Open the Gmail app on your phone. Tap to open an email, then tap the trash icon.
Your email disappears.
We’ve all had that moment when we delete an email we meant to keep.
With G Suite, an email deleted today doesn’t mean the email is gone forever. You may still be able to recover your email.
Try the following tips in order. If you’re a Backupify customer, skip to step 6.
1. Try the Trash
When you tap the trash icon, Gmail moves your message to the Trash. Messages stay in Trash 30 days, then Gmail deletes the message permanently.
If you deleted the message within the past 30 days, look for your message in the Trash. In Chrome on your computer, look for the Trash label on the left side. You may need to select the “More” menu to display Trash. In the Gmail mobile apps, tap the three-line hamburger menu to display your labels, then scroll down and tap Trash.
Once you find your deleted message, move it back to the Inbox. In Chrome on your computer, check the box then choose “Move to Inbox”. In the Gmail mobile apps, tap the message to open it, then tap the menu icon in the upper right and choose “Move to Inbox”.
2. Use Outlook? Analyze an archive
Some people move to G Suite, and continue to use the familiar Microsoft Outlook desktop software. The G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook software syncs Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, and Tasks with Outlook.
Outlook’s AutoArchive function may help recover deleted email, especially if the email is older. AutoArchive moves older email to a separate file. For example, AutoArchive might move mail older than 6 months to an archive.pst file.
So, if you use Outlook with Gmail, check the AutoArchive settings at File > Options > Advanced > AutoArchive. If active, you may be able to open the Archive file and find your message. However, an administrator often turns off AutoArchive when an organization moves to G Suite.
3. Look in Local Storage
Often, Gmail messages sync to your system. These locally-stored message allow you to work offline.
If you use a mail app that syncs your Gmail messages offline, start your system without access to the Internet. One way to do this is to simply get out of coverage: take your laptop to a place without WiFi and start your system. Or, put mobile devices in “airplane mode” to prevent access. The specific methods may vary, but the goal is similar: to start the device and open Gmail, without allowing the device to sync to the Internet.
People who use the G Suite Sync with Microsoft Outlook app mentioned above might also try to disconnect the sync connection quickly. The process takes a bit of work, but may let you move a locally-saved email from Outlook back into Gmail. (AutoArchive, above doesn’t need to be active for this other method to work. Follow the steps from our earlier “G Suite Recovery: Restore Lost Messages with Outlook” post.)
4. Ask an Admin
Still can’t recover your email? Time to ask your G Suite Administrator for help. A G Suite Admin can restore user Gmail from the prior 25 days.
To restore the data if you’re the Admin, login to your Google Admin console (admin.google.com). Select Users, then search for the user’s account in the search box. Click the three-dots in the upper-right while on the user’s account page, then choose “Restore data”. Select the date range and specify that you want to restore Gmail.
5. Ask a friend
If your email was part of a Google Group discussion, login and look through saved group discussions at groups.google.com.
But at this point, if none of the other methods worked, you may need to ask a colleague for help. Ask another participant in the email discussion to share their copy of the email discussion. Since there are at least two parties in every email exchange—the sender and receiver—at least one other person may have the email you need.
6. Bring it back with Backupify
If you use Backupify, recovery is simple as a-b-c.
a. Login to Gmail, then select the App Launcher in the upper right (the grid of 9 squares) and choose “Backupify”.
b. Search for your email.
c. Choose Restore.
Backupify will restored the selected email to Gmail.
The next time you delete an email—then need it back—try any of the steps above. Or keep things simple and jump to step 6 to recover it with Backupify.