Yahoo, like Windows, gives people the ability to recover files that they delete intentionally or accidentally. Your Yahoo Mail even has a Trash folder similar to the one you see on your desktop. Even though you can recover deleted Yahoo Mail messages, it's still important to understand what happens if you wait too long to undelete important emails; they may disappear forever with no chance of recovery.

It’s In the Trash

When you visit your Yahoo Mail page and click the "Trash" icon, you'll see messages you've deleted from various folders. However, you may not see every message that you sent to the Trash folder because Yahoo doesn't keep them forever. The system deletes them automatically after a certain time period lapses. You can't adjust a setting that tells Yahoo Mail when to delete regular messages, but you can tell it how long to wait before deleting messages in your Spam folder.

Undelete Your Mail

Recover deleted messages by clicking "Trash" to view the messages in your Trash folder and putting check marks next to the ones you want to recover. When you click "Move," a menu displays your Inbox and Spam folders along with all the other folders you've created to hold messages. Click a folder to remove the messages from the Trash folder to the one you selected.

Back It Up

Backing up an important message ensures that you'll always have a safe copy of it. You can't click a button to back up email messages, but you can copy a message's content and paste it into a text editor. Sign up for Yahoo Mail Plus, and you can download messages to desktop email programs, such as Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird. In addition to saving attachments to your hard drive, you have the ability to back them up to Dropbox, an online service that helps people save Yahoo attachments online.

Dealing With Deletions

In some instances, Yahoo can restore deleted email messages or those that you lost if you visit the Yahoo Mail/Messenger Restore Help Form page (see Resources) and fill out the page's form. The company does not guarantee that it can restore messages, and it can only try to recover those that are no older than seven days. Because Yahoo deletes messages in your Spam folder, it's important to check that folder regularly to ensure that important messages don't wind up there. Otherwise, you lose them when Yahoo empties the Spam folder.