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Can I retrieve the old emails I sent and received from my email provider?

Hi, this may be a long shot but is it possible to retrieve my old Tiscali
emails that I sent and received? It’s very important for evidence in a court
case.

In this excerpt from
Answercast #83
, I look at the possibility of retrieving emails from an old
ISP and where you need to go to find out.

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Retrieving old emails

Unfortunately, the answer is probably no. But more importantly, you’re asking the wrong person.

Whenever you have an issue that is specifically with an ISP, an email provider, only they can answer that question. Only they will know whether or not emails you’ve retrieved or deleted on their system have been deleted.

ISP’s retaining emails

Now, I’m not at all familiar with Tiscali. I have no experience with them. If they are like a normal ISP, the answer is still no.

The issue is that when you sign up with an ISP, I’m sure that part of the terms of services is that you and only you are responsible for the maintenance of your email, of your files – that includes things like backing up.

That’s another reason that I talk so frequently about backing up data – because you always end up needing it moments after it’s irretrievably gone.

Keep your own backups

Have a backup. Make sure it’s never irretrievably gone.

So, ultimately I don’t have a lot of hope for you. I can tell you that the right place to go to get that question answered is your ISP, your email service provider. In this particular case, that means contacting Tiscali.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

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2 comments on “Can I retrieve the old emails I sent and received from my email provider?”

  1. Hello, Leo! I LOVE your website and newsletters and greatly appreciate your knowledge of all-things computer. (You’re some kind of genius, aren’t you?! You would HAVE to be…) Question: Is it possible for me to copy or transfer e-mails I’ve sent/received from one ISP to another? Thanks!

    Reply
  2. @Deborah
    If you still have the emails on the ISP’s server, and if your ISP supports IMAP (most do), you can set up an email program to download your emails to your email program via IMAP. Then you can set up your email program to access the new email account using IMAP and copy the emails from the inbox and sent mail of the old email account into the inbox and sent mail folders in the new account.
    What is IMAP? And how can it help me manage my email?

    Reply

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