Update woes - can I restore lost old emails?

I received repeated advice on starting eM Client free that an update was available, until I weakened and installed it. It offered to close and update eM client, which I said yes to, but after that nothing seemed to happen. I sent myself a message which I did not receive.

I then uninstalled eM client and re-installed my old version. After that I opened eM client and found that all old emails dating from 29 Oct 2016 to 26 Aug 2018 were missing. I have a system backup but not too recent, unfortunately.

Is there any way to retrieve the missing emails?
Could the update message have been genuine or was I a victim of malicious software?

It is possible that before or during the upgrade, the message cache was corrupted in some way. The good news is that if your account is setup as IMAP or Exchange, then all your messages are stored on your email server. You can open the web interface for your email account and confirm they are still there. If they are, remove that email account from eM Client, then add it again. 

I think it is unlikely that some other application pretending to be eM Client installed it’s own code. If in doubt, you can always download the latest versions from the website. http://www.emclient.com/release-history

 I think what has happened is that the data base on my PC was deleted or corrupted. After I uninstalled and reinstalled eM Client, a new database was created. Old emails from my MS Outlook .pst file (The email client I used to use back in 2016) were added and emails from the last week were redownloaded from my email server. None of these recent emails were marked as read although I know I had read some of them.

Does that analysis make sense? If so, then I have already got all the emails still on the server. If not, could you please expand on how I would check if more emails are available?

The database would not have been deleted by the installation or uninstallation of eM Client, unless you used a third-party app like Revo to remove the application. Depending on what versions you were using, the database might not be visible. Upgrading from version 6 to 7 does not use the same database, but you would have been prompted to import from version 6. If you declined the import, then version 7 would have had an empty database to start. At any time you can choose to import the version 6 database. Or uninstalling version 7 and reinstalling version 6 will reload the original database again with all its messages, as long as you did not agree to delete the old database after importing to version 7.

You are using POP3, so there may be some messages from the past week still on the server. They will be marked as unread when they are downloaded. Unfortunately with POP3, it will download all the messages that are available, so what you get is what there is. You can login using the web interface for your email provider, but it is unlikely that there are other messages on the server.

With POP3, removing the email account from eM Client will also delete the message store. Maybe that is what you did. The only solution then is to restore from your most recent backup.

A belated thank you, Gary

OK, now for the next bizarre twist. I just found time and courage to install the update that caused me grief before. Remember that after my last attempt to update, eM Client broke, and so I reinstalled the old version again.  After that, most of my old emails had disappeared.

Well this time I made sure that I had backups. I disconnected the internet to prevent downloading new emails and those pesky Windows updates while I was working. I then used eM Client backup tool to backup eM Client to another disk, and then a system backup as well for good measure. I then installed the new version of eM Client over the old version (i.e. no uninstall first). There were no install messages, so I assumed that it had happened. When I opened eM Client, lo and behold, my emails had been restored to the time just before I tried the last update!

Now, can somebody please explain to me where these missing emails had been hiding all this time, and how I can add to them the more recent emails that are preserved (I hope) in my backups?

I note that mail_data.dat, the biggest dat file that I know of, is still about (if not exactly) the same size. Have the missing emails been in there all along, but the pointers to them lost?

Happy you got everything back. :slight_smile:

Unfortunately you cannot combine backups. The restore process is an all or nothing option.  What you can do is backup the current data to B, then uninstall eM Client and install the previous version that you were just using. Restore the backup A you made before the upgrade. When you have those messages, export them using Menu > File > Export.

Then do the upgrade process again as you just described. If the old message are there that is fine. If not, restore the backup B. Then import the messages you exported.


Export/Import did the trick. Now I have all my emails and eM Client updated. And backups in place!

Thanks to Gary for pointing me in the right direction, and thanks to the gremlin/demon/troll (in the Norwegian sense) that relented after I had repented for being lax with backups.