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Find missing emails

If you’re experiencing any of the following issues, you’re in the right place:

  • You've lost a particular email or are missing a few emails.
  • All the emails in your Gmail inbox have disappeared (your inbox is empty).
  • You're not receiving emails that you expect to get in your inbox.

This step-by-step guide will help you find messages that are still in your account and figure out what happened.

The quick answer

See common ways emails go missing
  • Accidentally archiving, deleting, or marking a message as spam.
  • A filter automatically sends messages to Trash.
  • If you access your Gmail messages from other accounts or non-Gmail apps, a setting may be causing messages to go missing from your Gmail.
  • If a lot of messages disappeared from your inbox, it may be a sign that someone has gotten into your account (see below).

This guide will help you figure out if your message went missing for any of these reasons.

A large number of my emails disappeared

If a lot of emails suddenly went missing from your account without you taking any action, it could be a sign that there's a security issue with your account. Unauthorized or malicious users sometimes delete messages after accessing someone else's Gmail account.

If you think someone may have broken into your account, follow these steps:

  1. Change your password immediately.
  2. Fill out this form to find out whether your messages can be recovered. If you're using a Google Apps account for work or school, contact your organization's administrator for the account.
  3. If your contacts were also deleted, follow these steps to recover your contacts.

If your account wasn't broken into, or if your messages couldn't be recovered, continue with the questions below.

Before you start answering questions

  1. Make sure you’re using a computer to go through the steps.
  2. Click here to open Gmail in a new tab so you can switch between the directions and Gmail.
    Open Gmail in a new tab
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