Where did my emails go!? mail.com helps you find them

You’re sure you had an email about last week’s project in a folder, but now it’s nowhere to be found. Or even worse, you know you saw a new email from your grandma, but when you go to your mail.com inbox to look at it, it’s gone!
Stressed businessman looks at his laptop
Missing mails? Don’t worry – mail.com can solve the mystery
Keep calm and read this blog post – mail.com will show you where to look.
The good news is that emails don’t just disappear from your mail.com account. But if your messages are suddenly not where you expect them to be, it is often due to either the POP3/IMAP settings or the folder settings in your inbox.

1.  Check your POP3/IMAP settings

Have you activated the POP3 or IMAP settings in your mail.com account in order to use an external email program like Outlook to check your mail, for example? If so, we may have already gotten to the bottom of the case of the vanishing emails! (If you don’t use POP3 or IMAP, you can skip ahead to part 2 for some inbox detective work.)
POP3 and IMAP are protocols for receiving email. With POP3, you can download emails from the server to read offline, while IMAP grants you access to your emails in real time with the email program of your choice.
In the case of POP3, the emails are “picked up” from the server by the program you use to check your email – which means that, if you are using the default settings, they are removed from the server and placed in the designated email inbox. So if you check your email again later using a different program, any emails that were “picked up” earlier won’t show up there. For example, if your grandma sends an email to your mail.com address and you use Outlook to check that account via POP3, her email is downloaded to Outlook and is no longer on the mail.com server. Which means if you log in to your mail.com inbox in your web browser the next day, your grandma’s email won’t show up there. But to find it, all you have to do is go back to Outlook (unless you permanently deleted it there, in which case your only option is to ask your grandma to send it again).
There are three different ways to prevent this problem going forward:
  1. Select the option “Leave a copy on the server” in the POP3 settings of the external email program you use to check your email (wording will vary), and your emails will then be available for download in any email program you use to check mail.
  2. Use IMAP instead of POP3 – but keep in mind that IMAP does not download emails by default, so you will not be able to see them unless you are connected to the internet.
  3. Switch to our Mail App to check your email on your mobile devices, which means you do not have adjust the server settings manually – everything is taken care of for you.
Screenshot of Advanced iPhone settings for email accounts
Make sure messages aren’t being deleted from the server in the POP3 settings of the external email program – for example, your iPhone’s email app

2. Check your folders and filter rules

Let’s go back to the case of the missing project email. You know you put it your “Work” folder, but now it’s gone! The most likely cause is that you configured the folder to store messages for a specific time – for example, one week – so now, two weeks later, that email has automatically been moved to your Trash folder. No worries: the default storage time for messages in your Trash folder is 30 days, so you should be able to find your message there.
If you are looking for a specific vanished email, your best bet is to use the Search function instead of manually checking all your inbox folders. Just type in the sender name, for example, and if the email is still in any of your folders, including Trash or Spam, it will show up on the search results list. (Once you have clicked the magnifying glass icon to start your search, an additional toolbar will appear to let you filter the results if needed.)
And here are a few more pointers to keep emails from playing hide-and-seek in the future:
  • Change the storage times of your Spam and Trash folders: If the default setting of three months means that emails you want are sometimes mistakenly deleted, give yourself more time by adjusting the settings. FYI, your other folders have an unlimited storage time by default.
  • Check your filter rules: In the past you may have set up filters to automatically sort or delete certain messages. If you’d rather have those emails arrive in your inbox where you will see them immediately, you can deactivate the rule.
  • Look in your Spam folder to see if certain emails are going there by mistake. You can make use of the Not Spam button and the whitelist function to train your spam filter and keep wanted emails from going to Spam.
 We hope this solves the mystery of the missing email! We look forward to your feedback below.
Images: 1&1/Getty Images

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