Restore a G Suite user’s Gmail and Drive data

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. If you want to restore files for your own consumer Drive account, see Find or recover a file.

If a G Suite user permanently deletes their Gmail or Drive data and later wants to get it back, you may be able to retrieve it for them. As an administrator, you can restore the user’s data from the Admin console within a date range you specify. 

You can only restore permanently deleted items. An item is permanently deleted when the user's Trash is emptied.

Sharing: After you restore an item in Drive, the user needs to re-share the item for others to have access.

Limited time to restore files and messages

You have a limited time from when the data was permanently deleted to restore files and messages. After that, the data cannot be recovered and is gone forever.

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 or Drive folder to confirm the data is restored.
  • Use Vault to restore Gmail messages.
  • Restore data to a shared drive, or restore a deleted shared drive. Learn more

What you can’t do

  • Restore data that was permanently deleted more than 25 days ago.
  • Restore a deleted folder structure. For example, if you delete the main folder, you won't be able to recover  
    the original folder structure.
  • From the spam folder, restore deleted messages.
  • Restore deleted email drafts.
  • In Drive, restore deleted Google My Maps files or Fusion Tables.
  • From the user’s Trash, restore data.
  • If a user met their Drive storage quota, restore their Drive data. 


Restore Gmail and Drive data

Restore one user's data
  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 More and then Restore data.

      You can also find this option at the top-left of the user's account page, under More 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: Drive or Gmail.
  7. Click Restore.

Use Vault to restore Gmail messages

If Google Vault is active for the account, you can restore Gmail messages covered by a retention rule or a hold.
More information

Restore deleted shared drives or data

See Restore deleted files or shared drives.

Confirm data was restored

To confirm that you restored the data: 

  1. Check the user’s Gmail inbox for restored email messages.
  2. Check the user's Drive folder for restored Drive data.
    The Drive data is restored to the user's Drive folder in the same location as before it was deleted.
Note: Depending on the amount of data you’re restoring, it might take several days for restored data or messages to reappear in the user's account. If your organization uses Google Vault, ask a Vault admin to place the user's mail or Drive data on hold.
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