What is the Recovered Messages folder in Bridge (and your email client)?

2 mins
Proton Mail Bridge
Using Bridge

The Proton Mail Bridge is an application that helps you connect your email client to Proton Mail while enforcing all the same encryption standards as in all of our native apps.

In certain cases, a folder can appear in your email client called Recovered Messages which contains messages in it you might recognize.

To prevent potential data loss while using Bridge with your client, in certain scenarios some messages will be automatically placed in the Recovered Messages folder. This happens when an operation that you intended can’t be performed, or when the connection between your local Bridge and Proton servers is interrupted during the operation.

The Recovered Messages folder is created by the Bridge, and it is a local folder — only available on your device — and you will not see it on your other Proton Mail applications or devices.

Which operations can be causing this?

In IMAP terms, any failed attempt to APPEND a message will lead to the message being automatically moved to the Recovered Messages folder. In some cases, the email client already deleted the source of the message, despite Bridge returning an error.

Some of the most probable reasons for this are:

  • The message is too large
  • The message is incorrectly formatted
  • Bridge is not able to parse the message

What should I do with those messages?

If you happen to notice the Recovered Messages folder in your email client, first review the message(s) and decide if they are important to you. To delete a message from this folder, you will need to permanently delete it (SHIFT + DELETE in most email clients, or OPTION + BACKSPACE in Apple Mail).

You can keep the message in the Recovered Messages folder indefinitely, or delete them from there at any point. Keep in mind that depending on the specific issue with the message, it might not be possible to move it to the Trash folder. In this case, trying to move the message to the Trash will just cause it to reappear in Recovered Messages once again.

Since this folder is local only (it is not being synced to Proton servers) removing your account from Bridge will permanently delete those messages also. Additionally, if you reset the Bridge, or remove and re-add your account within the Bridge, this folder along with the messages within it will be removed as well.

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