Recovering Missing Emails in Gmail is Simple With These Steps

Spike Team
By Spike Team, February 09, 2022

Gmail is a powerful tool for managing your email inbox. With plenty of space in the free version, users have found it a great place to import years of existing email as well as new email going forward. It’s available to use in the best email apps for Mac, Windows, and Android. Included with Gmail are Google Drive, Google Docs, and other useful productivity tools. What happens if your emails in Gmail go missing? We’ve compiled a lot of the reasons why your Gmail account is missing emails, but also the useful steps on recovering them.



Why Did Your Gmail Emails Disappear?

There are two main reasons why your Gmail emails might disappear from your inbox. Let’s look at both of them to help you understand why your emails might have moved automatically. Let’s break down each option.



Filters in Gmail

Gmail filters are a really useful tool for automating the organization of your email. Let’s say that you get email receipts from Amazon and you don’t want those to hit your inbox each time you buy something. Using filters in Gmail, you can create rules to automatically mark those items as read and send them to the Archive, a certain label, or even delete them.




Depending on how you configured the filter, you could include items you aren’t aware of in the filter. If you created a filter with the phrase Amazon and set it to automatically delete, you could be including a message from a coworker about something to do with Amazon in that filter. If you’re missing emails in Gmail, look to recover them by checking the filter. As a rule of advice, never create a filter to delete emails automatically. It’s always better to archive and mark as read. Once emails are deleted, it starts the countdown before the trash is emptied.



Forwards in Gmail

Another way that emails in Gmail go missing is with email emails forwards. Email forwarding is a useful way to consolidate email accounts into a single location. Let’s say you have an old Gmail account from your college days that you want to forward to your current account, email forwarding is the way to accomplish that task.


In Gmail’s settings, you can find that option under Forwarding. Inside the Gmail forwarding settings, there is an option to delete an email after it has been forwarded to the new email address. If something happened in transit and the email never arrived at the forwarding address, it’ll be in the Gmail trash. The Gmail trash automatically empties every few months, so you’ll need to look inside it before that occurs. It’s a good idea to set the original Gmail to only archive the message instead of deleting it after forwarding it.



Recover Your Missing Gmail Emails

If you’ve realized you’re missing Gmail emails, there are a few places you can look to see if you can recover them. Be sure to note the steps above on some reasons why they might be missing in action. Thankfully, Gmail offers a large storage tier for free accounts, so the reason your missing Gmail emails likely doesn’t have anything to do with being out of space.



1. Check Gmail Trash 

The first place to check when you’re missing Gmail emails is your Trash. On the sidebar, scroll till you find the trash folder. It’s possible you accidentally deleted an item or it was deleted by a filter. In that situation, you’ll likely find it in the trash. Gmail empties the trash every 30 days, so it’s a good idea to check it weekly to make sure you haven’t deleted anything important.



2. Check Gmail Spam Folder 

Email spam is a complicated process as it’s possible that different people have different viewers of what spam is. Either way, if you are missing emails in Gmail, check the spam folder to see if it got automatically placed there. Gmail empties the folder every 30 days, so it’s wise to check it weekly and quickly scan to see if anything important landed in Spam.



3. Check Gmail Archived Email Folder 

Gmail has a single Archive folder that’s designed to be a collection of all your Gmail email. Regardless of whether it’s inside your Inbox or tied to Gmail labels, the archive folder will house EVERYTHING. If you’re missing an email, look in the archive folder in Gmail.



4. Use Gmail Search to Find Missing Emails 

When in doubt, use Gmail’s powerful search function to find your missing Gmail emails. Search for any snippet of information that might be included in the email such as subject, name, etc. The search function can find information across your entire account.



5. Use Gmail Recovery Tool 

As a last-ditch effort to recover deleted emails, Gmail offers a tool to recover deleted emails from the past 30 days. If the above four steps didn’t recover your messages, check out the Gmail recovery tool as a place to try as a final step.



Never Lose an Email with Spike for Gmail



Spike is a conversational email app for Gmail that offers many benefits over the traditional email interface. Gmail offers IMAP access so apps like Spike can securely be used as an email client. Spike streamlines all your Gmail emails into a conversational format.


  • Spike Priority Inbox – Are you drowning in emails and therefore missing important ones? It’s time to learn how to organize your inbox. And we don’t mean delete a bunch of emails, create some folders, tag your messages, or any other of those old-school email management tips. Get rid of the clutter in your inbox. Lose the endless Twitter notifications. Forget the annoying Uber receipts. Spike’s Priority Inbox sorts all your less important emails such as newsletters, promotional offers, and random invites into another Inbox, called ‘Other’. For when you have more time (and patience).
  • Advanced Search – You spend enough time trying to remember where you’ve put things—and it eats away at your productivity. Super Search puts you back in control. Stop wasting time searching your emails for files. Stop scrolling through endless and annoying threads. With Spike’s Super Search, find exactly what you’re looking for right away.
  • Snooze Emails – Most people have more work to do than they can get done, and it can often lead to difficulty focusing on what to do, when to do it, and who it needs to be done by. If this problem sounds like one you face daily, Spike’s Snooze feature will become your new favorite tool for taking control of your email, notes, files, and tasks.  Schedule a reminder to respond to that message or task for a set date and time.


Spike Team
Spike Team The Spike team posts about productivity, time management, and the future of email, messaging and collaboration.

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