Deleting emails is easy, but recovering them is more complicated. In Gmail, there is an easy way and a hard way. The former is almost always successful, but it only applies to emails that have been recently deleted. If, however, you are looking to recover long-deleted emails, the method becomes much more complicated. Even then, there is no guarantee that it will work. Anyway, we will show you the two ways to retrieve and recover deleted emails in Gmail.

Recover Deleted Emails in Gmail

Recovering deleted emails is a relatively simple process if they were deleted less than 30 days ago. However, if it’s been over 30 days or if you’ve permanently deleted them manually (we’ll get to that later), you’ll have to be really lucky to get your mail back. Today we are going to look at these two scenarios to help you recover deleted emails in Gmail. However, before that, we will need to understand the sequence of events that occur when you delete an email from your account.

What happens when you “delete” an email?

When you “delete” an email in Gmail or other reputable webmail service providers like Yahoo and Microsoft Outlook, it is not actually deleted from your account. Instead, it is simply moved to a “hidden” folder, usually named “Trash”, where it remains for a stipulated period of time before being automatically deleted for good. The time limit is usually 30 days, but some service providers allow users to change it according to their needs.

You can also manually delete emails from the trash, but this will also make it difficult to retrieve them if needed. There are things you can do to try and get them back, but there’s no guarantee you’ll be successful. If, however, you are trying to restore your deleted emails within the specified time, it is a simple process that only takes a few clicks. So, without further ado, let’s see how to recover deleted emails in Gmail.

To note: Our tutorial covers the web version of Gmail which you can access through a web browser on desktops, smartphones, and tablets, but the process remains the same on Android and iOS apps..

Recover deleted emails from trash

  • Log in to your Gmail account and click/tap on the “More” option in the left pane.
  • Now scroll down a bit and you will see the “Trash” folder. Click on it.
  • As you can see there is a deleted email in my Trash folder which I will now try to recover.
  • To recover, right click on the mail and you will see a context menu with several recovery options. To restore the email, you can choose “Move to Inbox”.
  • If you prefer to restore it to another folder, move your mouse cursor to “Move to” (press this option on a touchscreen device). You will be presented with more folder options to restore your email.
  • Click/tap on the folder of your choice. The email will be restored to this folder and protected against automatic deletion.

Recover permanently deleted emails

  • To recover permanently deleted emails and auto-deleted emails in Gmail, you need to use Google’s email recovery workflow. To do this, log in to Gmail and head towards the Gmail message recovery tool page. Next, click/tap “Continue” to confirm your email ID.
  • Now you will either receive a message confirming that the recovery process was successful or a message stating “All your messages have been permanently deleted”. As you can see, it was the last for me.
  • Note that the Google Message Recovery tool only works directly with personal accounts. With G Suite accounts, you’ll need to contact your domain administrator to apply to Google on your behalf. Even then, this can only be done within 25 days.

Other Methods to Recover Deleted Gmail Messages

If you use third-party email clients to access your Gmail account, you might get lucky if the app has been slow to sync with your account. In that case, you may be able to recover your emails from there. However, this process doesn’t seem to work for the most part, so I won’t put my money into it.

There are also a number of third-party apps and services that claim to be able to restore your deleted emails. However, they are unlikely to work in case of permanently deleted messages. They might be able to recover emails in case they are in the trash, but now you know how to recover them anyway. Either way, letting third parties access your email credentials is dangerous and highly discouraged.

Recover and Recover Deleted Gmail Messages

Recovering deleted emails is very simple if you haven’t passed through the automatic deletion window. However, it’s a whole different story if it’s been a long time since you deleted the mail(s). While recovering from trash works perfectly every time on personal and G Suite accounts, the Gmail recovery tool makes it difficult in the latter case. Even in personal accounts there is no guarantee that it will work, as you saw in my case. Anyway, now that you know how to recover deleted emails in Gmail, give it a try and let us know how it went.