What happens to an email once it is deleted?

If something is in your deleted box, from a computer perspective it has not been deleted at all. It's just been moved.

In fact, from a computer perspective, there is no such thing as deleting. What has been written cannot be unwritten, only overwritten. So when you delete an email fully or empty your recycling bin fully, you are really just making it so you can't see it. Eventually when new data comes along it will be overwritten.

However, even if it is fully deleted, people who specialize in recovery may be able to get it back even if it has been overwritten a little. It will have distortions though. There are instances of recoveries people have done of pictures and they are funky looking.

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