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Google Apps is now G Suite. Same service, new name. More about the name change.

Search for Archived Messages

Google Apps Message Discovery automatically stores copies of all those users' inbound, outbound, and internal (intradomain) messages in a central archive for the retention period you purchased.

The message archive comes with a comprehensive set of discovery tools, so you have complete access to all your users' messages in one place.


What you can do

  • Search for archived messages.
  • View and print archived messages.
  • Recover (export) archived messages.
  • Let users access the Personal Archive. Learn more
If you've just activated your Message Discovery service, we recommend that you search the archive for messages to confirm that archiving is working as expected. Note, however, that it may take a few hours after you send or receive a message before it appears in the archive.

How to...

Search for archived messages

Use the search panels to quickly search for archived email messages for any user of your Google Apps Email service. Simply select a date range and enter words, phrases, or email addresses to retrieve the messages you want from your archive.

  1. Access the Administration Console:
    1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
    2. On the Google Apps dashboard, click Postini services.
    3. Click System Administration.
  2. If you are an administrator, on the Administration Console that appears, click Message Archive in the upper-right corner of the page.
  3. Enter a date range on the search panel, along with other criteria, such as an email address of a sender or recipient or one or more words that you know appear in the message's content.
  4. Click Search Archive.
View, print, and recover archived messages

After you submit your search, Message Discovery presents your search results in list of easy-to-scan message summaries.


From the list, you can view the content of any message or display it in a printer-friendly format. You can also recover any message by forwarding it to your email inbox. If you recover a message for another user, you can then forward it to that user. (Note that users can recover their own messages in the Personal Archive.) You also have the option to export multiple messages as a PST (Microsoft Outlook) file or an MBOX file.

To view a message:

Click its Subject link. The Message Contents page appears. 


To print a message:

Click Printer-Friendly in the lower-right corner of the Message Contents page.

To recover messages by forwarding them to your inbox:

  1. Select the message you want to recover in the search results list.
  2. In the Actions menu (in the upper left), select Export Selected Messages.
  3. Select Email as Attachments.
  4. Click Export.

Message Discovery delivers the recovered messages to your inbox as attachments. The messages that contain the attachments include the text "Archive Export" in the subject line.

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