How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Emails on an iPhone

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recover deleted emails from iphoneIt takes only one wrong swipe or tap on the screen to mistakenly delete an email on your iPhone. And unfortunately, restoring such an email is not as easy as erasing it. However, there are a few effective data recovery methods that can help you bring back the lost email.

Read on to find out how to recover permanently deleted emails on iPhone and prevent such an issue from happening in the first place.

Method Description
Undo Deletion Apply if deletion was the last action.
Trash Folder Use when a little time passed after deletion.
Archive Use if you could mistakenly move the emails to archive.
iCloud Backup You need a backup with required emails.
iCloud Account Apply if you’ve been backing up your emails to your iCloud account.
✅ Data Recovery Software Use as a last resort, if you don’t have backups and the trash is empty.

How to Find Deleted Emails on iPhone

Luckily, whenever you delete an email on your iPhone, it still physically stays present on your phone and can be easily found in most cases. But there isn’t a separate folder for deleted items on iPhones, so the only way to view the deleted emails on your phone would be through the email client that you were using to access your email account.

Since the Mail app is the most commonly used email client for iPhones, we’ll also be using it to demonstrate how to locate deleted emails. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Open the Mail app (either tap the mail icon on the home screen or swipe right on your iPhone and type Mail in the search field at the top).mail app iphone
  2. From the Mailbox screen, choose the needed email account.all mail mailbox
  3. Choose the All Mail tab and use the search field at the top to try to locate the needed email (you can type in the topic of the email, keywords used in it, or another person’s email address).all mail search iphone

How to Recover Deleted Emails on iPhone

Here are the most effective data recovery methods that can be used to recover missing, lost, or deleted emails on your iPhone.

Method #1: Undo Deletion

Now iPhones come with a cool feature that allows you to undo the latest action that you did on the phone by simply shaking it. This gives you an opportunity to immediately recover deleted emails from your iPhone as soon as you’ve noticed that you’ve deleted the wrong one, but only if that was the last thing that you did on your iPhone.

So, to undelete email on an iPhone with this method, simply shake your phone. Then a popup window will appear asking you whether you wish to undo the last action. Tap Undo, and there you have it — the email will be placed back into its previous location.undo delete email

Method #2: Check Trash Folder

Whenever you delete an email on your iPhone, it gets immediately transferred to a folder in the Mail app called Trash. If the Trash folder hasn’t been emptied after you’ve deleted your email, you should be able to easily recover emails deleted from Trash and move them back to the folder where it was located before deletion.

Follow these steps to find deleted emails on iPhone and recover a deleted one from the Trash folder:

  1. Open the Mail app on your iPhone.
  2. Using the sidebar menu on the left, tap Trash or Bin.
  3. Tap the Edit button at the top-right of the screen and choose the email you want to recover.
  4. Tap Move and select the folder to which you want to move the email.bin mail iphone

Method #3: Check Archive

It’s very easy to mistakenly move an email on your iPhone to the Archive folder instead of deleting it. So even if you can’t find the email in the Trash folder, it’s a good idea to check the Archive folder as well.

Here’s how to find archived emails on your iPhone and recover the email from there:

  1. Open the Mail app on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to the Mailboxes screen to view all the folders.
  3. Select the needed email account and tap All Mail.
  4. You’ll view all of the emails related to that account, including the ones that you’ve archived.
  5. Open the email that you wish to retrieve and tap the folder icon.folder icon mail
  6. Choose the folder to which you want to relocate the selected email.

Method #4: Recover From iCloud Backup

This is an effective data recovery method for restoring deleted emails on iPhones. However, you can’t recover only emails from your iCloud backup. You’ll have to erase all data and settings on your iPhone, and then when setting up your phone again, choose to restore everything from one of your iCloud backup versions.

Follow these steps to retrieve deleted emails on iPhone using an iCloud backup:

  1. Open the Settings application on your iPhone.settings app iphone
  2. Go to General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Erase All Content and Settings. Once the process is finished, you’ll have a clean iPhone.erase settings iphone
  3. Follow the onscreen instructions to set up your phone.
  4. When you see the Apps and Data screen, choose Restore from iCloud Backup to recover all of your files.
  5. Use your iCloud account login information to access the backups.
  6. Choose a suitable backup version and wait for the process to finish.

Method #5: Restore Emails From Your iCloud Account

If you’ve been backing up your emails to your iCloud account, you can try to recover the missing email from your recent backup. However, it is not always possible to recover permanently deleted emails from your iPhone using this method because of the settings you’ve chosen on your phone in regards to iCloud backups.

Note: This method is an excellent option if you want to retrieve old emails on iPhone since you’ll be able to access all of your emails from the iCloud account.

Follow these steps to recover accidentally deleted emails on iPhone from your iCloud account:

  1. Using a browser on your iPhone, go to website.
  2. Log in to your iCloud account using your Apple ID and password.icloud mail
  3. Tap the Mail icon.
  4. Go to the Trash tab and choose the emails that you wish to recover.
  5. Tap Move and choose the folder to which you want to transfer the selected emails.icloud move from trash folder

Method #6: Use Data Recovery Software

If you’ve been accessing your email account via Mail app on both your iPhone and Mac, it’s possible to recover deleted or lost emails with the help of a data recovery tool like Disk Drill. The reason why we chose this tool is that it works with basically any MacBook version and is capable of recovering emlx files (which are archives of your emails). Also, there are a few more options for recovering deleted emails directly from a Mac.

Follow these steps to recover emails from your iPhone using a data recovery tool:

  1. Download Disk Drill for Mac and follow the onscreen instructions to install it on your computer.
  2. Choose the Storage devices tab on the sidebar and select your Mac’s main drive.scan mac disk drill
  3. Click the Search for lost data button to initiate the scan.
  4. Wait for the scan to finish and click the Review found items button to look through the discovered files.view discovered files mac disk drill
  5. Either manually search for the email files, or type emlx in the search field at the top-right corner of the screen to filter out the scan results.
  6. Select the needed files and click the Recover button.recover email emlx disk drill
  7. Choose a preferred destination for the recovered data and click OK to confirm.

Once you’ve recovered the needed email file, you should take a few additional steps to import the emails back into your account. After you do that, you should be able to access the recovered emails both through your Mac and iPhone.

Follow these steps to place back the recovered emails into your email account:

  1. Open the Mail app on your Mac.
  2. Click File from the menu at the top and choose Import Mailboxes from the drop-down menu.import-found-emails-to-mac-mail
  3. Select Apple Mail as the data type.
  4. Navigate to the location of the recovered email file and click it to select.
  5. Click the Choose button.
  6. Click Continue to start the email import process.
  7. When finished, click the Done button.import mail mac

How to Configure Emails to Prevent Data Loss

Want to make sure that you won’t loose emails anymore on your iPhone? When it comes to emails, the best way to protect them from potential data loss would be by configuring the Mail settings on your phone.

To keep yourself from mistakenly deleting the wrong email, it can be helpful to switch on the feature that would ask you whether you’re actually sure that you want to delete a certain email. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to Mail.settings mail iphone
  3. Toggle on Ask Before Deleting.ask before deleting mail

Also, it’s a good idea to make sure that your emails are backed up to your iCloud account. This will give you an effective option in case you ever need to recover an email from your iPhone.


If you think that you might’ve deleted the wrong email on your iPhone and need to restore it, the first thing that you should do is double-check whether the email that you’re searching for is actually gone. And even if that’s the case, the methods described in this article should help you bring back the deleted emails.

Also, make sure to configure the email settings on your iPhone to prevent such an unpleasant event from happening again.


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Romana Levko is a professional content writer with a strong interest in tech-related topics. Her main focus is on data recovery, Apple products, and cybersecurity. She spends her free time tinkering with her Mac and burning through her favorite music albums.
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12 years experience in software development, database administration and hardware repair.