The email I was writing disappeared - is there a way to get it ba

lynnalexandraMarch 4, 2010

This is the second time this week when I've written a long and difficult email - just to have it disappear. It seems as though I'm inadvertently hitting a key while typing - that's functioning to erase everything I wrote. I'm not sure what I hit - or if there's a way to undo it.

The first time, I retyped everything. Now I'm hoping there's a way to retrieve it. I left the email box open - and stopped typing. This is a new and temporary keyboard for me - my old one died on the weekend and I'm awaiting a new one in the mail. I'm temporarily using the one that came with my Dell inspiron 530. There must be a key somewhere that's not on my logitech keyboard - but I'm not sure what it is or how to undo it.

There is a button that has a symbol that looks like a page with written lines - the second line is highlighted with an arrow pointing at it. I don't know what this button is but it's situated where I might have hit it. That's all I can think of.

Any ideas?



PS a different keyboard question. A while back my keyboard keys were sticking. People here said that if all is lost, might as well try it on the top rack of the dishwasher. So I did that - but it must be filled with water. I've been letting it dry for 4 days. Is that sufficient time? Could I damage my computer if I try using it and water effected it? Could I start an electric fire or short?

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I've done that on a laptop. Finally found out is was because I had incidental contact with the touchpad when I started typing fast.

If you're in Yahoo, check the "Dafts" box. It saves what you're writing periodically, so most of what you wrote may be there.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 6:03PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Hotmail will also put things into drafts until they are sent.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 6:39PM
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I have gmail - which also sometimes puts things in draft - but I opened another tab with gmail and saw that it only saved the one word I typed after it disappeared.

I've done that on a laptop too - but this is a pc with a regular keyboard.

Maybe the fact that the draft it saved was of just the single word means it's gone for good. I hope not but I can't figure out what happened. Can't wait for my replacement keyboard to arrive.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 6:44PM
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That's happened to me a couple of times, too. If I'm going to be writing something long and complex, I'll sometimes draft it using a word processing program that does automatic saves. When I'm done, I just cut and paste it into the email.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 7:38PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

have you tried hitting control+Z that is the undo key and I have to use it often to undo something I did accidentally.
Here is a list maybe you can find something here to help you figure out what you may be doing accidentally
Keyboard shortcuts for Windows

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 8:24PM
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Hi, Lynn--
This has happened to me more times than can be counted, too, and it just makes you feel sick in your stomach and completely fed up, doesn't it. I HATE when that happens! And, like you, I've never yet figured out which pesky key causes this to happens.
Or else, I've written a long email, pushed Send, not realizing or forgetting I'm offline (dial-up) and lose it.
Not fun.

Like Kudzu, if I suspect it's going to be long or important, I'll write if first in Wordpad, save, then copy and paste it into Hotmail.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 7:33AM
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I have gmail - which also sometimes puts things in draft - but I opened another tab with gmail and saw that it only saved the one word I typed after it disappeared.

Hi, Lynn

Are you using the Gmail interface itself or are you using an email client (like Outlook, Thunderbird) ? If the latter, do you have the account set up as a POP account or an IMAP account ?

If you're using the web interface, it can't be the Gmail/Google Apps shortcuts causing the problem, since they don't work while your compose screen is 'active.'

It is unlikely that you accidentally hit the "discard" button, since 1) that would have brought you out of the compose window entirely and 2) once out of the compose window there's an "undo discard" button that one can press in the event the draft was accidentally discarded.

How about this ?.... Could you have accidentally hit the Ctrl + A key combination (perhaps attempting a Shift + A combo) ? In this case you would have highlighted the entire email ('select all' function) and the next keystroke would have deleted the highlighted text and resumed with new text. I'm guessing this may not be likely, since you would have probably noticed the momentary highlighting of the entire email text before it was deleted. ???

I'm at a loss. But I'm sure I would have done what you did in the event this happened to me.... I would have middle-clicked my Gmail bookmark to open another instance of Gmail in another tab. Then I would quickly click 'drafts' and then open the draft in question to see if the email missing from the compose screen were still in the draft folder. And if so I would quickly copy the text so I could paste it back if I lost the draft entirely. (This all needs to be done very quickly... within a minute, since Gmail's autosave feature saves every minute -- sometimes sooner if there has been a lot of typing in a short time -- and the "new" message (consisting of only a word or two) will be saved and will replace the original.)

Sorry I can't really offer any solution. I use Gmail and Google Apps often, but can't figure out what has caused your situation. But maybe my rambling here may help someone else think of a possibility that would explain the mysterious disappearance. :-)


    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:56AM
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Wow. Great help everyone.

Raven - Control Z. That did the trick. Everyone should know that one. I never knew such a simple function existed. "Control Z, Control Z, Control Z" - I'll be chanting that until it's memorized (and send it to all my less techy friends and relatives).

Scott - you nailed it too. I'm sure I'm hitting Control A. I did see a momentary highlight - was typing the word "and" - and in the blink of an eye saw highlighting - the text disappeared - and just an unhighlighted "nd" remained. I wasn't actually trying to hit shift and "A" - just "a" - but they're all cramped pretty close on this keyboard and I think the edge of my palm hit the control key - which is right up against the bottom left corner - just that little bit of rotating my hand to the left did it.

A lot of other really useful information here that didn't happen to apply to this situation but is good to know. I use gmail's interface. I have Thunderbird - but that was just to add additional email back up storage on my actual pc. I never use it's interface.

What is "wordpad"? Is it the same as notepad? The problem is first that I"m moving very quicly and hate to take the time to open another application - when I began the email I thought it would take 5 minutes. More than the time was that it was emotionally difficult content about how my daughter is being bullied (sent to the school counselor) - and I'd gotten it described just the way I wanted - so I didn't want to re-do it.

Anyway - am I missing something that opening notepad seems like a pain - and an additional use of time? Same with Word.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:10AM
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Hi, Lynn

I'm glad it worked out for you !

Are you saying you were actually able to recover the original email you were working on ? If so, GREAT, but I would have thought the "Ctrl + Z" function wouldn't have worked to retrieve it after all this time. ??

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 10:06AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

control+z works great!! I tell you it has saved me many a time and it will keep working to go back more than one step too. If you have not closed what it was you were doing then yes control z will still work. I chanted that one till I remembered it too Lynn LOL

anytime something disappears or you do something and go on no wish I could undo that then hit the control+Z it might just do the job for you.
Kudzu and twinklenose the control+z would have worked for both of your situations.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 12:05PM
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I was able to retrieve my email about 5 hours after it had disappeared (just didn't also have time to post about it until this morning).

There are so many times this could have helped me out in the past.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:50PM
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Just noticed this post and found it interesting and informative. I also wanted to add that I have a FF 'add on' called "LAZARUS" that has saved me several times from losing a very long description I was typing to put on an auction site. It works like a charm and very easy to use.

I have to thank Ravencajun for the recommendation to use FF and all those neat and useful 'add ons'.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 3:56PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

you are most welcome, I know for me they sure do make life easier at times. I love hearing about new addons that I am not familiar with. Just yesterday I discovered Google enhancer, I do a lot of google searches and it adds some nice options, including date ranges.
I also used to use one that allowed right clicking even when things had right clicking blocked, I had lost track of it but now it has been updated for the latest versions of firefox it is called Right to click, neat one too.

now I have to go check out Lazarus!

see we learn from each other!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 7:27PM
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Same thing happened to me a few days ago. I was so disgusted I didn't rewrite it for a couple of days. I can't tell you how many times I proof read the stuff I type, looking for typos, omitted words and careful not to offend, especially in the forums and my sister. LOL

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 10:03PM
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