How do I find missing messages I sent to Gmail?

Customers who send or forward mail to Gmail occasionally tell us that they can’t find a message there that they know they sent, even when they’ve searched Gmail for it.

These messages are often eventually found in the “Spam”, “Trash” or other folders of Gmail. What’s surprising is that by default, Gmail search doesn’t look in these folders at all, so people are (quite reasonably) sure it’s not there even after a search.

When you search Gmail for a message, make sure you click the drop-down menu and choose the “Mail & Spam & Trash” option:

Gmail Spam Folder search

You have to choose that option: even choosing “All Mail” wouldn’t find messages in the Spam or Trash folders.