Accessing a deceased person's mail
We extend our condolences for your loss. If you need access to the Gmail account content of an individual who has passed away, in rare cases we may be able to provide the contents of the Gmail account to an authorized representative of the deceased person.
At Google, we’re keenly aware of the trust users place in us, and we take our responsibility to protect the privacy of people who use Google services very seriously. Any decision to provide the contents of a deceased person's email will be made only after a careful review.
Before you begin, please understand that Google may be unable to provide the Gmail account content, and sending a request or filing the required documentation does not guarantee that we will be able to assist you. The application to obtain email content is a lengthy process with multiple waiting periods. If you are the authorized representative of a deceased person and wish to proceed with an application to obtain the contents of a deceased person's Gmail account, please carefully review the following information regarding our two stage process:
We require the following information:
- Your full name
- Your physical mailing address
- Your email address
- A photocopy of your government-issued ID or driver’s license
- The Gmail address of the deceased person
- The death certificate of the deceased person. If the document is not in English, please provide a certified English translation that has been prepared by a competent translator and notarized
- The following information from an email message that you have received at your email address, from the Gmail address in question:
- The full header from the email message. See instructions on how to find headers in Gmail and other webmail email providers. Copy everything from 'Delivered-To:' to 'Content-Type:'
- The entire content of the message
Mail or fax this information to:
Gmail User Support - Decedents’ Accounts
c/o Google Custodian of Records
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
After a review, you will be notified by email and informed whether we will be able to move beyond Part 1 to the next steps of the process. In some cases, this waiting period may take up to a few months. During this process, please be aware that Google will not delete the deceased person's account before responding to your request. If we are able to move forward based on our preliminary review, we will send further instructions outlining Part 2. Part 2 will require you to get additional legal documents, including an order from a U.S. court and/or additional materials.
Please note that submitting these materials will not guarantee that we will be able to provide Gmail content so we strongly recommend not embarking on Part 2 until you hear back from us regarding Part 1. Because of our concerns for user privacy, if we determine that we cannot provide the Gmail content, we will not be able to share further details about the account or discuss our decision. Once again, we offer our condolences to you at this time and appreciate your patience and understanding.