Gail Lincoln from United States writes:
99% of my Gmail is gone, including my folders where I was saving tech info. How do I get my Gmail message back?
Logging in to your email and finding all your mail has gone is a sinking feeling that many of have experienced over the years. However, with any luck it is not gone for good. It may just be hidden from plain sight. Here are some of the usual suspects.
1. The Trash – It may seem obvious, but the first place to look for your missing email is the Trash. Gmail will store emails in the Trash folder for 30 days, but after that, they will automatically be permanently deleted, so don’t delay if it has been a while since you have seen this mail.
- Look for the Trash folder on the left hand side of your Gmail inbox, and click it.
- If your emails are here select them all by clicking the checkbox above your emails
- Then click the folder icon to choose a folder to move your emails to.
- Finally, click Inbox to move your files back to your Gmail Inbox
2. All Mail – This one is less obvious. If your email is not in the Trash, it could be in the All Mail folder. This is where Gmail stores all your archived mail. This is mail that was not trashed, but archived using the archive button on the toolbar. However, the All Mail folder could be hidden from view. Here is how to find it.
- Hover your mouse over the left hand side of your screen next to the Trash folder we just looked. You should see an option that says More.
- Click the More button to reveal additional folders, including the All Mail folder.
- Click All Mail to see if your emails are in this folder. If they are, you can repeat the instructions above to select the emails you want and move them to your Gmail inbox.
3. Spam – It is possible that your email may have been accidentally moved to your Junk Mail folder by you or another user. You can find your Junk Mail folder in the same way you find your All Mail folder.
- Hover your cursor over the left hand-side of your screen next to the Trash folder.
- The Junk Mail folder is directly below the Trash.
4. POP/IMAP Email Clients – Have you recently set up a third-party email client like Outlook or Thunderbird to collect your Gmail for you? If so, it is possible that it may not have been set up properly and was instead set to delete the email as soon as it was grabbed by your third-party email client. To check your POP settings, see below and any third party email clients that you have set up on your computer:
- Click the Gear icon in the top right hand corner and select Settings
- Next click Forwarding and POP/IMAP at the top of the screen, and look to see if POP is enabled. If it is, be sure that it is NOT set to Delete Gmail’s copy.
- If you use IMAP to access your Gmail, make sure that you use Google’s recommended IMAP settings.
If you can’t find your email in any of these places, there is a high chance that your account has been compromised. You should immediately go to https://www.google.com/settings/security and click the change password link to prevent any further unauthorized access to your account.