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unexpunge - Cyrus IMAP documentation

Recover messages the user has (accidentally) deleted.


unexpunge [ -C config-file ] -l mailbox
unexpunge [ -C config-file ] -t time-interval [ -d ] [ -v ] [ -f flagname ] mailbox
unexpunge [ -C config-file ] -a [ -d ] [ -v ] [ -f flagname ] mailbox
unexpunge [ -C config-file ] -u [ -d ] [ -v ] [ -f flagname ] mailbox uid...


The unexpunge program is used to list or restore messages which have been deleted from a mailbox, but still reside in the Cyrus IMAP mail spool.

This utility is only useful when the server is configured with expunge_mode set to delayed in its configuration file.

unexpunge reads its configuration options out of the imapd.conf(5) file unless specified otherwise by -C.


-C config-file
Use the specified configuration file config-file rather than the default imapd.conf(5).

List the expunged messages in the specified mailbox which are available for restoration.

-t time-interval
Unexpunge messages which where expunged within the last time-interval seconds. Use one of the trailing modifiers -- m (minutes), h (hours), d (days) or w (weeks) -- to specify a different time unit.

Restore all of the expunged messages in the specified mailbox.

Restore only messages matching the UIDs, in a space-separated list at the end of the command invocation, in the specified mailbox.

Unset the \Deleted flag on any restored messages.

-f flagname
Set the user flag \flagname on the messages restored, making it easier for the user(s) to find the restored messages and operate on them (in a batch).

Enable verbose output/logging.


unexpunge -l user/
List the messages that are expunged and could be restored for mailbox user/

unexpunge -u user/ 278787 278788
Unexpunge two of these messages.

mbexamine user/
Examine the mailbox for the two restored messages.

unexpunge -u -d user.johnsmith 46908
Unexpunge a select message based on its UID, clearing the \Deleted flag.

unexpunge -a user.johnsmit.Trash
Unexpunge all messages in a user's Trash, but leave them flagged \Deleted.

unexpunge -a -f Flagged user.johnsmith.Trash
The same, but setting user flag \Flagged to facilitate later bulk operations.

unexpunge -t 24h -d -f Flagged user.johnsmith
Unexpunge messages matching only a given time period.

unexpunge -t 24h -d -f Flagged user/johnsmith
The same command, supporting the unixhierarchysep: yes option in imapd.conf(5).






The Cyrus Team, Nic Bernstein (Onlight), Jeroen van Meeuwen (Kolab Systems)


1993-2018, The Cyrus Team
March 9, 2021 3.2.6