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A friend is missing a bunch of emails from their outlook inbox.  What to do?

Posted on 2016-10-04
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Last Modified: 2016-10-06
They called me frantic - they had a bunch of emails in their inbox for their POP3 mail that they were saving and now (as of this morning) they are gone (they said they had 'loads' of emails and now only 14.  

The missing emails were as current as today and others were months old.

There's no filter applied (at least no 'filter applied' message at the bottom of the screen.

Yeah, they could have dragged a bunch into another folder. but there's no easy way to see files that were moved / deleted today / get things that were in the inbox back in there, right?

They don't have backups.  Previous versions for their appdata/microsoft/outlook folder  has only 1 previous version from this afternoon when I looked late this afternoon.

any thoughts?
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LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:Terry Woods
Terry Woods earned 50 total points
ID: 41828986
If you right click on the account folder, then choose Data File Properties, then Folder Size, that may help you track them down if they're still there. That works in Outlook 2013 at least; other versions may be a little different.

Alternatively, you could try doing a search for an email known to previously exist, but is now missing.
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LVL 35

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by:Terry Woods
Terry Woods earned 50 total points
ID: 41829008
There's also some info here that may be very relevant:

http://easykey.uk/outlook/emails-in-my-inbox-are-missing
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LVL 21

Assisted Solution

by:yo_bee
yo_bee earned 50 total points
ID: 41829078
You can user the Advance Find  Ctrl + Shift + F.
Click on Browse and select the top folder and check the sub-directories.  
Select the Advance Tab and select the drop-down and select All Mail Items > Select Modified
For the conditions select on > Enter the date that they all disappeared.
Press Find Now and once done you should see the e-mails and the ones that were moved to sub-folders will have a newer time stamp then the received date. This is a good indicator that it was moved from the inbox. To see this you need to add the column Modified to the view .

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LVL 14

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by:Todd Nelson
Todd Nelson earned 50 total points
ID: 41829211
Auto archiving isn't enabled, is it, with some funky filtering applied?
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Shouldn't all users have the same email signature?

You wouldn't let your users design their own business cards, would you? So, why do you let them design their own email signatures? Think of the damage they could be doing to your brand reputation! Choose the easy way to manage set up and add email signatures for all users.

 
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:WORKS2011
WORKS2011 earned 50 total points
ID: 41829272
Does this user have multiples computers that access the pop account? Sounds like maybe Outlook was configured to not save items for a certain amount of days and popped everything into a pst. Of course assuming another Outlook client accessed the email.
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LVL 13

Accepted Solution

by:
Edwin Hoffer earned 250 total points
ID: 41829662
Dear user,
If the mails are missing from the Outlook Inbox folder then you look for it in Deleted Items folder, If it is not there and search for it in Recoverable Items folder.
Sometimes the error is also caused due to the corrupted PST files. You can find the helpful solution by clicking the link below:
http://www.article.msoutlooktools.com/howto/recover-deleted-items-from-outlook.html

Thanks & Regards
Edwin Hofer
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LVL 21

Assisted Solution

by:yo_bee
yo_bee earned 50 total points
ID: 41829679
@works2011

I thought the same thing at first, but that would not delete already downloaded emails to the POP profile.

If the user has an Exchange connection and also has a POP on another device this theory would be a possible one.
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:suriyaehnop
suriyaehnop earned 50 total points
ID: 41830170
Maybe you can look for the pst and do repair using the scanpst.exe

PST is being used by POP3 and IMAP account.

Does the pop3 email client do filtered the email.

Could you try to send the email and verify if the email disppear or ot
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Author Comment

by:BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
ID: 41832733
thanks guys!  They were running crashplan backing up to the cloud.  I restored a PST from earlier in the day, opened it and copied a couple hundred emails that were in the inbox into the 'live' inbox that only had about 10 emails.

They said that looks like what they were missing.

I then searched the PST for unique text that was in a couple of the emails and it only found them in the in box (so they didn't drag them somewhere else or delete them, from what I can see).

Which brings up another question.  I use a program called beyond compare.  A great program!  Point it at 2 folders / drives, etc. and it will compare them and tell you whats missing / newer / older / changed in the folder / subfolder, etc.

If I have a PST from 4PM and a backup of that PST from earlier today, there shoudln't be much change in them - just some new emails that came in, some I sent out, etc.

Is there a way other than manually comparing them (on 2 different PCs with screens side by side, folder by folder?) to see the differences?  Using the example above - they lost / I recovered 200 emails in their inbox.  They have LOADS of folders / subfolders in outlook.  Maybe other folders are misssing emails just like the inbox.  I'd like to point an app at the old and new PST and have it simply show me - that email in that folder is only on PST A, not PST B, etc. kinda like how Beyond compare will show the differences in a directory tree.

Anything in outlook?  Any app you know of?  I'd like to know (easily) that the 200 in the inbox were the only ones that 'disappeared'.

THANKS!
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