I used to get email by clicking on an icon on the desktop. This icon is now lost. I and my husband are the only people who use this computer. I am really worried as there were important files in email. What’s the solution?Mary Toult
Firstly, let me put you mind at ease. A mislaid email icon is nothing to be concerned about. The account with all the stored messages is still probably there. You haven’t lost your email account – at least, not in the way you think; though we will touch upon this point later.
By the way, email icon is a wrong term, unless it’s applied to an individual message file. An icon through which you used to access email is probably of a program. The question is which kind of program was it? Generally, it’s one of the two below:
- A web browser: Most, if not all, email services let you access the account through a web browser such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera etc. There are tens of browsers in the market and the ones I’ve mentioned are five of the popular ones.
- An email client: The other way to check an account is via a dedicated email program, also called a client. Some of the popular programs for email are Windows Live Mail, Outlook, Outlook.com, Thunderbird, Apple Mail.
Getting back a lost email icon
- Recall which program you used to access the email account. Was it a web browser or a client? And which one was it?
- Check if the program is still available on your computer. It probably would be unless the other user has uninstalled it, the chances of which are rare.
- Create an icon of the program. This is actually a simple task and involves dragging and dropping the icon on to the desktop.
- The final step is to check if the email login information is required by the program. In which case, enter the username and password.
You can open your email account using a browser by pointing it to the service homepage, such as www.gmail.com in case of Google’s email service, Gmail.
Please understand that there are several ways to access an email account. An icon is just a pointer to a program – it is not your email!
In fact, an email account doesn’t even exist on your computer. It’s located on a server computer which may be hundreds of miles away. The program simply helps you login at the account and manage the messages and other information.
So if you’ve ever wondered where your email account is, it’s on a server!
The worst scenario – the email icon is lost along with everything in the account
The chances of this happening are minimal. Remember, an icon is just a pointer to a program. A lost email icon does not mean that you’ve lost all the messages.
However, if the program has been uninstalled from the computer, all its associated files – stored data and icons – will be deleted. Doesn’t this mean all messages are gone for ever? Well… yes, but there is still light at the end of the tunnel.
As I mentioned before, the email account does not reside on your computer. It’s on a server machine and can still be accessed via the same program you had used. All you need to know is which service you employed for email and the login information – username and password.
NOTE #1: There is one scenario where everything could be lost. The messages and all associated data can only be removed if the email program was uninstalled and the account had been set up using the POP3 email protocol which was configured to delete messages once they had been downloaded to the local machine. This, as you can understand, involves a fair bit of work and doesn’t happen by accident.
NOTE #2: If a browser you used to access the email account was uninstalled, you can put it back on the computer or simply use the default web browser that came with your machine.