.