Gmail log events

Security investigation tool

Supported editions for the Gmail log events data source in the investigation tool:
Enterprise Plus, Education Plus

As your organization's administrator, you can use the security investigation tool to run searches related to Gmail log events, and to take action based on search results. From the investigation tool, you can view a record of actions to see your organization's user and admin activity in Gmail—for example, when emails are classified as spam, released from quarantine, or sent to admin quarantine. If you have the appropriate privileges in the investigation tool, you can also view the content of a Gmail message as part of an investigation.

You can also conduct a search based on Gmail log events, and then use the investigation tool to take action—for example, to delete specific messages, mark messages as spam or phishing, send messages to quarantine, or send messages to users' inboxes.

Your access to the security investigation tool

  • Supported editions for the security investigation tool include Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, Education Plus, and Enterprise Essentials Plus.
  • Admins with Cloud Identity Premium, Frontline Standard, Enterprise Standard, and Education Standard can also use the investigation tool for a subset of data sources.
  • Your ability to run a search in the investigation tool depends on your Google edition, your administrative privileges, and the data source. If you're unable to run a search in the investigation tool for a specific data source, you can use the audit and investigation page instead.
    Note: You can run a search in the investigation tool on all users, regardless of the Google edition they have.

Run a search for Gmail log events

To run a search in the investigation tool, first choose a data source. You then need to choose one or more conditions for your search. For each condition, choose an attribute, an operator, and a value

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in

  2. On the left of the Admin console Home page, click Securityand thenSecurity centerand thenInvestigation tool.
  3. Click Data source and select Gmail log events.
  4. Click Add Condition.
    Tip: You can include one or more conditions in your search or customize your search with nested queries. For details, go to Customize your search with nested queries.
  5. Click Attributeand thenselect an option.
    For a complete list of attributes, go to the Attribute descriptions section below.
  6. Click Containsand thenselect an operator.
  7. Enter a value, or select a value from the drop-down list.
  8. (Optional) To add more search conditions, repeat steps 4–7.
  9. Click Search.
    Search results in the investigation tool are displayed in a table at the bottom of the page.
  10. (Optional) To save your investigation, click Save""and thenenter a title and descriptionand thenclick Save.


  • In the Condition builder tab, filters are represented as conditions with AND/OR operators. You can also use the Filter tab to include simple parameter and value pairs to filter the search results.
  • If you gave a user a new name, you will not see query results with the user's old name. For example, if you rename to, you will not see results for events related to

Attribute descriptions

For this data source, you can use the following attributes when searching log event data:

Attribute Description
Attachment extension ID of the Chrome browser
Attachment hash SHA256 hash of the attachment
Attachment malware family Malware category, if detected when the message is handled—for example, Content may be harmful, Known malicious program, or Virus/worm
Attachment name Name of the attachment
Date Date and time of the event (displayed in your browser's default time zone)
Delegate Email address of the delegate user who performed the action on the owner's behalf
DKIM domain The domain authenticated with the DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) mechanism
Domain The domain where the action occurred
Event The logged event action, such as Attachment download, Link click, or Send.
From (Envelope) Sender's envelope address
From (Header address) Sender's header address as it appears in the message headers, for example,
From (Header name) Sender's header display name as it appears in the message header
Geo location ISO country code based on the relay IP
Has attachment Email includes an attachment
Has delegate Whether or not there was a delegate user who performed the action on the owner's behalf
IP address IP address of the mail client that started or interacted with the message
Link domain Domain(s) extracted from link URLs in the message body
Message ID The unique message ID located in the message header
OAuth project ID Cloud console project ID of the developer who authenticated with OAuth
Owner Owner of the email message. For an inbound message it's the recipient. For an outbound message it's the sender.
Sender domain Domain of the sender
Spam classification Spam classification of the email message—for example, Spam, Malware, Phishing, Suspicious, or Clean (not spam)
Spam classification reason Reason for the message being classified as spam—for example, Blatant spam, Custom rule, Sender reputation, or Suspicious attachment 
SPF domain Domain name used for Sender Policy Framework (SPF) authentication
Subject The email subject line 
Target attachment hash Information about the SHA256 attachment hash if a user interacts with a message's attachment
Target attachment malware family Information about the attachment malware family if users interact with a message's attachment—for example, Content may be harmful, Known malicious program, or Virus/worm
Target attachment name Information about the attachment name if users interact with a message's attachment
Target drive ID Information about the Drive ID if users interact with a message's Drive item
Target link URL Information about the link URL if users interact with a message's link
To (Envelope) Recipient's envelope address
Traffic source Indicates if an email is sent/received internally (within your domain) or externally

Take action based on search results

After you run a search in the investigation tool, you can act on your search results. For example, you can run a search based on Gmail log events, and then use the investigation tool to delete specific messages, send messages to quarantine, or send messages to users' inboxes. For more details about actions in the investigation tool, go to Take action based on search results.

Create activity rules & set up alerts

To help prevent, detect, and remediate security issues efficiently, you can automate actions in the investigation tool and set up alerts by creating activity rules. To set up a rule, set up conditions for the rule, and then specify what actions to perform when the conditions are met. For details and instructions, go to Create and manage activity rules.

Manage your investigations

View your list of investigations

To view a list of the investigations that you own and that were shared with you, click View investigations"". The investigation list includes the names, descriptions, and owners of the investigations, and the date last modified. 

From this list, you can take action on any investigations that you own—for example, to delete an investigation. Check the box for an investigation, and then click Actions.

Note: Directly above your list of investigations, under Quick access, you can view recently saved investigations.

Configure settings for your investigations

As a super administrator, click Settings"" to :

  • Change the time zone for your investigations. The time zone applies to search conditions and results.
  • Turn on or off Require reviewer. For more details, go to Require reviewers for bulk actions.
  • Turn on or off View content. This setting allows admins with the appropriate privileges to view content.
  • Turn on or off Enable action justification.

For instructions and details, go to Configure settings for your investigations.

Manage columns in your search results

You can control which data columns appear in your search results. 

  1. At the top-right of the search results table, click Manage columns"".
  2. (Optional) To remove current columns, click Remove item"".
  3. (Optional) To add columns, next to Add new column, click the Down arrow""and select the data column.
    Repeat as needed.
  4. (Optional) To change the order of the columns, drag the column name.
  5. Click Save.
Export data from search results

You can export search results in the investigation tool to Google Sheets or to a CSV file. For instructions, see Export search results.

Share, delete, and duplicate investigations

To save your search criteria or share it with others, you can create and save an investigation, and then share, duplicate, or delete it.

For details, go to Save, share, delete, and duplicate investigations.

When and how long is data available?

For more information about data sources, go to Data retention and lag times.


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