I forgot to login to my HotMail account for a while, and today when I logged
in it was suspended for lack of use. I re-opened it, but this means I’ve lost
all my previous mails which included some really important ones.
Is there any way to get them back? In particular there was a folder which
contained very important mails.
I know of no way to get your messages (or any contacts) back once they have
been permanently deleted from HotMail. Whether it’s you deleting them
accidentally, or HotMail clearing the account for lack of use, permanent is
permanent. The messages are gone.
Here’s what I recommend you do …
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This will sound harsh, but you need to learn from this lesson.
Stop using HotMail.
I’m serious. Stop using HotMail, or for that matter any web-based email
service for anything that you would consider to be “important”.
If your email and your contacts are truly important, if losing them would be
a serious problem for you, as it apparently has, then invest in a ‘real’ POP3
email account from an email service provider or from your ISP. Then use a
‘real’ email program like Outlook, or Eudora, or Thunderbird or any of a number
of other good email programs that run on your machine to manage your email.
Then make sure to back up. Regularly.
Take control, and more importantly, take responsibility, for the safety of
your email. If it’s really that important, then relying on a third party like
HotMail to “do the right thing” or even just to always be there is simply
asking for trouble.
Don’t get me wrong – services like HotMail have their place – they’re useful
tools when used for the right jobs. I have Hotmail and Yahoo accounts myself.
But they’re not appropriate for anything you would consider to be important. I
hear too many reports every day of people that have lost their email,
their contacts, or even access to the account for me to put it any other
Now, there is currently one alternative that’s what you might call the best
of both worlds: Google’s GMail. It’s a free web-based mail service that
includes POP3 and SMTP mail download and send. It’s a fine service to use
as long as you make sure to download to your own mail client, on your own
machine, and then back up regularly. Leaving all your information on
Google’s server is convenient and fast and all that, but if it’s the only place
you leave it, then when (not if) there’s ever a problem you’re back were you
started – you’re still screwed.
responsibility, for the safety of your email.”
If it seems like I’m coming down hard on free email services – I am. Or
rather, I’m coming down hard on people that rely on them too heavily.
If it seems like a pet peeve of mine – it is. I’ve written on it before.
It’s not some random opinion or a prejudice I walked in with. I’ve come to
this conclusion by the sheer number of people who ask similar questions:
they’ve lost important emails, contact lists, or more – simply because there
was a problem with their free web based email account. And I get these reports
every single day.
Folks, “free” just isn’t worth it if what you’re dealing with is important
to you or to your business.
Email and contacts: own it, download it, and back it up.