How to restore deleted data

Restoring messages and drafts

If an email you received is missing from your inbox, there are a few steps you can take to find it. First, check your Trash folder. Deleting a message in most instances simply moves it to Trash. If there are a lot messages in your Trash folder, you can search for the message you're looking for. You can also sort by date of deletion to quickly find a message you just deleted, even if the message itself is quite old.

If you find something you want to keep in your Trash, use the Undelete button to restore the messages in the conversation to their previous folder (before they were deleted to Trash).

If the message has been permanently deleted from Trash, you may still be able to restore it from our backup. We keep backups of deleted email for one week. After that, it's gone forever.

To restore from backup, go to the Settings → Restore screen, and click on the first option: Restore deleted drafts and messages. On the next page, tell us whether we should restore messages, drafts, or both. You can also tell us how far back in time we should go to find the deleted emails. This can be as little as ten minutes, or as much as one week. At the bottom of the page, we’ll let you know how many items we’ve found to restore in that timespan.

Depending on the size of your account, the restore may take a few minutes or many hours. Messages will be restored to their last location (usually the Trash).

Restoring contacts, events, and notes

A restore from backup can also get deleted contacts, calendar events, and notes back. We can even get rid of unwanted changes.

To restore contacts, events, or notes from backup, go to the Settings → Restore screen, and click on the second option.

On the next page, you can tell us whether we should restore contacts, events, notes, or all three. You can also tell us whether we should get these back exactly how they were when they got deleted (Just restore deleted), or if we should Undo all changes. You might pick this option if you accidentally changed a contact’s name, or a calendar event’s time. Finally, just like with email, let us know how far back in time we should look for what’s missing—between ten minutes and one week.

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