missing emails

What to Do If There are Missing Emails From Your Inbox?

It’s a bright sunny morning. You grab a cup of coffee and get started with a new day. But as soon as you log in to your email account, you find a large number of missing emails from your mailbox.

Just to make sure you aren’t daydreaming, you hit the reload button. But the story remains the same. Some of your emails are gone, and you have no idea how to get them back. Missing emails are not a new hurdle. If you use different apps or devices to access your emails, your emails can disappear sometimes. And in most cases, it’s nothing too serious. 

In this article, we’ll discuss missing emails, why they occur, and how you can get them back.

Common problems related to missing emails and how to solve them

Missing emails can be due to several reasons. Most likely, it’s due to your email receiving server. Email services work on two receiving servers: IMAP and POP3. Both servers are responsible for receiving emails, but they work differently when it comes to storage and accessibility. And if your email account is undergoing a syncing process, a few emails may disappear from your inbox. 

However, sometimes your emails may go missing because of your spam filters and other email receiving restrictions. 

Here are a few common problems related to missing emails. 

1. A large number of emails are missing from the inbox

This is likely to happen if your email server is POP3. Ask yourself if you’ve recently accessed your email account from a device apart from the one you normally use? If yes, then the device may have initiated the download of the emails. Therefore, the emails will be saved in the storage of the device and disappear from the server. 

To resolve this issue, create an IMAP account on the device from which you accessed the emails. Now, simply move the emails from POP3 inbox to IMAP inbox. The server will sync the emails again, and your emails will reappear in your inbox. You can now either disable your POP3 inbox or reconfigure it to ensure it doesn’t remove emails from the server. 

2. Missing email folders

Your folders from a single email client can be missing in another email client or webmail. This can happen due to various reasons, such as:

  • Your email client uses POP3. If so, then folders other than inbox will never be created at the location of the server and will reside on your local device. 
  • If your client uses IMAP, you may not have subscribed to additional folders. 

To resolve the first issue, ensure your folders are IMAP folders. If not, you’ll need to create them again in your email client. For the second issue, simply subscribe to additional IMAP folders. 

3. Specific emails don’t appear in your inbox

If you’re not receiving specific emails, the issue is most likely spam-related. Maybe the email triggers a spam filter.

Take a look at your spam folder to see if you can find the missing email. If not, check your email logs for detailed insights. 

If it’s not possible to locate the email anywhere, contact the sender to check if they received a bounce back. If they did, follow this article for detailed instructions. 

4. Delayed emails

Some email providers, like Yahoo and Hotmail, implement “gray listing.” It is a process of delaying suspicious emails for a brief period of time. Although these emails will be delivered, they might seem like they are missing. 

In some cases, there might be a delay in delivery out of natural causes. The process of sending an email isn’t as simple and instant as it seems. When a sender hits the Send button, the message travels through the network cloud, servers, and routers before ending up in the receiver inbox. If these intermediary services face heavy load or downtime, the delivery of an email might take some time. 

All you can do in this case is to wait for the email to show up. However, it’s better to check if any spam filter has been triggered. 

Usually, emails take one second to get delivered. But sometimes, it may take a few couple minutes. However, if it’s taking more than 10-20 minutes, further investigation might be necessary.

Spam filter

If your spam filter is interfering with the emails you’re receiving, update your spam filter settings. Spam filters often fall in the following categories:

  • No spam filter
  • Low spam filter
  • Medium spam filter
  • High spam filter
  • Exclusive spam filter

In the case of high and exclusive spam filters, there’s a high chance that the regular emails will be marked as spam. In the exclusive spam filter, you receive emails from your email contacts only. 

Some email clients also offer a setting to automatically delete emails entering your spam folder. This way, you may never be able to read those received emails. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your spam filter settings and update them as per your requirements.

A quick note on IMAP vs. POP3

As discussed, whether you use IMAP or POP3 plays a crucial role in determining how your emails are stored. If you use POP3, your emails will be readily saved to your local storage. Thus, they’ll disappear from the server. IMAP, on the other hand, always keeps your emails on the server. 

But POP3 has some added advantages over IMAP. Since POP3 saves your email in the local storage, you can access them anytime without the internet. Besides, POP3 also comes with additional privacy and security features, 

Therefore, it’s essential to choose an email client like Eltris that offers support for both POP3 and IMAP servers.

Conclusion: Missing emails

Missing emails are a common sight for POP3 email users. If you use POP3, your email client will readily move your emails from the server to your local storage. As a result, your emails will go missing from your IMAP or webmail inbox. 

However, missing emails isn’t a major problem, and you can easily resolve it by following the steps discussed above.

But to make sure your emails are stored and synced properly, use a reliable email client like Eltris.