Gmail messages are missing

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This page can help you find your emails if:

  • Some emails are missing.
  • Emails aren't arriving in your inbox.
  • Your inbox is empty and all your emails have disappeared.

If you can't find an email after following the steps above, the email might have been deleted or sent to spam.

First, search all your emails

Emails might skip your inbox if they have been accidentally archived, deleted or marked as spam. To thoroughly search emails that aren't in your inbox:

Find all emails

  1. Open the Gmail app .
  2. In the top right, type in:anywhere. Then, enter some information that’s in the missing email, such as the sender's name or the subject.

  3. In the bottom right, tap Search Search.

Tip: To filter your search results even more, you can also use search operators.

Second, try these common fixes

We recommend following these steps on a computer because many of them can't be done through the Gmail app.

Check whether the email has been filtered

You may have created a filter that automatically archives or deletes certain emails.

Here's how to check your filters:

  1. From a browser, open Gmail.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings and then See all settings.
  3. At the top, click the Filters and blocked addresses tab.
  4. Look for filters that include the words 'Delete it' or 'Skip inbox'.
  5. To the right, click Edit or Delete.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions.
Check whether your emails are being forwarded to another account

When you set up forwarding in Gmail, you can choose whether the original emails are archived or deleted.

Here's how to check your forwarding settings:

  1. From a browser, open Gmail.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings and then See all settings.
  3. At the top, click on the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  4. In the 'Forwarding' section, check whether you've selected Forward a copy of incoming mail. If you have, select Keep Gmail's copy in the Inbox or Mark Gmail's copy as read.
  5. At the bottom of the page, click Save changes.

Important: If your emails are being forwarded to an unfamiliar address, select Disable forwarding then take a look at the Gmail security tips. If you can see a forwarding address that you don't recognise, someone might have unauthorised access to your account.

If you forward email from another account into Gmail, emails are sometimes sent to Spam if they aren't authenticated. Learn the best practices for forwarding emails to Gmail.

If you read your Gmail emails through another email client, check your settings

If you read your Gmail emails through another email client, such as Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook, follow the steps below for the type of forwarding that you've set up.

I use IMAP to read emails on email clients such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail

When you set up IMAP, you can choose whether the actions you take in your other email client will affect your emails in Gmail. For example, you can choose whether deleting an email in Apple Mail also deletes it from Gmail.

Make sure that you're using the recommended IMAP settings. Look for any settings that explain when emails are deleted.

I use a web app, extension or add-on to read Gmail

Check your settings to make sure that emails aren't being deleted or archived.

  1. Visit the Connected apps & sites page.
  2. In the 'Apps connected to your account' section, click Manage apps.
  3. If you find anything you don't recognise, click the service and then Remove.

I use POP to read emails on email clients such as Microsoft Outlook

When you set up POP, you can choose whether the actions you take in your other email client will affect your emails in Gmail. For example, you can choose whether deleting an email in Microsoft Outlook also deletes it from Gmail.

  1. Visit the Forwarding and POP/IMAP settings page.
  2. Check to make sure that POP is enabled.
  3. If you can see 'Delete Gmail's copy' or 'Archive Gmail's copy', select Keep Gmail's copy in the inbox.
  4. At the bottom of the page, click Save changes.

Note: If you're using recent mode with POP, change your email client's POP settings to leave emails on the server.

The steps above haven't helped

If you've followed the steps above and you still can't find your emails, select the problem that you're having below.

I still can't find certain emails

If you can't find an email after following the steps above, the email might have been deleted or sent to spam.

Notes about deleted emails

  • If you delete an email, it stays in your Bin for 30 days. After 30 days, emails are permanently deleted from the bin.
  • There's only one copy of every Gmail email. If you delete an email from one place, such as a label or a device, it is deleted from Gmail entirely.
  • Gmail groups all replies to an original email together in a single conversation. When you click or tap delete, the entire conversation is deleted, including the original email and any replies.

Notes about spam emails

  • If you mark an email as spam, it stays in spam for 30 days. After 30 days, emails are permanently deleted from Spam.
  • If you think emails are being sent to Spam by mistake, learn how to remove emails from Spam.
Most of my emails are missing

If emails are missing from your account, someone may have access without your permission. We can help find your missing emails and secure your account.

Important: 

  • If you use Gmail for work, school or an organisation, contact your administrator. 
  • If you run out of storage in Gmail, you won't be able to send or receive messages. Messages sent to you will be returned to the sender.
  • As of 1 June 2021, if you remain inactive or go over your storage quota for 24 months or longer, all of your emails may be deleted from 1 June 2023. Learn more about how Google storage works.
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