You may sometimes notice that emails that were previously present in your mailbox on the AOL Desktop Software are now missing. Given below are some solutions to resolve the issue. After trying the first solution, check whether you can locate the email. If you are still unable to locate the email, continue using the suggested solutions until the problem is fixed.
IMPORTANT: If you have a free account with AOL and you haven't accessed your mailbox in the last 120 days, any email associated with that Username will be deleted per AOL's Terms of Service. Next time you login to your mailbox, 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. Follow the instructions below to resolve the issue.
Note: The number of days that an email stays in your mailbox depends on the type of mailbox you use and the folder in which you save the email.
Note: Ensure that you are signed on to the AOL service before carrying out the steps given below.
- Check the Old Mail folder
- Check the Recently Deleted folder
- Check the Saved Mail folder
- Check the Spam folder
- Run Quick Restore
- Save emails to Saved on My PC folder
- Delete incoming mail filter
- Uninstall and reinstall the AOL Desktop Software
If you have read the email, please check the Old Mail folder for the email.
To view old mail
1. On the AOL toolbar, click the Mail menu, and then click Old Mail.
2. Check whether the email that you are looking for is in this folder.
Note: If you are using the New/Old style mailbox, the read email will be marked as Old and moved to the Old Mail folder. Emails marked as Old will automatically be deleted after 6 years.
If the email was deleted from the mailbox, you may recover it from the Recently Deleted folder.
To check for your recently deleted email
1. On the AOL toolbar, click the Mail menu, and then click Recently Deleted Mail.
2. Determine whether the email that you are looking for is present in this folder.
3. If you find the email you are looking for and want to restore it, click to highlight the email, and then click Restore.
The mail may have been saved in the Saved Mail folders.
To check in the Saved on AOL folder
1. On the AOL toolbar, click the Mail menu, and then click Saved on AOL.
2. Look for your email by clicking the folders saved in the Saved on AOL folder.
To check in the Saved on My PC folder
1. On the AOL toolbar, click the Mail menu, and then click Saved on My PC (Filing Cabinet).
2. Look for your email by clicking the folders saved in the Saved on My PC folder.
Verify whether the email was accidentally diverted to the Spam folder.
To check the Spam folder
1. On the AOL toolbar, click the Mail menu, and then click Spam folder.
2. Determine whether the email that you are looking for is present in this folder. If you find the email, click to highlight the email, and then click This is Not Spam.
Note: When you click the This is Not Spam button, the email returns to your Inbox.
If the email that you are looking for is not in the spam folder, it may have been deleted because of your Spam Controls settings.
To set your spam mail controls to save spam emails in the spam folder
1. Go to AOL Keyword: Mail Controls.
Note: This keyword can be accessed only within the AOL software. However, the Keyword feature is not available in AOL Desktop v10.1.
2. In the AOL's Advanced Spam Filter section, click the Medium link.
3. Next to Sender Filter, click the Edit link.
4. Under Blocked Mail should be, choose the Delivered to Spam Folder option by clicking it, and then click Save.
5. Click Save.
If emails are missing from the AOL Desktop Software, make sure that the Username being used is not set on a third-party email client (other email programs that can be used to connect to your email such as Outlook and Mac Mail).
Note: If you are using another email application, try to first send an email to yourself to verify whether you can send and receive emails.
You can send and receive your AOL mail using any email application that supports either Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) or Post Office Protocol (POP); however, if your emails are missing, please reconfigure your email program to use the IMAP settings.
IMPORTANT: Accessing your mail through Post Office Protocol 3 or POP3 (the current standard application that is supported by most webmail services including Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail), can cause the email software on your computer or mobile device to download your messages locally, immediately deleting them from the server. Accessing AOL Mail through IMAP will allow the third party email client to read emails from the server without deleting them.
To reconfigure your email program to use IMAP settings, use other email applications to read and send AOL or AIM email. You can also refer to our help article AOL Mail: Accessing AOL Mail for more information on reconfiguring specific applications as well as IMAP and POP differences and settings.
The Quick Restore feature allows you to reset the AOL Desktop Software to the default state by deleting all updates downloaded in the past. It can help resolve issues that you may have with your AOL Desktop Software without having to reinstall the software.
Once Quick Restore is completed, you will receive a series of AOL Desktop Software updates. To learn more about AOL Desktop Software updates, read our help article AOL TOD update.
You will need to know the version of AOL Connectivity Service (ACS) that your AOL software (AOL 9.0 or higher) uses to connect to the Internet. You can find this information by following the instructions given in the online help article How do I determine the version of AOL Connectivity Service (ACS) I have?
Please click the link corresponding to the version of ACS installed on your computer for instructions to run Quick Restore.
Note: If you are using AOL Desktop v10.1, skip to the next solution. If you are using AOL 8.0 Plus or lower, go to Clear AOL Artwork Database.
To ensure that emails don't disappear from your mailbox in the future, you can change the settings of your mailbox to automatically save your read and sent emails to the Saved on My PC folder.
To save emails in the Saved on My PC folder
1. On the AOL toolbar, click the Mail menu, and then click Mail Settings.
2. To save the incoming mail, select the check box next to Retain all mail I read in my Saved Mail Folder.
3. To save the outgoing mail, select the check box next to Retain all mail I send in my Mail I've Sent Folder.
4. Click Save.
1. Go to http://webmail.aol.com and sign on with your Username and password.
2. On the upper right, click the Settings link.
3. In the left panel, click Filters and Alerts.
4. Hover your mouse over each filter listed, and then click the Delete the filter (X) icon next to the filter name. You will get a confirmation at the bottom of the screen that the filter has been deleted.
Before you uninstall and reinstall your AOL Desktop Software, please go to http://webmail.aol.com/ and sign on with your Username and password. If you are able to view your emails on AOL Mail, proceed with uninstalling and reinstalling the AOL Desktop Software.
Uninstalling the AOL Desktop Software removes all damaged and non-repairable files. Once the uninstallation is complete, reinstalling a new copy of the AOL Desktop Software is quick and easy. Please note that uninstalling the AOL Desktop Software removes all Usernames and settings associated with it. However, your Filing Cabinet files will automatically be stored on the desktop in a folder named Saved on AOL.
Important: If you have saved your AOL password on the AOL software, ensure that you remember your password before you uninstall the AOL Desktop Software because uninstalling the software will delete your saved password. If you don’t remember your password, we recommend that you change your password before proceeding any further. You will also need to remember the answer to your Account Security Question (ASQ) to be able to change your password. You can change your ASQ if you don’t remember the answer to it. For instructions to change your password or ASQ, refer to the following online help articles.
- How do I change my password?
- I forgot my AOL Password
- I forgot the answer to my Account Security Question
Please click the link corresponding to the version of Windows on your computer for instructions to uninstall the AOL Desktop Software.
Note: If you are unable to uninstall the AOL Desktop Software, refer to our online help article Can't uninstall the AOL Desktop Software.