How can I recover deleted email messages?

If a user has deleted a message permanently, by clicking Delete Forever in Spam or Trash or through your domain’s email retention policies, it isn't possible to recover the message. It is also impossible to recover messages after an administrator deletes a user's account.

Google Support cannot recover permanently deleted messages.

If a user deletes a message by clicking Delete, the message moves to the Trash but remains available for 30 days. If it has been fewer than 30 days and the users hasn't permanently deleted the message, the user can follow these steps to put the back in the inbox:

  1. Sign in to Gmail.
     
  2. Click Trash along the left side of any Gmail page.
     
  3. Locate the message you'd like to move to your inbox, and check the box next to the sender's name.
     
  4. Click Move to Inbox.

Can’t find a message

If a user can't find a message, it doesn't necessarily mean it was deleted. The user may need to search with different terms to be sure he or she hasn't missed the message. Start with fewer details and be sure to look beyond the first page of results.

Also, note that Gmail search doesn't allow partial matches and won't return a result if a word is misspelled or if the search terms are too specific (i.e. a word in the 'Subject:' search field matches but the address you've put in the 'From:' field does not). We strongly recommend searching with only the information you're sure of.

Recovering Deleted Messages with the Email Audit API

Google Apps Administrators can use the Email Audit API to export mailboxes, including deleted messages, for the past 30 days. The developers guide for the Email Audit API is available here

Account Compromised

If you can't find your messages in All Mail, Spam, or Trash, or by performing a search, then they've been permanently removed from Gmail, possibly deleted by someone else. We regret that we are unable to recover messages that have been permanently deleted. If you're concerned that someone may have gained access to your address, we suggest that you take the following measures to protect your account.

Also, please check with your domain administrator to see if two-step verification is available for your domain. Please consult our overview on two-step verification for Google Apps accounts.

Google Apps Vault

With Google Apps Vault, you can safely preserve email and on-the-record chats in Google's highly secure data centers. Apply retention rules to comply with your organization's policies and apply message holds to preserve specific emails and chat sessions when required.

For non-email data recovery solutions, please consult the Google Apps Marketplace, where one of our partners may have a solution suitable for your needs.