Accidentally deleting an email is a problem everyone faces at some point. Then trying to find the email later is a scavenger hunt that never ends.
Depending on when you deleted the email, Gmail may still have the it available to you. Use our tips to quickly search within your emails, deleted folders, and spam, then you may need to bring in the Google team to help you out.
Try Searching Every Nook and Cranny
First make sure that you have looked everywhere for the email. You can search for it on your phone, but a computer will be easier.
- Open Gmail
- At the top there is a search box. If you click the down arrow at the far right of the search box, a dialog box will open.
The dialog box allows you to search everything- you can even search for an email by putting a word or two you remember in the search field “has the words.”
- In the dialogue box, the most important filter is the one next to the word “Search.” Make sure you select “Mail & Spam & Trash” because “All Mail” will not include the Spam folder.
- Click “Search.”
- If you do not see the email, double check your search settings. If you filled out each field, your search may be too narrow, so try searching for the email with only the “From” or “Has the words” section.
Double Check Forward Settings
Check to make sure the email was not automatically forwarded to another email.
The forwarding options are under settings (the gear icon in the right-hand corner). Make sure you have checked “Forward a Copy of Incoming Mail” and “Keep Gmail’s Copy in the Inbox.”
If You Still Cannot Find the Email
If you can’t find the email, it is either because it was deleted over 30 days ago, or you accidentally selected “Delete Forever” on the trash folder.
This is a case only the Gmail Support Team can solve because they will need to search for your email on their server.
Google Search “Google Support My Messages Have Gone Missing,” and fill out the form as best as you can. You will receive an email within an hour saying whether or not they have found the email, or if they will need more time.
Is My Email Gone Forever?
If you selected “Delete Forever” or if your email sat in the trash folder for over 30 days, most likely the email is not recoverable. Google routinely cleans their server of deleted emails, so it is unlikely you will get your email back (but it never hurts to ask!).
You may see ads for recovery email software. Be wary of such software because if the Google team is unable to find your email, no one will be able to.