In response to our article “Missing Gmail- Are Hackers To Blame?, Dusan wrote: “Why do you insist that it was hacked? Someone from my household deliberately deleted one of my messages. I need it back. It was also deleted from trash. How do I do it?”
I certainly don’t insist that everyone’s account has been hacked. Only, that if your messages have disappeared and you don’t know why – hacking is a possibility.
In your case, you know why – someone deleted them deliberately and emptied the trash. Emptying the trash deleted your messages from Google’s servers (actually deleting frees up the space on the servers where they were stored and allows that space to be overwritten with new data.)
Normally, once you delete something from the trash in Gmail, it is gone forever. If someone did this without your permission, you can complete a form and file a report with Gmail and attempt to retrieve it.
You can click here to begin the process of securing your account, to make sure that no one else is able to access it and delete messages without your permission.
You can also file a report with Google by clicking here.
Fill out the form and let them know when it happened and type up a brief description of the circumstances under which your message disappeared.
Of course, this isn’t going to guarantee that you’ll get your message back. Millions of other people also have similar requests and it’s possible the portion of the server where your missing message was stored has already been overwritten.
In a case like yours, the best method is to secure your account to make sure that members of your household can’t get into your account and delete messages you wish to keep. Consider enabling two-factor authentication and always making sure to log out of your account at the end of every session.