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12/21/15
Original Poster
Sean Atalla

Please help! Lost all the emails in my inbox!

So I woke up yesterday morning and checked my e-mail on my phone and all of the e-mails in my inbox have been deleted.  All the ones in my inbox, starred and important were gone.  They weren't even in my trash folder.  I still have all my emails that I stored in their respective folders, but I lost all the ones in my inbox.  Does anyone know how this happened and if I can get those emails back?!?
Was this some type of hack or virus?
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All Replies (12)
Google user
12/21/15
Google user
stop android version 5.1 
Judith G
12/21/15
Judith G
I just had the same problem. My inbox is empty and the emails aren't in any other folder. Does anyone have an answer. Gmail Help said they can't recover them.
Corinne Wyard
12/21/15
Corinne Wyard
I had this happen on Sunday to my iPhone -- right after I got a message about my "carrier's server being updated"  Anyone get this?  Emails are no longer on my phone or computer.  How do I get them back?
Rachel St
12/21/15
Rachel St
I've run into the same problem, yesterday all of my emails disappeared from my devices (an iPhone & mac).  When I signed on to the gmail site, my inbox there was completely empty.  I changed my security settings, as google recommended - then sent the form outlining my problem, also as suggested.  I received a quick response saying gmail would be able to recover my missing messages over the course of 24 hours.  Within a few minutes, I began to get a random assortment of emails (dating back to 2007) coming back to me, in my inbox, in the trash, in my sent box - totally unorganized, totally random.  After about 20 minutes, I haven't gotten anything except new emails.  

Not being able to talk to an actual person about this over the phone is incredibly frustrating.  Not having a technical support line for a web-based company is crazy.  I've had zero complaints about gmail in the 8 years I've been using it - but this is obviously a deal breaker.

Any hope of recovery?
Corinne Wyard
12/21/15
Corinne Wyard
I also received 15K emails but not the missing ones!

12/21/15
Original Poster
Sean Atalla
Rachel, I hear you it's very frustrating.  But I don't think Gmail is the culprit.  I think it may be Apple.  Did you do a recent iphone update or get a message on your phone saying something like "Carrier Server Update".  I got this before and later discovered ally my emails were gone. Can't say for sure, but I think this was the cause. 
ronna
12/21/15
ronna
Hi Sean - one of our dearest Top Contributors, who recently passed away :o( had this to say about lost gmail emails for Mac/Apple users:

If you are using the Apple Mail email client on your mobile device or a Mac, and then upgrade to iOS9 or El Capitan and your Gmail account suddenly disappears then you can try a few potential fixes, depending on what damage the OS update has actually done to your account. Typical user experience is that everything is deleted permanently, OR Inbox only is deleted, OR Inbox is archived/trashed/sent to Spam, OR large chunks of mail get moved to another folder selected at random. There's no pattern.  The following possible fixes cover most eventualities: 
  • Sign into Gmail on a computer using the web interface at https://mail.google.com. Go to Gmail's Trash. If you see your missing messages, select them all and use the Move button to put them back in your Inbox. That should sync back to the Apple Mail client on your Mac and/or mobile device. But be aware - several users report that Apple Mail just deletes them all again.
  • Sign into Gmail on a computer using the web interface at https://mail.google.com. Go to Gmail's All Mail. If you see your missing messages in All Mail, select them and then use the Move to Inbox button. That should sync back to your Apple Mail email client, but the same caveat applies - Apple Mail might just remove them all again. 
  • Sign into Gmail on a computer using the web interface at https://mail.google.com. Go to Gmail's Spam. If you see your missing messages in Spam, select them and then use the Not Spam button to move them back to your inbox. That should sync back to your Apple Mail email client, but the same caveat applies - Apple Mail might just remove them all again.
  • Sign into Gmail on a computer using the web interface at https://mail.google.com. Type in:anywhere into your search box and click the blue search button. If you see no mail at all in the search results, then your Apple Mail client has permanently deleted the entire contents of your account.  In which case you need to carefully follow the instructions in this Help page: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/78353?hl=en to ask if there is any possibility of recovery. When you submit the report, be sure to say that you are a victim of the latest Apple OS update on your Apple Mac or mobile device.  
You should also contact Apple and complain. The iOS9 update is deleting and archiving mail in all types of email account - Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook.com, Yahoo - I have read of even iCloud accounts being affected. The damage potential of El Capitan is not yet fully known, but if it follows the pattern of Mavericks and Yosemite, it may permanently delete all Gmail messages. 

Until Apple admit responsibility and fix all the bugs, then I strongly recommend that you stop using the Apple Mail client on both Mac and iPhone/iPad once you have got your account back in order.  First delete your Gmail account details from all versions of Apple Mail that you use. Then use your browser and access Gmail in the web interface on your Mac, and download and install the Gmail App for iOS on your mobiles. 

Also, please see the message from our Community Manager Andy B on this thread: https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/gmail/tOjOEjwnuEg/i2CiIMueKmoJ 

Judith G
12/21/15
Judith G
I didn't change any settings, no upgrades... no changes to anything, my inbox was simply empty and the mails are not in "all mail". I filled out the form and got a reply from mail-s...@google.com that said they were unable to recover the missing emails. I have changed my password but it appears there is no way to get them back. Other than the possibility of some hacking, does anyone have an explanation.
ronna
12/21/15
ronna
Hi Judith - please look at my reply (the one just above yours).  See if any of that applies to you.  Let me know.

On Monday, December 21, 2015 at 2:14:11 PM UTC-6, Judith G wrote:
I didn't change any settings, no upgrades... no changes to anything, my inbox was simply empty and the mails are not in "all mail". I filled out the form and got a reply from mail-s...@google.com that said they were unable to recover the missing emails. I have changed my password but it appears there is no way to get them back. Other than the possibility of some hacking, does anyone have an explanation.
Judith G
12/22/15
Judith G
Two emails from my inbox magically just appeared in my trash, although didn't show up in all mail. However, I now believe this is an Apple problem. I recently (October) bought a new iPhone with IOS 9 and as a result had to upgrade my MacBook Pro to El Capitan. Various problems started then, although no issue with losing my inbox. My husband also has a MacBook Pro (with an older operating system), an iPad Air (with an older operating system) and an iPhone 6 (but it has IOS 8 - that he will never upgrade) and he has never had a problem with gmail (his macMail is not gmail on his computer although his mail on his iPhone and iPad use the Apple Mail). 
I will stop using macMail on my computer and iPhone. However, if I install the Google App for Gmail on my iPhone will that alleviate the potential problem or will it still be a problem since the iPhone is IOS 6. Finally, Apple keeps wanting me to upgrade to IOS 9.2, any chance that has fixed the problem?
ronna
12/22/15
ronna
Judith - I am thinking if you use the Gmail App on your phone and not an Apple mail client, you should be okay.

I'll ask my colleagues in the forum about this and get back with you.

On Monday, December 21, 2015 at 5:11:08 PM UTC-6, Judith G wrote:
Two emails from my inbox magically just appeared in my trash, although didn't show up in all mail. However, I now believe this is an Apple problem. I recently (October) bought a new iPhone with IOS 9 and as a result had to upgrade my MacBook Pro to El Capitan. Various problems started then, although no issue with losing my inbox. My husband also has a MacBook Pro (with an older operating system), an iPad Air (with an older operating system) and an iPhone 6 (but it has IOS 8 - that he will never upgrade) and he has never had a problem with gmail (his macMail is not gmail on his computer although his mail on his iPhone and iPad use the Apple Mail). 
I will stop using macMail on my computer and iPhone. However, if I install the Google App for Gmail on my iPhone will that alleviate the potential problem or will it still be a problem since the iPhone is IOS 6. Finally, Apple keeps wanting me to upgrade to IOS 9.2, any chance that has fixed the problem?
Mona Behan
1/5/16
Mona Behan
Exact same thing happened to me a few days ago. I also changed my password and reported the problem to Google, and got the same "help is on its way" message with the same extremely limited and fragmented result. Cannot believe that there's no way to talk, email, or live chat with someone at Google for help . . . 

If someone in Google in technical support is monitoring this forum, can you please contact me (and Rachel and the others) and help us? Lost many important emails and even if they can't be recovered, would like to know what caused the problem and how to prevent it from happening again. Thank you.
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