We mention this whenever possible, but we always recommend archiving messages in Gmail rather than deleting them.

You never know when you may want to access a message again, and archiving allows you to do that while deleting does not. The one issue with archived mail is that it is not immediately obvious how you can recover archived messages. You have a few options available to you, but there actually isn’t a direct way to uncover only archived mail.

First of all, you can always search for your archived mail if you have an idea of what you’re looking for. If you can’t remember exactly what was in the message, take a look at the ‘All Mail’ label in the label list on the left-hand side of your Gmail inbox. All Mail includes any messages in your Gmail account, even those you’ve archived, so you can scroll through those messages until you find the message you’re looking for.

If you’d like to restore an archived Gmail message back into your inbox:

  1. Select the message
  2. Click the Move to Inbox button at the top of your screen

We also have a tip that might it easier to find ONLY archived messages, but it requires a little up front work. Check out the video to learn more!

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15 Comments on "How to Recover Archived Mail in Gmail"

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kate
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kate
September 26, 2012 9:19 am

I archived all my old mail to 31 Dec 11, but it is not in all mail. I would really like to recover it – can you help please?

James
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James
July 11, 2012 12:13 am

Thank you kindly for your help.

This made it possible for me just now to recover an important e-mail I archived accidentally.

Richard
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Richard
August 20, 2012 9:35 pm

I found an archived gmail from two years ago by using your help. Thanks

Frances Macfarlane
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Frances Macfarlane
July 18, 2013 6:37 am

Not able to find any archived mail from before 17 july 2013 Please help as I am trying to find an email that was in an email

robert goodof
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robert goodof
July 25, 2013 4:25 pm

do have any advice on how to recover very old sprintmail emails from the 1990s? I’m looking to recover communications from relatives who have passed away.

any ideas appreciated.

Bruce Alvarez
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Bruce Alvarez
December 3, 2013 3:21 pm

This does not work for me. I checked an email in the inbox and while hovering over the archive icon, must have touched the very sensitive touch pad because there was a message saying the email was archived. However it does NOT show up in “all mail” nor does it show up in the trash. This was 10 minutes ago, on an email sent yesterday not some really old archived thing.

Janet
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Janet
February 19, 2014 10:08 am

i accidentally deleted all my archived mail…
can you teach me how to recover my archived mails?
thank you.

Anamika singh
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Anamika singh
June 15, 2014 8:55 pm

Thanks a lot . By mistake I moved an important mail to archive and was unable to find it.But when I opened All Mail, it was there only 🙂

Pamela
Guest
Pamela
November 20, 2014 10:22 am

I am trying to access my archived emails. I watched the video which instructs to click on the All Mail button on the left side, under Drafts. I do not have an All Mail button.
I didn’t mean to archive the emails. I thought I was moving them to a folder.
What can I do?
Thanks

speaker
Guest
June 2, 2016 4:59 pm

once you select the archived message What if after pushing “move to inbox” the email disappears and when you select “inbox” it is not there or in any other place including “all mail”

speaker
Guest
June 2, 2016 4:59 pm

once you select the archived message What if after pushing “move to inbox” the email disappears and when you select “inbox” it is not there or in any other place including “all mail”

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