Outlook emails have disappeared: 9 solutions to get them back

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Have your Outlook emails have disappeared mysteriously? The reasons for this include issue of configuration in your settings, account inactivity, and more.
  • The problem is serious but don't worry because this guide will help you to fix the problem.
  • If you're interested in more information about this popular email client visit our Outlook section.
  • Our Software Hub is populated with lots of expert articles on digital tools.

 

fix Outlook emails have disappeared

I’ve just opened my outlook 2010 inbox and there is only messages for the last eight days or so. Would like to know where my emails have suddenly disappeared to and how to stop them disappearing again?

Are you facing a similar situation where your Outlook emails have disappeared? Worry not, there are ways to fix the problem and get all your mail back intact, where they should be.

Usually, when Outlook emails have disappeared, it could be an issue of configuration in your settings, account inactivity, email rules set up on Outlook, and emails moved to a deleted folder.

Of course, in a darker scenario, your account might have been hacked and the emails deleted, or the Conversation Threading feature is turned on.

In this case, we recommend you to check how to recover the Outlook password and take all necessary security actions.

It is important to note, however, that if you upgrade to Outlook.com, the upgrade is only on the user interface to the new interface, so your emails should still remain in your inbox.

If you want to resolve the problem of Outlook emails disappearing, try the steps below.

How can I fix Outlook if the inbox is suddenly empty?

  1. Use specialized software to retrieve your emails
  2. Export old mail history
  3. Create a new Outlook profile
  4. Import your old email
  5. Use the recover deleted/lost emails feature
  6. Clear all filters/view
  7. Use Advanced Search
  8. Change filtering options
  9. Enable Don’t let another program delete messages from Outlook option

1. Use specialized software to retrieve your emails

By far the easiest way to get your emails back is to use a third-party specialized software like Kernel for Outlook PST Repair.

As the name suggests, this tool will repair the PST files (Outlook Data Files) and retrieve your emails safe and quickly and it does that without file size limitations.

Moreover, Kernel for Outlook PST Repair can also retrieve any messages or attachments if you deleted them by mistake, even if the files are encrypted or password protected.

The tool saves the recovered PST in a fresh new PST or in many other formats including DBX, MBOX, MSG, EML, TXT, RTF, HTML, and MHTML.

It doesn’t recover just the email but also its proprieties like the Subject, Time, Date, recipient and sender or contacts from Cc and Bcc.

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2. Export old mail history

  1. Open Outlook
  2. Click File and select Open & Export
  3. Click Import/Export
  4. Select Export to a file
  5. Select Outlook Data File (.pst)
  6. Select the email account
  7. Ensure Include subfolder is checked and click Next
  8. Click Browse
  9. Select a location and name the file
  10. Click Finish

3. Create a new Outlook profile

  1. Click Start and select Control Panel
  2. Click View by and select Large IconsOutlook emails have disappeared
  3. Click MailOutlook emails have disappeared
  4. Click AddOutlook emails have disappeared
  5. Select Create new profileOutlook emails have disappeared
  6. Use the Outlook wizard to configure the new account using an email address and password.

 

 

 


4. Import your old email

  1. Open the new Outlook account
  2. Click File and select Open & Export
  3. Click Import/Export
  4. Select Import from another program or file
  5. Click Next
  6. Select Outlook Data file (.pst)
  7. Click Next
  8. Click Browse. Find your PST file on the location you saved it (from solution 1)
  9. When you get a message saying All folders are up to date then the process is complete.

If this is successful, you will see all your Outlook emails that were missing, appear on all devices.


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Note: In case you encounter such problems on Outlook regularly, we strongly recommend switching to another email client. We suggest you try Mailbird.

This app is currently the best email client app and it is great at managing multiple accounts. You can also create multiple archives and other lists that will help you sort your emails, plus, it has the possibility to secure your email so they won’t disappear. 

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5. Use the recover deleted/lost emails feature

This tool can restore your lost emails, but it doesn’t have the option to select the range of dates of the emails to restore, so you’ll get as many emails as the system can restore regardless of dates.

Again, there’s no guarantee that the emails will all be recovered.

If you accidentally delete emails from Outlook, you can recover them if they’re in the Deleted Items or Junk Email folders, or even after the Deleted folder is emptied.

We suggest you to try to recover your deleted Outlook emails before you give up on them, especially if there is important information.

How to recover messages when Outlook emails have disappeared:

  1. In the left pane, select the Deleted Items folder or the Junk Email folder.
  2. Select the message you want to recover and select Recover.Outlook emails have disappeared
  3. Select the message you want to recover, and select Not junk.Outlook emails have disappeared
  4. If you can’t find an item in the Deleted Items folder, check the Recoverable Items folder
  5. In the left pane of the Outlook.com window, select the Deleted Items folder.
  6. At the top of your message list, select Recover deleted items.Outlook emails have disappeared
  7. Select the items you want to recover, and select Recover.Outlook emails have disappeared
  8. Select OK.

 

 

Note: Messages deleted from Deleted Items folder cannot be restored. Recovered items will be restored to original folders when possible, but if the original folder doesn’t exist, the recovered items are restored differently.

Messages go to inbox, Calendar items to calendar, contacts to contacts folder, and tasks to the tasks folder.

Other things to note on deleted items on Outlook:

  • You can recover items removed from Deleted Items folder in 30 days
  • After 14 days, emails are automatically removed from Junk Email folder and cannot be recovered
  • If you don’t see messages you want to recover, they’re probably permanently removed. Messages deleted from child accounts cannot be recovered either.
  • Keep your account active by signing in at least once every 365 days otherwise it will be deleted and is not recoverable.

6. Clear all filters/view

  1. Open Outlook
  2. Click on View tab
  3. Click on View Settings
  4. Under Filter tab, check if any filters are applied.
  5. If yes, click on Clear all

If Outlook emails have disappeared issue persists, reset the current view, and check if all the email appear by clicking View>View Settings>Reset Current View.


7. Use Advanced Search

  1. Log in to your Outlook account and go to Inbox
  2. On the upper-left pane, click on Search
  3. Click Advanced Search. Fill out as many fields as you can.
  4. Tick the Has attachment if emails come with attachments box
  5. Click Search.
Editor's hint
outlook emails disappeared image

We’ve written a nice piece about this, check it out:

8. Change filtering options

  1. In the ribbon, select the View
  2. In the Current View area, click View Settings.
  3. Click Filter, and then review the following tabs for any selections that could filter out specific messages: Tasks, More Choices, and Advanced

9. Enable Don’t let another program delete messages from Outlook option

  1. On your mailbox, click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select More mail settings.
  3. Find Managing your account
  4. Select POP and deleting downloaded messages.
  5. Make sure that Don’t let another program delete messages from Outlook option is selected.
  6. Click Save. In addition, you need to make sure that the option Always leave a copy of the message on the server is selected if you don’t want your emails to be deleted from your inbox permanently after downloading to your mail program.

If the data is important, you need to back it up, especially if it resides on the cloud and is not under your control.

In order to get a dedicated tool that could do this job for you, check out this list of  5 best free and paid email backup software to use.

Did you get all your emails back on Outlook using any of these solutions? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.