Restore a user's permanently deleted email

This article is for administrators. If you want to restore deleted messages for your own consumer Gmail account, see Delete or recover deleted Gmail messages.

When a user deletes a Gmail message, it stays in their Trash for 30 days. These are the options for retrieving and restoring deleted messages:

  • For up to 30 days after deleting, 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 from the Trash and users can't recover them. Administrators have some options for recovering messages after 30 days, described in this article.

Restore messages from the Admin console

After 30 days, you have 25 more days to restore deleted messages with the Admin console. Follow the steps below, in Restore Gmail data from the Admin console.

After these 25 days, the data is permanently deleted and can't be restored from the Admin console.

Retrieve data from Vault

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. You can search for and export retained Vault data. However, you can’t directly restore the data to the user’s Gmail account.

For details, go to Get started with Vault search and export.

Restore Gmail data from the Admin console

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Users.
  3. In the Users list, find the user. If you need help, see Find a user account.
  4. Hover over the user and click Moreand thenRestore data.


      You can also find this option at the top-left of the user's account page, under More "".
  5. Select the date range for the data you want to restore, from within the last 25 days.
  6. Select the type of data you want to restore: Gmail.
  7. 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.
  • Restore deleted labels, or nested label organization.
  • 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.

Related topics

Delete or recover deleted Gmail messages
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