DANGER - If synchronization fails, eM Client can delete your emails off the server

I loaded eM Client (eMC) on 12/29 for the first time. Love the interface as I can have nested folders just like in Outlook and can create a clean user experience. After allowing the synchronization to run for ~12 hours, I decided to move folders around (arranging folders in new hierarchies). It appears that during the synchronization process, eMC deleted the majority of my historic email off the HotMail server. This represents the loss of hundreds of emails that have been saved since I first started using HotMail in 2003.

Symptom: After running eMC for 3 days I was wondering why certain sub-folders in eMC were not populated with historic emails so I logged in to HotMail via the web interface with the confidence that no matter what, the original emails would always be on the HotMail server.

To my horror, all of the folders that are blank in eMC are also blank in HotMail. This means that either Microsoft has decided to delete the emails out of my HotMail folders or eMC instructed HotMail to delete them. The deletion is inconsistent as one sub-folder out of ten did not have it’s email deleted.

At this point, without an understanding of what went wrong, I’m not sure what advice to give to others.

This morning I discovered that HotMail provides access to all deleted email. To undo the damage that eM Client inflicted all I need to do is to manually restore 3,400 emails to their original folders. Should take about 70 hours. Not too bad. Also gives me the ability to finally throw away a bunch of emails that have been hanging around for way too long.

Hi, this is not standard behaviour, eM Client can not delete emails on its own, you always have to make it.

What protocol and eM Client’s version do you use? Have you had set any rules or was any error shown?

Jan

Thanks for getting back to me John. My HotMail account was organized into ~20 folders. I installed eMC on December 27th. eMC created a folder structure that mirrored my HotMail folder structure. After installing I could click on 2-3 folders in eMC and see my mail, no problems. I waited until the “Synchronizing with HotMail” message went away (many hours) and then proceeded to rearrange my folder structure using drag & drop in eMC.

After dragging & dropping, I clicked on several more folders that I hadn’t clicked on earlier and noticed that most of the folders were empty. I wasn’t concerned since I assumed that they hadn’t “synched” yet. After 30 hours the email was still not available in eMC. Again, I wasn’t concerned since I knew they would always be available through the web version of HotMail. After all “eM Client can not delete emails on its own”.

On December 30th, I needed to check on an archived item and, since the folders were still not “synched”, decided to just use the web version of HotMail to access my email. That’s when I discovered that 95% of my archived email had been deleted on the HotMail server.

My best guess is that, as eMC moved an email from one folder to another, the email was deleted from the original folder before it was successfully copied to the destination folder.

To answer your questions:

  1. I am not sure what protocol I’m using. I just followed the install wizard
  2. I am using version 6.0.19714.0
  3. I have 10 rules. They delete email if the subject line contains the word “insurance”, “refinance”, “loan” and so forth.
  4. No error message was displayed at any time. The only thing that seemed unusual is that the message that eMC was “synchronizing” with the HotMail folders was popping up pretty frequently

Does this information help?

well main question is why you have not let folders be created by synchronization from the server or import?
Anyway try to look into Local folders if you have not done it yet, Archived emails are put there.

  1. so it should be IMAP, then it could explain why those emails got deleted - IMAP synchronize every status change for emails - including deletion.
  2. Outlook.com takes days to fully synchronize with thousands of emails. MS has limit how much emails can be synchronized in one time span.

This issue looks like one we have discovered for deleting emails, but it was caused by offline online mode (or loosing and gaining connection).

I am still thinking and trying to reproduce your issue but so far I am not successful. when you have restored your emails is it possible to make screenshot of your folder trees and send it to galis@emclient.com?

I might be more clever when I see how exactly you have sorted those emails.

Jan

Thanks John. The lesson learned here is that when you install eM Client and direct it to synchronize with a HotMail account, it is very important to leave your laptop running and connected to the Internet. Microsoft limits the number of emails that can be synchronized at one time so it can take several days to synchronize eM Client to HotMail.

If you lose your Internet connection or power your laptop down, then the synchronization process WILL delete emails. The number of emails that get deleted depends on how far the synchronization process went before the connection was interrupted. n my case, 12 hours was not enough time and ~75% of my email archive was deleted.

The deleted emails can be recovered using the web interface of HotMail. The emails will not be in any folder structure so you have to manually re-file all your email.

VERY IMPORTANT - If the deleted emails are not moved from the trash to an active folder within a week, they will be deleted forever. The best thing to do is to immediately move the deleted mail into a temporary folder and re-file as time permits.

You can close out this ticket. Thanks again for the support.

Thank you for your report back. But as I have written before, this is not standard behaviour I myself have not ever lost email and I run same Hotmail (outlook) email for more than 8 years.

It is normal that synchronization of large amount of emails is long on outlook, but loosing them is not. That is why I will try to investigate this further.

Jan