Re­cov­er­ing trashed emails

Mac|Life - - ASK -

I was clear­ing out a ton of emails from iCloud and in­ad­ver­tently se­lected all – in­stead of just the mes­sages I had orig­i­nally se­lected – be­fore delet­ing. I was puz­zled when those mes­sages promptly van­ished from my iMac, which con­nects to the same iCloud ac­count. How can I get them back?

When you keep your mail in iCloud, changes made on one con­nected de­vice al­ter what’s stored in iCloud, thus what all other de­vices see. This means that all your de­vices can ac­cess your lat­est in­com­ing mes­sages, and you can re­ply to them us­ing any de­vice. But it also means that delet­ing mes­sages re­moves them from iCloud and all de­vices con­nected to it.

If you’re us­ing Ap­ple’s Mail or an­other mail client which keeps trash, you could of course re­trieve your mes­sages from there be­fore they are au­to­mat­i­cally re­moved – which is a set­ting made in Mail > Pref­er­ences > Ac­counts > Mail­box Be­hav­iors. If the trash has been emp­tied al­ready, then your only chance is to re­trieve mes­sages from the most re­cent Time Ma­chine backup you made be­fore delet­ing them. If you don’t have a re­cent backup, then sadly your mes­sages have gone.

With Mail as the fore­ground app, open Time Ma­chine to browse and re­store in­di­vid­ual mes­sages from your back­ups.

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