(re: gmail) I wanted to clean up the 'all mail' - I mean, why should email hang around for years unless I want it? - but now I deleted a whole bunch of emails that I had also saved to folders, but those emails have now disappeared. This sucks. My question is: how do I get back those emails if I deleted them from the 'all mail' . I hate the way gmail is organized.
Gmail uses labels not folders.
Inbox: is just all the messages/conversations with the inbox label All mail: that is all the messages/conversations. You can think of it as a hidden non-removable label.
Every message/conversation has one or more labels. Every message/conversation has the hidden "all mail" label. So when you went to "all mail" and deleted messages, you were deleting them from your account.
Quick check the trash, they may still be there. To check trash search for "in:trash"