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Recover Deleted Emails on iPhone 4

written by: Rita A.•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 8/3/2011

Have you deleted an important email message on your iPhone 4 and can’t find it anywhere? Don’t fear because there are some things you can do to retrieve the email message. Read on to learn how to retrieve deleted emails from the iPhone 4.

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    Oops...

    It’s easy to delete an email on the iPhone 4. The little trash can icon that sits right below the message is easy to hit with your finger when you are checking your email. Fortunately, in most cases, emails are not really deleted, but just moved somewhere else. This article will show you how to retrieve that important email message you deleted and get it back in the inbox where it belongs. Note that in some cases, a message that is deleted will be permanently deleted within 30 days. If you deleted your email over 30 days ago, it may not be retrievable.

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    Recover Mobile Me Emails

    If you have deleted an important email from Mobile Me, you will be glad to know you can retrieve it in a few short steps.

    Go to your Mobile Me Inbox on your iPhone 4, tap the button in the upper left corner of the Inbox which reads Mobile Me.

    Scroll down to the Accounts section and tap the Mobile Me account.

    A list of folders for your Mobile Me account will be listed. Tap the Trash folder, find the email that you want to retrieve in the list, and tape the Edit button in the top right corner of the screen.

    Tap the Move button at the bottom of the screen. A list of folders will be displayed. Tap the Inbox folder to move the deleted email back to your inbox.

    Navigate back to your Mobile Me inbox and you will see the deleted email.

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    Recover Gmail Email

    When you delete a Gmail email on your iPhone, it is not really deleted but archived. This means it is put in a folder on your iPhone 4 and can be easily retrieved.

    • Tap the Mail icon on the iPhone 4 to open your mail accounts.
    • Tap Gmail in the Accounts section at the bottom. You will see a list of folders displayed on the screen.
    • Tap the All Mail folder. Tap the Edit button in the upper right corner of the screen.

    AllMailiPodTouch 

    • Scroll through the email messages and find the email message that you want to retrieve. Tap the email message and then tap the Move button in the bottom right corner of the screen. A list of folders will display on the screen
    • Tap the Inbox folder to move the deleted email back to the Inbox folder on your iPhone 4.

    MoveInBoxiPodtouch 

    • Tap the Gmail button in the upper left corner of the screen.
    • Tap the Mailboxes button in the upper left corner of the screen.
    • Tap the Gmail inbox and you should find the email you just retrieved listed.

    Note that if you do not find the email in the All Mail folder, look in the Trash folder to see if the email is still in there. If it has been less than 30 days, the deleted email will be in one of the folders listed, but usually you will find it in the All Mail folder.

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    Archive Email Messages

    The iPhone 4.0 has a new feature for Gmail users; the ability to archive your email.

    Replacing Delete with Archive on the iPhone makes sense. Gmail has plenty of space, and in cases when you accidentally delete an email, it works great. Archiving is not the same as deleting. When you delete something it is gone forever. When you archive something it is just put away but retrievable. Having the Archiving feature turned on prevents you from accidentally deleting a very important email.

    To check your iPhone settings, to make sure Archiving is turned on, perform the following steps:

    • Tap the Settings icon on the iPhone Home screen.
    • Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars
    • Tap Gmail
    • Make sure Archive Messages is set to On. If it is not, tap Off to change it to On.
    • Tap the Mail button in the upper left corner to return to the previous screen, and then tap the Settings button in the upper left corner.

    Now when you delete a Gmail email, it is not actually deleted but archived and very retrievable.

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    Ask Before Deleting

    You can set your email to ask you before it deletes an email message. This gives you even more insurance that you won't delete that important email message. To set Gmail to ask you before it deletes an email message, perform the following steps:

    • Tap the Settings icon on the iPhone Home screen.
    • Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars
    • Scroll down and set Ask Before Deleting to Yes.
    • Tap the Settings button in the upper left corner to go back to the previous screen.

    Now, each time you accidentally hit that trash can icon when you are reading your emails, you will be asked to confirm that you want to delete the email message.

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    Hopefully, you can now enjoy reading your email on your iPhone 4 without having to worry about accidentally deleting an email message now that you have learned how to retrieve deleted emails from the iPhone 4. And if you do, at least you will know it's not gone completely and you will know how to retrieve it.

References

  • Source: Personal experience of author
  • Image Credit: All screenshots taken by author.