How to Retrieve Deleted E-mails in Gmail (And Its Importance)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 14, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many individuals connect with friends, family, colleagues, and superiors using Gmail, Google's free e-mail service. If you accidentally lose emails, recovering them can be essential, especially if they include critical information or correspondence concerning work-related activities or projects. Learning how to retrieve deleted Gmail e-mails can help you in case you accidentally delete an important e-mail. In this article, we discuss why it's important to retrieve deleted Gmail e-mails, highlight how to retrieve them from your computer and from your mobile device, discuss how to manage your mail, and review the importance of proper e-mail management.

Why is it important to retrieve deleted Gmail e-mails?

Recovering lost e-mails is a critical skill since it provides a method of retrieving any vital information included in them. In certain circumstances, you may delete an e-mail accidentally, which is why e-mail providers usually have a recovery option. Gmail retains deleted e-mails in the "Trash" category for a total of 30 days before permanently deleting them, so it's critical to retrieve any you want to view before this period expires.

How to retrieve deleted e-mails in Gmail from your computer

Retrieving deleted e-mails on your Gmail account from a laptop or desktop computer can be a simple and easy process. You can follow these four steps to retrieve any important deleted e-mails:

1. Navigate to the e-mail account on the web

To see your deleted e-mails, first, log into your Gmail account using the Gmail website. If you're not connected to your account or you haven't saved your login credentials so that they automatically process each time you visit the website, you may log in to access your account. After you've signed into your e-mail account, your primary inbox may show on the screen.

Related: How to E-Mail a Resume

2. Access the trash folder

Next, you can scroll down the website page until you see the word "More" on the left side of the screen. Once you've selected the "More" label, you can select the "Trash" label. This launches the trash folder, where you can access any e-mail that was deleted within the last 30 days, except for a permanently deleted e-mail.

3. Select the e-mails you want to retrieve

Once you've scrolled through the trash folder and located the emails you'd like to recover and send back to your inbox, you can navigate to the left side of the e-mail to select it. Here, you can find a gray outlined box, which you can click on. A black checkmark may appear in the box, indicating that you have selected the e-mail.

4. Move emails to an inbox or folder

After selecting the emails you'd like to retrieve, find the navigation bar at the top of the "Trash" folder. Hover over the gray folder icon that has an arrow on it, and it may say "Move to," which you can select. From there, you can choose the folder or inbox where you'd like to move the e-mail or e-mails. Your retrieved emails may then be visible and accessible in your selected inbox or folder.

How to retrieve deleted e-mails in Gmail from your mobile device

You can follow these four steps to retrieve deleted e-mails in Gmail with your mobile device, including your smartphone and tablet:

1. Open the Gmail app

To access your Gmail account on your mobile device, find and open the Gmail app. Typically, when you've used the app at least once, your login credentials get kept and stored, and you're immediately signed in to your account; but if the information isn't on the device, you may log in to your e-mail account. If you haven't already, you may download the Gmail app by going to your phone's app store, type in "Gmail," and click "Download." It is seldom time-consuming to install.

Related: Writing a New Employee Welcome E-Mail (With a Template and Examples)

2. Open the trash folder

Next, you can navigate to the trash folder in the app to locate the e-mails you want to retrieve. At the top left area of the app, there are three gray lines that indicate the "Menu" option. You can click on these gray lines, and a new menu launches. Scroll down until you see the "Trash" label, which indicates the "Trash" folder and then click on it.

3. Select the e-mails you'd like to retrieve

Within the "Trash folder," you can see any e-mails that aren't permanently deleted. You may scroll in the app to find the e-mails, then select each individual e-mail you'd like to retrieve by clicking on the sender photo or letter on the left side of the e-mail. To ensure that you've selected the e-mails you want to retrieve, you can note if there's a blue checkmark in place of the photo or letter. This blue checkmark means you have selected the e-mail, and it's ready to get moved, permanently deleted, or organized elsewhere in your e-mail account.

4. Move e-mails to inbox or folder

To move these e-mails to a specific inbox or folder, you can navigate to the top right corner of the app, find the three gray bars, and hover over them. The word "More" may appear, and you can click on it. Scroll until you see the words "Move to," click on them, and a menu of inboxes and folders appears. Choose which folder or inbox you'd like to move the retrieved e-mails to, click on it, and they can then be accessible and viewable in that location.

How to manage your e-mail

It's essential to have a consistent approach for managing your e-mail. While you may choose to develop your own process that suits your industry, organization, and unique task, the following steps may assist you in getting started:

1. Have specific times to check your mail

Take some time daily to check your e-mail and refrain from doing so until the designated time. This way, you can concentrate on your other duties and obligations without having to worry about missing critical information. Depending on your work and the volume of e-mails you get, you may want to check your e-mail every hour or two. Alternatively, you may want to check your e-mail once in the morning and once in the evening if you do not receive many high-priority e-mails.

2. Organize your e-mails

Quickly scan and sort unread messages into folders or mark them with tags whenever you open your e-mail. This can assist you in prioritizing the e-mails that require immediate attention and those that can wait if time runs out during this e-mail check. Sorting and labelling your e-mails can also assist you in maintaining a clean and tidy inbox, allowing you to quickly locate the items you want when you require them.

3. Answer e-mails appropriately

Respond to the e-mails chosen as the most important after sorting and classifying them. Sort your responses by priority, from the most urgent or vital to the most time-consuming. If an e-mail involves extensive follow-up or requires you to gather documents or information, consider sending a message indicating that you are working on a comprehensive response and scheduling a specific time in your daily agenda to answer.

Related: The Best Ways to Start an E-Mail for the Desired Response

4. Create auto-responses

Consider utilizing auto-responses at times when you're not monitoring your e-mail. An auto-response may include something like, "Every two hours, I check my email. If this is an emergency, please contact me at 555-555-5555. I look forward to receiving your message in the near future." This advises senders that are expecting an instant response to phone you if the message is really time-sensitive or to wait a couple of hours for a response.

5. Switch off notifications

Finally, once you've completed your usual e-mail check, switch off any alerts related to your e-mail. A ping or pop-up alerting you to a new message may divert your attention away from what you're doing, even if you don't immediately check the message. This can help you to stay focused on any task you're currently doing.

Why is e-mail management important?

Proper e-mail management may have a significant impact on several elements of your work experience. Once you've transformed your unorganized e-mail inbox by establishing excellent e-mail management practices, you can enjoy the benefits of more efficient conversations. Effective e-mail management can have the following effects on your career:

  • Saving time: Implementing e-mail management practices can help you spend less time locating particular e-mails, organizing your unread messages, and responding to messages.

  • Increasing productivity: Having quick access to critical e-mails and a strategy for responding to low-priority e-mails helps you to fulfil your goals efficiently with minimal response times.

  • Improving reliability: If you practise sound e-mail management, you can demonstrate greater reliability by always responding appropriately and promptly.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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