Restore a user's permanently deleted email

This article is for administrators. If you want to restore deleted messages for your personal Gmail account, go to 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 can't be restored from the Trash by users or administrators. This article describes options that admins have for recovering deleted messages after 30 days.

Restore messages from the Admin console

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

After these additional 25 days, messages are permanently deleted from the Admin console, and admins can't restore them.

Retrieve data from Vault

If your organization uses Google Vault, you might be able to retrieve data older than 25 days. If the data was subject to retention rules or holds, you can search for and export the retained data. 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

Important: 

  • After you click Restore, as described in Step 7, the restore process can't be stopped or paused.
  • Depending on the amount of data being restored, it can take up several days for restored data and messages to appear 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 get it.
  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Users.
  3. In the Users list, find the user. If you need help, go to Find a user account.
  4. Point to 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.

Confirm data was restored

Check the user’s Gmail inbox for restored email messages.

Data you can restore

You can:

  • 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.

Data you can't restore

You can't restore:

  • Data that was permanently deleted more than 25 days ago.
  • Deleted messages from the spam folder.
  • Deleted email drafts.
  • Deleted labels, or nested label organization.
  • Data from the user's trash.

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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