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Can I recover a deleted AOL email?

Answer

If you recently deleted emails from AOL Mail, you can try to restore them from the Trash folder. From the left panel in your account, click on “Trash” and all the emails that have been there for less than seven days will appear.

Original input: If you just deleted your emails from AOL Mail within seven days after signing up with their email service, we can attempt to recover those precious messages for you as long as they were not delayed beyond seven calendar days.

Before you panic and start rummaging around to find the backup copy of your first email ever sent through AOL (you know, that one) you must understand how much AOL has changed over time. When it first launched in the mid 90s, AOL was primarily a text-based service; although it did have a few very basic options for using pictures and even playing games. It wasn’t until 2000 or 2001 that AOL became well known as an Internet Service Provider that included web surfing as part of their subscription package.

This means there is likely nothing to recover from those early days of email servers and dial up modems. However, if you’re still using the same email address with AOL today then you do stand some chance at recovering some of your old AOL emails.

While AOL is primarily known as an Internet Service Provider, the company still maintains a subscription-based email server from which they offer users online storage space for their important files, photos and emails. Even though you may not actively use it, AOL’s @aol.com email address continues to work as long as you’re paying for it (which many people forget). That means if you’ve accidentally deleted any email from your account or changed ISPs since signing up for AOL you may be able to recover that data by logging back into your old account and downloading it. If that doesn’t work then there are additional steps you can take if the first method fails including using specialized software designed to access private websites like AOL.

How to recover your AOL email while still using the service:

Having an @aol.com address is one way of not only accessing your old AOL emails, but it can also mean being able to recover other files and documents that you accidentally deleted or lost from your computer. To check if you still have access to an old account, log into the same email address you’ve always had and look for any recent notifications in lower right-hand corner of the screen (see Figure 1). If there are any listed then click on the “Open” button next to them to see what they contain.

Figure 1 – Viewing Recent Notifications

Your screen should now change slightly as the system pulls up a page with the titles of your notifications (Figure 2). Simply click on any email that has the subject line “Re: Username’s Message” or something similar. That message is telling you that it is a response to a previous email from you so it will have all of your old emails in it as well as any new ones sent by AOL since then. If you can’t find anything listed this way, try searching for other emails using either your first name or @aol.com address to see if there are earlier references to them.

Figure 2 – Viewing Email Notifications

Do I really have access to my old AOL messages?

Having an @aol.com email account does not give you automatic access to everything from the start of time. That means it is possible that you are still paying for your account and have access to all saved files so you can recover deleted emails from it, but if you’ve ever changed ISPs or even let your membership expire then a new AOL email address will be created (with different login info). This may mean being able to view previous messages sent to and from yourself while connected through the old ISP/email address, but it won’t allow you to connect to any @aol.com accounts that are registered with AOL’s servers.

In that case you would need to use the AOL Recovery Tool.

How to recover your AOL email after letting your account expire:

Logging back into an old @aol.com address and downloading emails is one form of recovering deleted AOL emails, but it can be time consuming if there are a number of them. If this fails then you may be able to use specialized software designed for accessing websites like AOL or simply exploring private computer files directly from a web browser without taking any special precautions. Depending on how much you’ve changed ISPs since signing up for AOL will determine how easily you can access those older messages afterward. This means if you’re still using the same ISP as when you first signed up for the service (or if you’ve only changed ISPs once) then you should be able to use the AOL Recovery Tool and have all of your old messages within minutes. If not, there are other methods for gaining access to private files that aren’t connected with an ISP (like Personal Web Server on a home computer).

How to recover deleted emails from AOL using specialized software:

If you can still log into your account then accessing your previously deleted emails is a simple matter of downloading them as any normal email would be. It’s just another form of sending yourself a message so the process is similar to how you would send one through Gmail or Outlook Express. The way it works will depend on what kind of email client or Internet browser you used when creating those messages in the first place. Here are some examples:

Microsoft Outlook Express – Simply select the “File” menu, go to “Folder Options”, and then click on the “View” tab. From there you’ll be able to choose a specific folder (such as your Inbox) and open it up in order to restore emails from it. If you know that something has been deleted recently (but haven’t yet emptied the trash/recycle bin) then simply look for the message’s subject line throughout those folders to see if it has really gone missing.

Outlook 2002 or 2003 – Open up a new email with “Tools” in the top toolbar followed by going into either your “Inbox” or another folder of choice within your account. Then you can just send yourself a message by typing the same way you would if you were replying to an incoming email, but instead make it’s content your old deleted one and press “Send”.

Yahoo! Mail – Click on the “Mail” menu at the top of your web browser and then choose “Sent Mail” or another folder of choice from there in order to view any past messages that have been associated with that account.

Gmail – Look for some trash icons (a green and white circle divided into thirds) at either side of your inbox for a list of old emails that will be deleted over time unless downloaded first. To recover them simply right-click on one of those icons and click on “Show Deleted Messages” from the menu.

If you’ve changed ISPs since signing up for AOL at some point in the past then you should know that over time an old email account may be deactivated and new one created (with a different login) if you haven’t logged into it within any given 24 hour period. This is done so AOL’s servers can release your original member name/email address to other members who want to get similar accounts instead of going through the trouble of letting someone take yours later on. That means if you have simply let membership expire without changing ISPs or taking special precautions to prevent this then your original @aol.com address will not be available unless that particular username has already been taken by someone else. In that case you would need to acquire a different email address and login from there.

How to recover deleted emails from AOL if your email is no longer active:

If you have changed ISPs since signing up for AOL then the easiest way to get back old messages through an Internet browser would be with a web-based version of EditPad Lite or another advanced text editor like that. The exact steps will be different depending on how much text you need to retrieve, but most will require editing in some way in order to make it appear legible again (as plain unformatted text). That means changing the font or size used so that all of your forgotten past emails can still be viewed without any special software at all. Here are some examples:

Web-based EditPad Lite – The procedure for restoring deleted AOL emails with a web app like this one is simply opening up the “Edit” menu and then choosing the option to “Insert File As…” before uploading your HTML file. EditPad will then convert all of those old messages into a readable form through some automated conversion.

Convert Email Code to Plain Text – This website will take unformatted text (including stuff from AOL’s web interface) and turn it into something legible by putting in special characters like *BOLD* or _UNDERLINE_ so that you can read it more easily without any special software. It will also put everything back in chronological order but only if you use the second button on.

Can I recover a deleted AOL email?

If you recently deleted emails from AOL Mail, you can try to restore them from the Trash folder. From the left panel in your account, click on “Trash” and all the emails that have been there for less than seven days will appear.
Original input: If you just deleted your emails from AOL Mail within seven days after signing up with their email service, we can attempt to recover those precious messages for you as long as they were not delayed beyond seven calendar days.

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