Emails Disappeared from Outlook: Explained and Solved

| Updated on February 13, 2024

We all got our hands full of something or the other, don’t we? And in the wake of COVID-19, almost everything has shifted online.

From school and college students to working adults, everyone has become digital. And the one thing that plays a key role in all this process is “email”.

There are many email platforms in the market like Yahoo, Gmail, Zoho, etc., and not just them but more continue to emerge. And out of them, there is an old goat that has been in the game for quite some time now i.e., Outlook.

Recently, users have shared their issues with the app saying that their emails are disappearing from their Outlook inbox out of the blue. And this has brought up a need to resolve the query and provide them with the solutions. There are many ways to solve the error.

And so we are here to make the ends meet! In this article, we are going to discuss the possible reasons why the issue of disappearing emails could be happening and also explain what methods can be pretty useful for this query.

Why Have Emails Disappeared in Outlook?

If you open your Outlook email like any other day only to find the emails and messages missing out of the blue, then you need to get some facts checked. In order to make sure that the error you are facing can be resolved, you need to first understand what the cause of the issue is. And to do so, we have concluded the reasons which can possibly cause the issue of emails disappearing on Outlook. There can be many reasons for the issue, so we have listed some of them below for you:

  • Internet Issues
  • Accidental Deletion
  • View Settings are Changed
  • Issue in Syncing
  • A problem in Configuration Settings 
  • You may be looking for the wrong email
  • Inactivity
  • Improper Filter Option
  • Emails are moving to Archive or Junk Folder
  • Compromised Outlook Account

These were some of the issues that you might be facing which can lead to the missing emails issue on Outlook. Now let’s move ahead with the solutions for this error, and you might be able to crack the code if you try the right method.

How to Retrieve Emails in Outlook?

If you are facing the issue of missing email on Outlook, then you are just at the right place. So without further ado, let’s get started with the methods to retrieve emails on Outlook:

Check Deleted Items Folder

There could be a possibility that you might have accidentally deleted your emails or messages. And so, if you are unable to find the Inbox in Outlook, then you can try checking the deleted items folder. If you have deleted an important email, then you can find it in the Deleted items folder as it won’t get deleted right away.

Deleted Items Folder.

Use Email Recovery Feature

Outlook has an email recovery feature that can be used for the deleted emails’ recovery. Although it does not guarantee the restoration of all, it does ensure the recovery of the email. Here are the steps for how you can use the feature:

  • Go to the left tab and select Deleted items folder or Junk mail folder.
Tap on Deleted Items.
  • Select the message that you want to recover and click on the Restore option.
Tap on Restore.
  • Select the option of Not Junk if the option of the Junk mail folder is given.
Tap on Not Junk.
  • Then tap on OK.
Tap on OK.


If you are searching for emails from the Junk Email Folder or Deleted Items folder, you should keep these points in mind:If the items are deleted from the Junk Email Folder, they can be recovered after 14 days. However, in the case of Deleted Items Folder, cannot be recovered once deleted and the restored ones will get back to their original place.

Rectify the Filters

If you are sure that you haven’t deleted the emails or the messages on purpose or unintentionally, then filters could be a reason why emails are disappearing from Outlook. You can try changing the filter settings using the steps given below:

  • Open Outlook and tap on the View option.
Tap on View.
  • Click on the View Settings option in the View tab.
Tap on View Settings.
  • After the Advanced View Settings box prompts, tap on Filter.
Select Filter
  • Then go to the More Choices tab.
Tap on More Choices.
  • If any of the filter boxes are checked, then uncheck all of them and tap on OK.
Uncheck the boxes and tap on OK.

Search Missing Emails Using Advanced Find

  • Launch Outlook and on the top of the page, type Search tools and search.
  • From the shown search tools, select Advance Find.
Tap on Advanced Find.
  • Then on the next page, enter all the details in the given columns required as per the email that you want to search.
Fill in the columns and search the email.

Change Deletion Settings

To have smooth functioning, people use third-party tools sometimes. However, this can create problems like the deletion of emails. So if you are facing this issue, then a change in settings can help. You can do so with the help of the steps given below:

  • Open Outlook and go to More Options.
  • Then click on Inbox and select options.
  • Select the POP and delete downloaded messages option.
  • Then a new tab will open, and choose ‘Don’t let another program to delete messages from Outlook’ option.
  • Tap on the Save button.
Select the second option

The emails from any folder will no longer get deleted through third-party tools by following the above steps.

Change Settings of Outgoing Mails

There is a chance that if you are facing the email missing error, then you might have to change the settings. And then the emails will not continue to get deleted by following the steps for the process:

  • Open Outlook and go to Info in File Folder.
  • Then tap on Account Settings and a new window will appear.
  • Go to the Email tab and tap on Change.
  • Then the Internet Settings will open. From there go to the Advanced folder.
  • Tick on the box of the ‘Leave a copy of messages on the server’ option. 
  • Tap on OK.

Create New Outlook Account and Import and Export Old Mail Backup

If none of the methods mentioned above worked for you, then worry not! We have saved one last resort for you. You can try the solution of making a new account on Outlook and then try importing and exporting the old mail history data. You can do so by following the steps given below:

Export Old Mail Backup

  • Launch Outlook and open the File Menu.
Open File Menu
  • Select Open and Export from the left tab.
  • Choose the Export/Import option.
  • Then under the Export/Import dialog box, select the Export a file option.
  • From Export to a File box, select the Outlook data file.
  • Then pick the mail account that you wish to change.
  • Tick the Include Subfolders Box after selecting the email account and tap on Next.
  • Click on Browse in the next window and select where you want to export the file with a name.
  • Select any option, and you can also select ‘Replace duplicates with items exported’ as it is a reliable option.
  • Tap on Finish after you are done selecting.

Create New Outlook Account

  • Tap on the Start button and open Control Panel.
  • Click View By and select Large Icons.
  • Then tap on Mail and a new window will appear. Click on Add button.
  • Select Create New Profile and click OK after entering a profile name.
  • Then follow the instructions provided on the screen to create a new Outlook account.

Import Old Mail History

Now you can import the old mail backup to the newly created account using the following steps:

  • Open Outlook and click on File.
  • Select Open and Export and go to Import/Export.
  • Choose Import from another program or file and press Next.
  • Then tap on the Browse button.
  • Search the file that you had saved earlier and select it. Then wait for the history to sync properly. Once it is completed, you will be notified about it.
  • Finally, check for your freshly imported files on your new account.

We hope that now you will be able to see emails that had disappeared on Outlook and with the help of these steps, you were able to resolve your issue.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Emails in Outlook?

If you want to recover the accidentally deleted emails or if you deleted a mail that you need now, you can do it in various ways. However, once the emails have been deleted from the Deleted Items folder or the Junk Mail folder as well, then they cannot be recovered. So, make sure that you have not deleted the emails you want to recover from at least one of these folders.

  • Open Outlook and tap on Deleted Items.
Tap on Deleted Items
  • Then tap on the ‘Recover items deleted from this folder’ option if the folder is empty.
Tap on Recover items deleted from this folder.
  • After that click on the Restore button from the top left corner of the screen.
Tap on Restore.
  • Now Outlook will start recovering the emails, and after they are recovered, they will appear in the Deleted Items folder. Then you can shift them to your Inbox using the Move to option.
Tap on Move to

This way you will be able to recover your deleted messages or emails.

Outlook User Statistics

Microsoft Outlook is a personal information managing software system that is used worldwide by millions of users. Despite being an email client primarily, Outlook can be used for task managing, calendaring, note-taking, web browsing, and journal logging. Given below is a graph to easily understand the number of companies from different countries in ranking order of high to low for the use of Outlook email.

Outlook User Statistics Graph from June 2022


Is Outlook free to use?

No, Outlook is not free to use. An Office 365 subscription that includes other Office applications is required in order to use Outlook. Non-commercial use of Outlook is free.

What are the benefits of using Outlook?

Some advantages of Outlook are mentioned below:

  • It is user-friendly.
  • It improves email system productivity.
  • Lets you manage contacts and access calendar features.
  • Outlook utilizes the folder system that enables users to have an efficient message organization.

Kanika Singh

Webmail and Internet Expert

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