How can I find emails that are missing from my AOL Mail inbox?

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How can I find emails that are missing from my AOL Mail inbox?

If it looks like you're missing emails that were previously in your AOL Mail Inbox, here are a handful of solutions that'll help you find them.

IMPORTANT: If you have a free account with AOL and you haven't accessed your mailbox in the last 90 days, any email associated with that account will be deleted per AOL's Terms of Service. The next time you sign in, you'll have a new, clean mailbox ready to use. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have a paid account or you frequently access your emails, don't worry: Your email experience will remain unchanged.

Note: The number of days an email stays in your mailbox depends on the type of mailbox you use and the folder in which you saved the email. For more information, please check out our help article How long are emails stored in my AOL Mail Inbox?

Please try these solutions:


You access your email using an email client (like Microsoft Outlook) or on your mobile device

Do you check your AOL Mail using another email account or program? This is perhaps the top reason people don't find email where they think it should be. If you "POP" your mail into another account or program, chances are that the settings in that program are actually set to delete the mail from the AOL server each time you check your mail. The fix? Go into that program's POP/IMAP settings and find the option to "Leave messages on server," and select it. Here are instructions on how to Leave messages on the AOL server.

Alternatively, if your email isn't missing but is going straight into the Old, Recently Deleted or Trash folders, this may simply be the normal outcome of using IMAP to access your AOL Mail in another program or on another device. IMAP syncs your mail regardless of where you use it, which means if you read a message in your mailbox on your mobile device, it will appear as "Read" the next time you check your mail from anywhere else.


Check the Trash folder

If the email was accidentally deleted from your inbox, you might be able to recover it from the Trash folder.

To check the Trash folder:

1. In the left panel, click the Trash folder.

2. Determine whether the message that you're looking for is in this folder.

3. If you find the email in your Trash folder you can still restore it. Click the box next to the email, click the Action drop-down menu, and then under "Move To", click where you'd like to move the message to.


Check the Saved Mail folder

The email may have been saved in the Saved Mail folder.

To check the Saved Mail folder:

1. In the left panel, click My Folders.

2. Click the Saved Mail folder.

3. Check if the missing email is in this folder.


Check the Spam Folder

The email may have been accidentally diverted to your Spam folder.

To check the Spam folder:

1. In the left panel, click Spam.

2. Determine whether the email that you're looking for is in this folder. If you find the email in the Spam folder and would like to move it to your Inbox, check the box next to the message, and then above your list of messages, click OK NOT SPAM.

Note: When you click OK NOT SPAM, the email will return to your Inbox and will be listed by the date that it was originally received.


Check the Spam Controls settings

If the email that you're looking for is not in the spam folder, it might have been deleted because of your Spam Control settings.

To check the Spam Control settings:

1. In the upper right, under your Username, click Options and then click Settings.

2. In the left panel, click Spam Settings.

3. In the Spam Filter section, click the drop-down menu, and then select Medium.

4. In the Blocked Mail section, select the Deliver blocked mail to Spam folder option, and then click Save Settings.


Delete incoming mail filter

An incoming mail filter could be delivering messages to a particular folder instead of your inbox.

To delete an incoming mail filter:

1. In the upper right, under your Username, click Options and then click Settings.

2. In the left panel, click Filters and Alerts.

3. Move your pointer over the filter that you'd like to delete and click the white X in the box to the right of Edit.

4. At the bottom of your screen you'll see a confirmation that the filter has been deleted. Delete the wrong filter? No problem. Click the Undo link on the right to restore the filter.


Check if your account has been compromised

Sometimes, missing emails are an indication that your account has been hacked. To learn how to identify a compromised or hacked account, please visit our help article How do I know if my account has been compromised (hacked)?




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Last updated: 02-10-2014
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