Restoring Data in G Suite

G Suite provides every Admin the basic recovery capabilities that can help you restore deleted G Suite - emails, users, files. This article speaks about the restore options available for G Suite data, focusing on the built-in G Suite recovery tools.

Restoring Data in G Suite

G Suite provides every Admin the basic recovery capabilities that can help you restore deleted  emails, users, files from the app. In this article, we will describe the restore options available for G Suite data, focusing on the built-in G Suite recovery tools. The possibilities of restoring G Suite data using Google’s recovery tools depend on how much time has passed since the same were deleted/lost.

With standard G Suite recovery tools you are limited specific number of days before data is permanently deleted:

  • Deleted G Suite emails can be recovered within 60 days from the Date of deletion. After deletion, emails are stored in the Trash label for 30 days, unless the Trash is emptied manually, after which, those are stored additionally for 30 days.
  • Deleted G Suite user accounts (including G Suite administrator accounts) can be recovered by G Suite admins within 20 days from the Date of deletion.
  • Users can restore deleted Contacts and Calendar events within 30 days from the Date of deletion.

G Suite Emails: As discussed above, the maximum “standard” recovery period for emails is 60 days. Users can restore G Suite emails themselves within 30 days after deletion. You have to open the Trash label/folder, find the lost item and click restore.

G Suite admins can restore files/emails within 25 days after the items were removed from trash automatically, or if the trash folder / label was emptied manually. Admins to follow the below steps:

  • Log in as an admin and go to the G Suite Admin panel.
  • Go to Admin console > “Users”.
  • Find the user in the list and click “More” > “Restore data” for the user.
  • You cannot search for or preview individual files. Instead, you will have to select the date from when you want to restore (either a range or a single date). All deleted files/messages within that date range will get restored.
  • Specify the data source (Drive or Gmail) and click “Restore”.

Administrators may use G Suite Email Audit API to restore emails deleted from Trash, therefore adding 5 extra days to the 25 days limit in the Admin panel. The Audit API doesn’t enable to search individual mails and download the same. Instead, administrators need to download (export) entire user mailbox accounts, with deleted email messages included in the export.

Google clarified that they don’t keep email messages and Drive files deleted more than 55-60 days ago.

G Suite Users: G Suite user accounts deleted within 20 days can be restored in the Admin panel. The process is as follows:

  • Sign in the Admin Panel using an admin account.
  • Go to Users List.
  • Add “Recently Deleted” filter to ascertain deleted users.
  • Select user(s) and click restore.

According to Google, G Suite user data is permanently deleted after the 20 days period and cannot be recovered.

G Suite Contacts: Deleted Contacts can be restored back within 30 days after they are deleted. Users can roll back their contact list to a specific date within the last 30 days, which will restore any contacts deleted between now and the restored date. At the same time, the roll back will delete contacts created in between the 2 dates. There is no individual contact recovery option available in G Suite.

To recover deleted G Suite contacts, you need to do as follows:

  • Go to the G Suite Contacts app.
  • Select Undo changes option at the top right corner.
  • Select the date you need to roll back (before the lost contacts were deleted).

G Suite Calendar: Similar to contacts, you can recover deleted G Suite calendar events within 30 days. After 30 days from their deletion (or earlier if the Trash bin is emptied) the calendar events are deleted permanently and cannot be recovered using the standard methods. To restore deleted G Suite calendar events:

  • Open the trash folder within the G Suite Calendar app.
  • Select the event and click recover.

Google Vault: Organizations that use Google Vault should generally be able to restore lost data without the 30-60 days retention limits. Google Vault enables infinite retention of all G Suite email messages, Drive files and Meet/Chats messages (deleted or modified). To have the protection, you need to configure Vault retention policies specifying which apps to backup, and the duration the data should be retained.

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