Lawrence has a question about his AOL email. “I have AOL mail. Not sure what version I have, but my deleted mail is saved for ten days after I delete it. I do not want my deleted mail saved. My girlfriend has somehow gotten into AOL’s deleted history folder and pulled up and printed some of my emails where I had dealt with some scammers. She has gotten really upset at me and we almost broke up. I cannot figure how she did this. I think her son, a computer engineer, told her how to do it. How can I get into that folder and clean it out every day?”

Lawrence, I don’t think she needed help from a computer engineer to check your deleted folder. It’s pretty simple. If you’re using the AOL email client, just open it and click the Recently Deleted folder on the left side.


All of your recently deleted emails will be displayed.


To permanently delete, just choose them all and select the Permanently Delete button.


I’m not sure if your girlfriend accessed your mail on your PC. If she did, you should really consider password protecting your PC with a strong password that she’s not going to be able to guess.  Don’t use any obvious dates or names connected with you.

If she happens to know your AOL password or it’s something that’s not too hard to guess, it’s pretty simple to access your mail at All someone has to do is log in and check the trash folder.


I’m not going to get into the ethics of getting into other people’s e-mail accounts (which could be construed as identity theft). Though I could put on my Dear Abby cap and offer the advice that if you are writing emails that are going to cause someone to break up with you, you probably shouldn’t be writing those emails or you need a different girlfriend .

~ Cynthia