When a user deletes an email message, it stays in their Trash for 30 days.
- During the 30 days, users can recover their own messages from the Trash by following the steps in Recover deleted Gmail messages.
- After 30 days, messages are permanently deleted so the user can't recover them. As an administrator, however, you might still be able to recover them. See your options below.
If your organization uses Google Vault: You might be able to retrieve data older than 25 days if it was subject to retention rules or holds. A Vault user can search for retained data and export it. However, you can’t directly restore this data to the user’s Gmail. For details, see Get started with Vault search and export.
Restore messages from the Admin console
From the Admin console, you can restore messages that were permanently deleted from a user’s Trash within 25 days of deletion. However, after 25 days, the data is gone forever.
Restore Gmail data
- From the Admin console Home page, go to Users.
- In the Users list, find the user. If you need help, see Find a user account.
- Hover over the user and click More Restore data.
You can also find this option at the top-left of the user's account page, under More .
- Select the date range for the data you want to restore, from within the last 25 days.
- Select the type of data you want to restore: Gmail.
- Click Restore.
Note: Depending on the amount of data you’re restoring, it might take several days for restored data and messages to reappear in the user's account. If your organization uses Google Vault, ask a Vault user to place the user's mail data on hold. A hold prevents the data from being deleted or purged before the user can access it.
Confirm data was restored
Check the user’s Gmail inbox for restored email messages.
What you can do
- Restore data that was permanently deleted within the past 25 days.
- Select a date range to restore data that was deleted within that range.
- Check a user’s Gmail inbox to confirm the data is restored.
What you can’t do
- Restore data that was permanently deleted more than 25 days ago.
- From the spam folder, restore deleted messages.
- Restore deleted email drafts.
- From the user’s Trash, restore data.
Restore messages with the Email Audit API
You can use the Email Audit API to retrieve mailboxes, including deleted messages, for the past 30 days.