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Email Recovery in Cyber Forensics – A Complete Guide

email recovery in cyber forensics
Mayank | Modified: 2022-11-08T17:12:46+05:30|Forensics | 6 Minutes Reading

Case Scenarios for email recovery in cyber forensics:

An employee working as a Team Leader in a BPO firm was arrested by the police in the drug-dealing case in 2016. Initially, he was a social media freak and a well-performing candidate. He used to do illegal dealings with customers through emails. During the investigation, police found that there is no thread of records and proof of drug dealing in the culprit’s email account. Email recovery in cyber forensics is one sector that could have helped. Maybe he deleted all his emails. Unfortunately, the police had to release him because of no proof.

In digital forensics, to tackle such kind of situations, there comes a need of investigators to recover lost or deleted email data. This is because it is the only way that may help the investigators to get the evidential leads of the case. Nowadays, emails play a significant role in everyone’s life as it is crucial for business or personal communication, sharing confidential documents which may be crucial, etc. It could be a nightmare for users to loose such important data in any situation.

In most of the illegal cases, criminals usually delete such suspected emails intentionally to remove the leads of evidence. Because of this, we’re going be disclose the finest solution to recover deleted/lost emails manually. Moreover,  an instant email recovery solution that is exclusively important in cyber forensics is also here.

Know the Commonly Used Email Services

There are two types of email clients, which includes web-based (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) and desktop-based (Thunderbird, Outlook, etc.). These email services provide the functionality wherein the soft-deleted emails will be placed in the trash folder. Moreover, Shift + Delete emails are not there in the trash folder, instead this deletes the data permanently. Under such instance, one can recover the soft-deleted emails from the trash folder. However, make sure to not leave an email in the trash folder for a long time. Because after 30 days, these emails get permanently removed from the trash folder by the Gmail email service provider.

Manual Method for Email Recovery in Cyber Forensics

Step-1. Click on the “Trash folder” option in your email application.

Trash folder

Step-2. “Select” the desired message you want to restore.


Step-3. Click on the “Move” button.


Step-4. Select the desired location where you want to restore the deleted message.

Gmail Email Recovery in Cyber Forensics

So, if you have deleted your important Gmail emails accidentally, and haven’t cleared the trash folder or if it has not been passed 30 days yet? Then, you can easily recover your emails from the trash folder of the Gmail application.

But, if you have also deleted your emails from the trash permanently, or 30 days have passed since you have deleted the emails, then, what? Don’t worry, there are some third-party forensics tools which help to effortlessly recover the deleted emails.

Best Solution for Email Recovery in Cyber Forensics

Sometimes, users who have accidentally deleted their important emails from the Gmail application should know that their emails are not instantly deleted permanently. Instead, those emails are only not present at the location due to which people are unable to see them. But if the emails are permanently gone then the automated solution is the only way to recover them.

In order to properly track the emails and investigate email crimes. We recommend you to use MailXaminer Email Examiner Software software as this is one of the best software for email recovery process in cyber forensics that offers countless features to analyze emails. Evidently, this email forensic tool supports 20+ email clients and 80+ email file types. In the next section, we will discuss how to recover deleted or lost emails with the help of the most trusted Email Forensics Software.

Email Recovery in Cyber Forensics Using an Automated Software

To learn how to recover emails that have been lost or deleted, follow these steps using the forensic tool. First, download and install the software in your Desktop/Laptop. After that for forensic recovery of evidence, follow these simple steps:

Step-1. Launch the software and, create a new case to begin the investigation. For this, in the Cases screen choose the option Create Case and fill the required details related to the case.

Step-2. Now, add the evidential file into the software for scanning by clicking on the Add New Evidence button. An Add Evidence window will appear, now choose the file type and browse evidence file using the Add File button.

Step-3. The software will preview all the deleted emails in red color, hence users can easily find the deleted emails.

Step-4. After adding the suspected file in the software, one can view the emails in different preview modes. Moreover, it allows investigators to find precise information from the emails that helps in extracting the evidence.

Step-5. To view the deleted files separately, select the Deleted option from the Standard Filters. It will show you all the recovered files individually.

Step-6. To save the data into your local system, select the emails to export and click on the Export button. Then, select the  Export Selected Items option and choose the desired file format in which you want to export the recovered lost emails.

Some Additional Features of the Email Recovery Tool

  • Capable to scan and add data files of 20+ Email Clients.
  • Navigate the Geo-Location Mapping of the Image attached within the emails.
  • Support Forensic Hash Algorithm Analysis using MD5, SHA-1, and SHA-256 hash values.
  • Facilitates a powerful search mechanism for a Systematic Email Search of suspected emails.
  • It gives Multiple Export Options to save files in different file formats.

Time to Wind Up!

As you can see, there are manual as well as automated methods to recover lost or deleted emails. However, the manual method only recovers soft-deleted emails that still exist in the trash folder. But for the recovery of hard deleted emails (SHIFT+DELETE), users need to use a trustworthy forensic email recovery software.

Evidently, this email examination software is one of the best software available for email recovery in cyber forensics and thoroughly analyzes email data using its advanced functionality.