Have you lost your emails? Do you want to know how to recover deleted emails from Gmail?

Whether you are an IT administrator or a normal Gmail user, find out how to restore permanently deleted emails back into a Gmail account.

Introduction to Gmail Recovery

Being the second most popular email client, people using Gmail often look for recovering deleted emails and restoring deleted Gmail accounts.

It could be due to accidental deletions, removal of emails from the Trash or any other situation that could have caused the loss of Gmail data.

Though there are many options to recover deleted emails, the retrieval and restoration of Gmail emails can be classified based on whether:

  1. There is a backup, or
  2. There is no backup.
 

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Section 1: How to Recover Deleted Emails in Gmail without Backup?

If you have not taken any backup till date, but you want to recover and restore deleted emails in Gmail, you have the following options:

  1. Recover from ‘Trash’ folder in web/’Deleted Items’ in desktop client
  2. Request Google for recovering deleted files
  3. Recover from G Suite Admin console
  4. Recover using Email Audit API

Option 1: How to Recover Deleted Gmail from Trash/Deleted Items?

The first and simplest solution to restoring deleted emails is via the ‘Trash’ or ‘Deleted Items’ folder. This folder retains deleted emails for 30 days from the date of deletion.

Let us see how to restore deleted Gmail from:

  1. Gmail Web/Mobile Application
  2. Desktop Client

How to Restore Deleted Gmail from Web/Mobile Application?

a. In your Gmail account, look for the “Trash” or “Bin” option on the left-hand side pane.

Note: If the “Trash” or “Bin” option is not available, click on the “More” drop-down option and scroll down and select the “Trash” or “Bin” option.
 

b. Scroll through the list of deleted emails, select the required email(s) by clicking on the checkbox next to it and click on the “move to” option.

1_email restore from Trash

c. Select the required label and the email will be moved.

How to Restore Deleted Gmail Using the Desktop Client?

a. Launch the desktop IMAP email client – such as Outlook or Thunderbird.

b. Click on the “Deleted Items” option on the left-hand side pane.

c. Scroll through the list of deleted emails, select the required email(s) by clicking on the checkbox next to it and click on the “move to” option.

Outlook deleted items

d. Select the required label and the email will be moved.

Note: This method can be implemented only if the email(s) had been deleted in the last 30 days.

Option 2: How to Recover Deleted Emails from Gmail after 30 Days?

If you have lost your emails due to unauthorized access, account compromise or even deleted it from the Trash, you can use the Support page on Google to request the recovery of your emails by filling in the necessary details.

2_missing email

Option 3: How to Recover Permanently Deleted Emails from Gmail Using G Suite Admin Console?

If the user deletes an email from the Gmail account, it will stay in the Trash for 30 days.

After 30 days, an individual user cannot recover those deleted emails, but an administrator has the provision to restore the emails from the admin console.

How Can an Administrator Restore Deleted Emails Back to a User’s Gmail Account?

a. Log in to the Admin console and navigate to the “Users” section.

b. Click on the ellipsis icon next to the name of a user account and select the “RESTORE DATA” option.

3_restore data

c. Select the date range and choose the “GMAIL” option on the application drop-down menu for restoring emails within that time period.

How Can an Administrator Restore Deleted Emails Using Mobile Phone?

a. Log in to the Admin console and navigate to the “Users” section.

b. Click on a user account and click on the “MORE” option.

c. Select the “RESTORE DATA” option, choose the date range, and select the “Gmail” option on the application drop-down list for restoring emails.

Note: Administrator can only restore permanently deleted emails – removed from Gmail Trash – within the last 25 days.

Option 4: How to Recover Permanently Deleted Email from Gmail Using ‘Email Audit API?’

G Suite Administrators can download and export the mailbox of any user in their domain for audit purposes.

How Can an Administrator Download Emails Using the Email Audit API?

a. Activate the Email Audit API in the G Suite Admin Console by clicking on “Security” → “API reference” → “Enable API access” checkbox selection.

4_Email audit

b. Generate the public/private key pair using any OpenPGP-compatible software.

c. Use the public key to encrypt the mailbox before downloading the files.

d. After the download is completed, decrypt the files using the private encryption key.

For more information, click here.

Note: The final mailbox export files will be in the MBOX format. To know how to restore the emails back into your Gmail account, click here.

Section 2: How to Recover Deleted Emails in Gmail When You Have a Backup?

If you have taken a backup of your Gmail data, you can restore the deleted emails by using any of the following methods:

  1. Recover Gmail using Outlook Desktop Client
  2. Recover Gmail emails by using the backup taken from Google Takeout
  3. Recover Gmail using the backup taken from Google Vault
  4. Recover Gmail using Third-party tools

Option 1: How to Recover Deleted Emails from Gmail Using Desktop Client?

If you are using the Outlook desktop client, you can recover deleted emails using the “AutoArchive” feature.

How to Recover Emails from the Outlook Archive?

a. If you have already set an auto-archive policy for your emails in the Outlook desktop client, you can find the “Archive” label on the left-hand side pane.

Outlook archive

b. Click on the label, select the required email(s), right-click on the email, select the “Move to” option and select the label for restore.

c. The emails will be restored under the specified label.

Note: The deleted files will be present based on the retention settings in archive. For instance, if you set the default retention to one year, the emails will be retained for one year from the date of creation – even if you delete them.

Option 2: How to Recover Permanently Deleted Emails from Gmail Using Google Takeout Backup?

One of the lesser known, but an important application in the G Suite is Google Takeout.

By using Google Takeout, you can take a backup of almost all of your G Suite data.

Note: Unless you have downloaded the archived data from Google Takeout, you cannot access the emails as Takeout stores the archive only for a week.

How to Restore Gmail Data from Google Takeout Backup?

Open the backup data downloaded from the Takeout.

Note:

a. The data will be in the MBOX format by default. If you are using a desktop email client like Thunderbird, you can open the downloaded data directly and recover it to your Gmail.

b. If you are using Microsoft Outlook as your email client, you can use a converter that converts MBOX files into PST files to view your downloaded document. To know about using Outlook as a desktop client for Gmail, click here.

How to Restore Gmail Data Using Thunderbird?

Thunderbird is an email client that can be used to view and restore backed-up emails back into your account.

To recover deleted files using Thunderbird, you have to:

  1. Install the software with all the necessary add-ons in your desktop, and
  2. Restore the emails in the MBOX format.
How to Install Thunderbird?

a. Install Thunderbird desktop client using this link and launch the application.

b. In the pop-up page, type in the email account to which you want to restore the data, select the IMAP radio button, and click on the “Done” button.

1_imap

Note: IMAP should be enabled in the preferred email account to allow Thunderbird to sync the accounts for restoration. Therefore, enable IMAP for your account before adding it to Thunderbird.
 

c. Click on the menu and select the “Add-ons” option.

d. In the next pop-up window, click on “See all” in the upper-right corner.

e. Type in “Import Export tool” in the search tab on the next screen and click on “+ Add to Thunderbird” option to install the ImportExportTools add-on.

6_add Thunderbird

f. Click on “Restart Now” button to install the add-on.

How to Restore All the Emails to Your Account from Thunderbird?

a. Launch Thunderbird after the restart.

b. Right click on “local folders” in the left panel and select “ImportExportTools” → “Import MBOX file.”

7_mbox file

c. Click on “Import MBOX file,” choose the first radio button “Import directly one or more MBOX files” and click on “OK” to select your MBOX file from the destination.

d. The selected file(s) will be directly added to the Thunderbird local folder.

e. Select the imported emails.

f. Right-click on the selected emails and click on the “Move to” option.

g. Select your destination email address and select “inbox” or any other label.

Note: If you are using a desktop client like Outlook, use third-party tools likeSoftaken MBOX to PST converterto convert the files from the MBOX format to the PST format.

Option 3: How to Recover Permanently Deleted Emails from Gmail Using Google Vault?

If you are using G Suite business or enterprise plans, you will have access to Google Vault to archive your data.

Google Vault cannot be used to directly restore the backed-up Gmail data. Therefore, restoring is usually done with the help of third-party applications like the G Suite Migration Tool. Before restoration, the files have to be exported from the Google Vault using the following steps.

How to Search for Emails in Google Vault?

a. Click on the Matters module from the side pane.

Note: To search for emails in Google Vault, you should have already created a ‘Matter,’ which is generally created for categorizing your data.
 

b. Click on the Matter title and select the “Search” module from the left pane.

c. Type in any of the following to search: the required email address, its sent date, or any other key term and click on the “Search” button.

2_search

Note: You can export all of your search results, or if you want individual emails, you can print them separately by opening the mail and clicking on “Print.”

How to Export and Download Emails from Google Vault?

a. Click on the “Export results” button

b. Name the file to be exported, specify the desired file format and click on the “Start export” button.

3_export results

Note: There are two formats available, namely MBOX and PST. While MBOX is the standard format for emails, PST files are easier to view using common email clients like Outlook. Hangout conversations can also be exported in one of these formats.
 

c. Once the export is complete, download the emails by clicking on the “Download” link – file in zip format only.

Note: The exported files are available for download only for 15 days from the date it was exported.

How to Restore Gmail Data from Google Vault?

You can use the G Suite migration tool to restore the emails that were exported and downloaded using Google Vault back to your email account.

a. Launch G Suite migration tool.

b. Provide the email address to which you want to restore the emails.

c. G Suite migration tool would then prompt for access to your email account.

d. Once you provide access, if you had downloaded the emails in PST format, choose the option “From PST file(s)” from the drop-down menu.

 

4_from pst

e. Choose the downloaded file from your desktop.

f. Open the files and choose the type of data to be migrated.

g. Select the “Email messages” checkbox and click on the “Migrate” button.

5_migrate

Note: The migration process will take a few seconds to a few hours, depending on the size of the data being migrated.
 

h. Open the destination email account to view the migrated emails.

Note: The migration tool creates a label with the same name as your PST file and imports the emails under it.

Option 4: How to Recover Deleted Gmail from Third-Party Backup Tools?

Using third-party tools is an easy and reliable way to back up emails along with attachments and effortlessly restore it.

Restoring lost or deleted emails using third-party applications saves a lot of time and effort – Be it a specific email or an entire domain, Gmail restore can be done in just a few clicks.

Unlike with G Suite Migration Tool, using applications like SysCloud you can directly restore your Gmail backup without the trouble of exporting them.

SysCloud is one of the third-party online cloud backup solutions that uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer a fully-automated cloud for backup and restore of G Suite and Office 365 data.

Using SysCloud, businesses can easily backup and restore their Gmail data for unlimited domains as well as access the backup data in just a few clicks. The admin can also set an unlimited retention period for the users’ data, if needed.

Note: Users can restore their deleted data only if the admin has enabled the ‘End-User Restore’ permission. If not done so, contact your admin for data recovery.

How to Restore Backed-up Gmail Data Using a Third-Party Backup Tool: SysCloud

a. Open the SysCloud Application.

b. Under the “Backup” module, click on the “Archive & Restore” option.

c. Click on the username that needs to be restored.

6_users

d. Select the “Mail” option and choose whether you want to restore all the emails or a specific email.

Restore All the Emails

a. Click on the “Restore” option and choose “All” from the drop-down menu.

7_all

b. Type in the destination email account for restoring the data and Click on “Restore.”

Note:

  • You can restore the data back to either the same user’s account or to another account – preferably the manager’s account in case the employee is leaving the company.
  • Click on “Custom label” option if you want to have a label specifying the date of restoration: “Restored on (optional).”
Restore a Specific Email

a. Select the email(s) to be restored and click on the “Restore” option.

b. Click on the “Selected items.” and type in the destination email account for restoring the data.

8_selected items

c. Click on “Custom label” option if you want to have a label specifying the date of restoration: “Restored on (optional)” and click on the “Restore” button.

9_custom label

d. The selected emails will be restored to the preferred email account.

In case you want to know about the options for taking a Gmail backup, click here.

High-Level Comparison of Recovery Solutions: Google Native Features, G Suite, and SysCloud (Third-Party Tool)

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