How to recover deleted Gmail messages
Things can go wrong when you are working with a computer or relying on a set of data, and it does not necessarily have to be your fault to begin with. Emails for instance can be deleted accidentally or on purpose, maybe by an ex-girlfriend, colleague or friend who somehow managed to gain access to your Gmail account. Other possibilities include a successful hacking attempt and a hacker who likes to be destructive, or a service provider issue.
Whatever the reason may be, if emails get deleted that you still need, you need to find a way to recover them. If you have followed my advice and created regular Gmail backups you can access the deleted emails right from within the program's interface. The guide by the way explains how to backup emails from different providers including Hotmail.
If you have no mail backups you still may have a chance to restore your deleted Gmail messages, if the following requirements are met:
- Mails have not been deleted from the Gmail trash
- Less than 30 days have passed since the deletion
When you delete emails in Gmail they are not deleted completely but moved to the trash of the service instead where they are kept until they are deleted by the owner of the account, or after 30 days of being stored in the trash.
To check whether the emails that you want to recover are still in the trash, do the following:
- Open the Gmail homepage and sign into your account
- Locate the trash on the left sidebar. You may need to click on the more link before you see it.
- You can alternatively enter in:trash in the search to display it directly.
- If you find your deleted messages here, you can restore emails by selecting them and then using the move button to move the emails to the inbox or another folder.
- You can alternatively use the select all option to recover all emails found in the trash at once.
If the deleted messages are not found here, you can try the following alternative options to recover them:
- Try to search for them. Maybe the messages have not been deleted but only moved to another folder. By searching for the messages, you make sure that this is not the case.
- Check the All Mail folder which you find listed on the left sidebar. You may need to click on the more link before it becomes available here
- Check mail forwarding settings. While that won't let you recover your emails, someone may have configured Gmail to automatically forward some or all messages to another email address.
- While you are at it, check filters as well to make sure that mails do not get automatically deleted because of filtering rules