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How to find lost emails in Gmail, Apple iCloud, Outlook, and More

Few things are more frustrating than looking for that one email that’s currently escaping you. 

Well, look no further. This post will break down how to find your lost emails, regardless of your current email client. And if this is a recurring problem for you, make sure to read up on our tips for keeping track of your emails like a pro so you can spend less time reading articles like these.  

Jump to your email client

How to find lost emails in Gmail

Follow these steps to find your lost emails in Gmail on desktop.

  • Click on the “Search all Conversations” bar at the top of the screen.
  • Search for your email using keywords, like the topic of the email or the name of the sender.
  • Use advanced search functions to refine your search if you’re able to.

2. Check your Spam folder

  • Click the “More” button on the left-hand menu.
  • Select “Spam” from the drop-down menu.
  • Click on the bar at the top of the screen that says “in:spam” and search for your mail by typing in a keyword related to your email and pressing enter.

3. Check your Trash folder

  • Click the “More” button on the left-hand menu.
  • Select “Trash” from the drop-down menu.
  • Click on the bar at the top of the screen that says “in:trash” and search for your mail by typing in a keyword related to your email and pressing enter.

4. Check your All Mail folder

  • Click the “More” button on the left-hand menu.
  • Select “All Mail” from the drop-down menu.
  • Click on the bar at the top of the screen that says “search in mail,” and search for your mail by typing in a keyword related to your email and pressing enter.
  • If you know roughly when this email was sent or received, you could also scroll down until you see it.

If you still cannot find your email, check this post from Google for other potential solutions or possible reasons why your email may have been deleted. 

How to find lost emails in iCloud Mail

Follow these steps to find your lost emails in the desktop version of iCloud Mail.

1. Do a search of your inbox

  • Click on the magnifying glass symbol above your email list.
  • Search for your email using keywords, like the topic of the email or the name of the sender.

2. Check your Junk folder

  • Select “Junk” from the left-hand menu.
  • Scroll through your junk email to find the email you’re looking for.

3. Check your Deleted Items folder

  • Select “Trash” from the left-hand menu.
  • Scroll through your deleted email to find the email you’re looking for.

4. Check your Archive folder

  • Select “Archive” from the left-hand menu.
  • Scroll through your deleted email to find the email you’re looking for.

How to find lost emails in Outlook

Follow these steps to find your lost emails in the desktop version of Outlook.

  • Click on the search bar near the top of your screen.
  • Make sure the filter selection to the left of the search bar is set to “All folders.”
  • Search for your email using keywords, like the topic of the email or the name of the sender.

2. Check your Junk Email folder

  • Select “Junk Email” from the left-hand menu under “Folders.”
  • Scroll through your junk email. Note that junk emails are deleted ten days after receiving them by default.

3. Check your Deleted Items folder

  • Select “Deleted Items” from the left-hand menu under “Folders.”
  • Scroll through your deleted email. Note that deleted emails are deleted thirty days after they were deleted by default.

4. Check your Archive folder

  • Select “Archive” from the left-hand menu under “Folders.”
  • Scroll through your archived emails or use the search bar to find the email you’re looking for. 

How to find lost emails in Yahoo!

Follow these steps to find your lost emails in the desktop version of Yahoo! Mail.

  • Click on the “Find messages, documents, photos, or people” search bar at the top.
  • Search for your email using keywords, like the topic of the email or the name of the sender.
  • Make sure the toggle is switched to “Messages.”
  • Use advanced search functions by clicking on the down arrow on the side of the search bar to refine your search if you’re able to.

2. Check your Spam folder

  • Select “Spam” from the left-hand menu.
  • Scroll through your junk email and make sure the email is not there.

3. Check your Trash folder

  • Select “Trash” from the left-hand menu.
  • Scroll through your deleted email to make sure the email is not there.

4. Check your Archive folder

  • Select “Archive” from the left-hand menu.
  • Scroll through your archived emails to make sure your email is not there.

5. Submit a restore request

3 tips for keeping track of emails in the first place

The best way to find lost emails is to make sure they don’t get lost in the first place. Here are some simple tips to keep track of all your emails moving forward. 

1. Use AI

AI isn’t just for writing or creating images—it can also help you stay organized. Heyday’s AI-powered memory assistant helps you be your most productive self by keeping track of your emails on Gmail for you.

Simply install the Heyday plugin, and Heyday will sort and keep track of your documents—from the emails you receive to the articles you read. When you can’t find a specific email on Gmail, you can use Heyday to find it instead of spending your afternoon looking for it.

Web browser, Heyday search companion, Email search result

It’s really that easy. Give Heyday a try for free today and see how AI can help you stay more organized.  

2. Consolidate your emails in one place

Currently, the average internet user has 1.75 email accounts. And if you’re having trouble keeping track of all your emails, here's a good chance you have more than one account, too.

Instead of checking each account for that one email you’re looking for, it’s far easier to use a single email client for all your email needs. 

To do this, simply set up forwarding rules on all your email accounts and point them toward your email client of preference. Most email clients also include forwarding setup installation wizards, so it’s easy to go through all of your emails in one place.

3. Organize your email inbox

It's easy to lose emails when you're getting a deluge of messages on a daily basis. Configure your setting options to boost the visibility of important emails and hide messages you don't need.

This could include:

  • Updating your junk settings to remove spam immediately.
  • Creating folders based on specific interests, work issues, or personal needs.
  • Use labels to identify important emails so you can find them more easily later on. 

You should be able to do all of the above actions with any email client, but the instructions may vary from platform to platform.

Stay on top of all of your online data

One of the reasons we lose track of important emails is that we all constantly get way too many each day. And it’s not just emails. The average knowledge worker reads nearly 1600 articles and 2 million words every year. Learn more about the all data we consume in a year.

Josh Chapman

Content marketer who specializes in SEO-optimized articles for SaaS companies.