I was working on an important email in Gmail over several days, on both my iPad and computer.

When I look for it now, it's not there. I DID NOT DISCARD THE DRAFT.

It's not anywhere in Gmail, not in trash, not in drafts.

How can I recover this email?

  • 2
    If it's not in your trash, drafts, or sent, I'm afraid you're probably out of luck. Related: Where can I find a discarded email draft in Gmail?
    – ale
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 20:51
  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Where can I find a discarded email draft in Gmail? Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 20:59
  • 2
    I don't think this is a duplicate, as the asker says that the draft was not discarded. I'm afraid the end result is probably the same, though.
    – ale
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 20:34
  • This is probably the biggest design flaw in any google product out there. Several thousand PhDs and they decide that allowing (potentially) 100s of hours of work to be lost is A-OK with them. Utter failure, in my opinion.
    – Fixee
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 6:22

3 Answers 3


There are a couple of circumstances that could allow users to recover a discarded draft message in Gmail

  • The "Undo discard" link is still shown in the Gmail web app. Click it before it disappears!
  • The user has a device that is not synced yet that has a copy of the draft.

If none of the above circumstances occurs, then is not possible to recover a discarded draft message in Gmail.

There are a lot of posts about this in the Gmail Help Forum: recover drafts


In a similar situation, one of MS Outlook's answers I obtained from Google, helped me. (Ctrl + z).

If you are composing an email and then accidentally deleted the entire email, you can just simply right click and then select Undo or press (Ctrl + z). You can also check your Deleted folder if the email that you wish to retrieve is still there. Apr 12, 2013


I had several almost identical emails saved in draft that went missing at the same time (AGAIN). I found them all in my inbox by searching a few known words in the emails or the title. I do have an emergency backup if the above doesn't work. I usually forward the important drafts to another Gmail a/c every few weeks.

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