Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

When data is deleted from Hotmail, it is often deleted permanently. Backups and safety are always important with any free email account.

Hi, Leo. I unblocked my Hotmail account, but now all of my emails and everything is gone. How can I recover them again? Please help?

In this excerpt from Answercast #12, I look at the issues involved in recovering deleted information from a Hotmail account and talk (again) about backups and internet safety.

Can I recover lost Hotmail emails?

To the best of my knowledge, you cannot. When email is deleted from Hotmail, especially if it's been deleted for more than a few days, it's gone and gone forever.

This is particularly true if your account has been hacked and you've lost access to that account for some period of time. Once you regain the account, or regain access to the account, it is very likely that everything that used to be in there (all of your saved emails, sent and otherwise) have been removed by the hacker. There is no way that I know of to get it back.

Don't rely on Hotmail

This is one of the many reason I so strongly suggest that you backup your Hotmail regularly (I have an article on that) and/or you never, ever rely on Hotmail to keep anything important.

Don't rely on Hotmail to keep the only copy of anything important. I say that for Hotmail and, in reality, I mean for every free email account; for every email account for which you do not have some kind of honest, real support.

You get what you pay for

Hotmail is free; you're getting what you pay for. Part of what you're "not paying for" are things like data recovery.

I don't know of any way to get it back.

My suggestion is that you simply learn from this lesson. Make sure that you are both:

  • Backing up
  • And using Hotmail appropriately in the future.

Article C5249 - April 25, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

April 27, 2012 2:23 PM

Let's see...Yahoo mail rarely has anything but spam, although I get few emails there a day.

Maybe that what OE6 is for. I can only read but when it hits OE first all my Hotmail is in Deleted.

I can welcome the Nigerians. If they get a loan on me they'll have learned something I haven't managed since the 1990s.

No, I'm hardly cavalier.

Scott Currier
July 27, 2012 1:38 PM

Thank you Leo, I wasn't aware of Windows Mail. I downloaded it, installed it, and am in the process of downloading my Hotmail mail. I've been on Hotmail since before it was owned by Microsoft. I think 1995 or 96. I'm very pleased with the spam filtering and the reliability has been good. Not perfect but more than good enough. Very helpful advice. Thanks very much.

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