How to Unsend an Email in Gmail

It happens all the time. You finish typing an email then click Send…only to realize you’ve made a mistake.

It may have been a minor spelling error. Or maybe you accidentally hit Reply All. How about you sent the email to the wrong person, and you really don’t want them reading it because it kinda sorta just might contain something embarrassing?

If you use Gmail, you can breathe a sigh of relief! That’s because Gmail has a feature that allows you to unsend email up to 30 seconds after you’ve sent it.

Say hello to Gmail’s “Undo Send” feature, a lifesaving little hack hidden in Gmail Labs. You’ll have to go through a few quick settings adjustments to set it up. Afterwards, you’ll be able to unsend email in Gmail with just a single click…giving you the chance to recover from mistaken recipients, spelling errors, and forgotten attachments.

 

Enable “Undo Send” in Gmail

To have Gmail delay the delivery of sent messages so that you can take them back:

1. Click the gear icon in the top-right corner of your Gmail window.

gmail-gear

 

2. Choose Settings in the drop-down menu that appears.

gmail-settings

 

3. Choose the Labs tab, which is located on the far right.

gmail-labs

 

4. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and find the Undo Send option, then click Enable.

gmail-enable-unsend

 

5. Click Save Changes.

gmail-save-changes

 

Adjust the Amount of Time Before a Message is Delivered

Gmail’s default is to give you 10 seconds to click the Undo button before the button disappears, but you can adjust that cancellation period up to 30 seconds:

1. Click the gear icon in the top-right corner of your Gmail window.

gmail-gear

 

2. Choose Settings in the drop-down menu that appears.

gmail-settings

 

3. Select the General tab.

gmail-general

 

4. Locate Undo Send and choose the amount of time you’d like to have to unsend your email after you hit send (either 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds).

undo-seconds

 

5. Click Save Changes.

save-changes

 

Voila!

The “Undo Send” option essentially holds your email for the specified amount of time you chose in the settings. So when you press Send, the email will remain in limbo until the time is up.

From now on, every time you send an email, a small pop-up will appear at the top of the page. To unsend the email, simply click Undo. The pop-up (and the chance to take your email back) will disappear when the cancellation period is over, so you’ll need to act fast!

gmail-undo

Whether you choose to unsend your email or not, those valuable few seconds could very easily protect you from an embarrassing encounter or something much worse. Phew!

Mytex Team

About The Author

The Mytex Team are experts in supporting technology for your home and office, but most importantly we love helping people and sharing information. And that philosophy is at our core.

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