How to Unsend an Email in Gmail

About The Author

Tracy-GardnerTracy Gardner Global Chief Marketing Officer
LinkedIn|20 May 2024

Whether it's for work, personal communication, or networking, emails are a crucial part of our online interactions. However, we've all experienced that sinking feeling of realizing you've sent an email with errors to the wrong recipient or perhaps prematurely.  

Fortunately, Gmail offers a feature that can save you from such situations: the ability to "unsend" an email. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to unsend an email in Gmail, ensuring you can correct mistakes or retract messages when needed. 

What is the Undo Send Feature in Gmail? 

The Undo Send built-in feature in Gmail allows users to retract an email shortly after sending it. It provides a brief window of opportunity, typically ranging from 5 to 30 seconds. During this time, users can cancel the sending process before it’s delivered to the recipient.  

How to Start Undo Send Feature in your Gmail 

Here are the steps you need to follow to enable undo send features in Gmail: 

  • Open Gmail: Log in to your Gmail account. 
  • Go to Settings: Click on the gear icon in the top right corner, then select "See all settings" from the dropdown menu. 

gmailNavigate to the Undo Send option: In the settings menu, find the "Undo Send" section. It is available in "General" tab. 

Navigation tab

  • Check the Enable Undo Send box: Tick the checkbox next to "Enable Undo Send."

setting
 

  • Choose the cancellation period: You can set the cancellation period for up to 30 seconds. It means you have up to that time after hitting send to undo the action. 
  • Save Changes: Scroll down to the bottom of the settings page and click "Save Changes."

save changes

After completing these steps, the Undo Send feature will be enabled for your Gmail account.  

How to Unsend an Email in Gmail? 

Here are step-by-step guides for unsending an email in Gmail from both desktop and mobile devices.  

How do you unsend an email in Gmail from a desktop? 

Here are the steps you need to follow to undo sending an email from a desktop: 

  • Open Gmail: Log in to your Gmail account. 
  • Find the Sent Mail folder: Locate the email you want to unsend in the "Sent Mail" folder. You can find this folder in the left sidebar of the Gmail interface. 
  • Open the Email: Click on the email you want to unsend to open it. 
  • Look for the Undo option: After sending an email, Gmail displays an "Undo" option at the bottom left corner of the screen for a brief period. This option allows you to retract the email if you change your mind. 
  • Click Undo: If you see the "Undo" option, click on it immediately after sending the email. This action will retract the email and return you to the compose window, where you can make any necessary changes before sending it again. 

If you don't see the "Undo" option or if too much time has passed since sending the email, you won't be able to unsend it directly. However, you can still send a follow-up email explaining any errors or clarifying any information if needed. 

How do you unsend an email in Gmail from a mobile device (Android or iOS)? 

To unsend an email in Gmail from a mobile device (Android or iOS), you can follow these steps: 

  • Open the Gmail app on your mobile device. 
  • Navigate to the Sent folder: Tap on the menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the top-left corner of the screen to open the side menu. Scroll down and tap on "Sent" to access the emails you sent. 
  • Select the email to unsend: Find the email you want to unsend from the list of sent emails and tap on it to open it. 
  • Tap on the "Undo" button: After sending an email, Gmail displays an "Undo" option at the bottom of the screen for a brief period. Tap on the "Undo" button as soon as possible after sending the email. This action will retract the email and return you to the compose window, where you can make any necessary changes before sending it again. 
  • Edit and resend (if needed): Once you're back in the compose window, you can edit the email as necessary and then resend it. 

If you don't see the "Undo" option or if too much time has passed since sending the email, you won't be able to unsend it directly. However, you can still send a follow-up email explaining any errors or clarifying any information if needed. 

How to Unsend an Email in Gmail-CTA1

How to Unsend an Email in MS Outlook 

The process for recalling or retracting an email in Microsoft Outlook can vary depending on the version you are using and whether you're using Outlook on the web, the desktop application, or the mobile app.  

Here's how you can attempt to recall an email in desktop, web & mobile apps.  

Outlook on the Web 

  • Open Outlook: Log in to your Outlook account via a web browser. 
  • Go to Sent Items: Navigate to the "Sent Items" folder. 
  • Open the Email: Click on the email you want to recall to open it. 
  • Click on the ellipsis (three dots): In the email window, look for the ellipsis (three dots) at the top-right corner and click on it. 

Select "Recall this message." From the dropdown menu, select "Recall this message." 

Follow the on-screen instructions: Depending on the specific options available, follow the on-screen prompts to recall the message. 

Outlook App for Desktop 

  • Open Outlook:  Start Outlook desktop app on your computer. 
  • Go to Sent Items: Navigate to the "Sent Items" folder. 
  • Open the Email: Double-click on the email you want to recall to open it. 
  • Click on "Actions": In the email window, click on the "Actions" tab in the top menu bar. 
  • Select "Recall This Message": From the dropdown menu, select "Recall This Message." 
  • Follow the on-screen instructions: Follow the on-screen prompts to recall the message. 

Outlook App for Mobile Devices 

The Outlook mobile app needed a built-in feature to recall emails directly from the app. Otherwise, you might need to access Outlook via a web browser or desktop application.  

Recall emails on Outlook

In your Outlook ribbon, head to File > Info > select Message Resend or Recall This Message:  

recall emails

Pick Delete unread copies of this message or Delete unread copies and replace with a new message.  

Select ‘Tell me’ if recall success or fails. And then Click Ok:

tell me  

 If the recall worked, you’ll get an email alert from Outlook:  

That's it! You’ve successfully recalled your email!  

Recalling emails in Outlook is only sometimes guaranteed to be successful, especially if the recipient has already opened or read the email. Additionally, recall options may be limited depending on your organization's email settings and configurations. 

It's worth noting that even if you recall an email, the recipient may still receive a notification indicating that you attempted to recall the message, which could potentially draw more attention to it. Therefore, it's always a good idea to double-check your emails before sending them to avoid any mistakes whenever possible. 

Bonus Tips for Using Undo Send Effectively 

Set a Cancellation Period: Choose a cancellation period that gives you enough time to realize any mistakes but is short enough to prevent communication delays. 

Double-Check Before Sending: Even with the ability to unsend emails, it's always best to double-check your emails for errors or recipients before hitting send. 

Practice Caution: While the "Undo Send" feature is handy, it's not foolproof. Once the cancellation period expires, the email is sent and cannot be recalled. 

How to Unsend an Email in Gmail-CTA2

Wrapping Up! 

You’ve now learned how to unsend an email in Gmail and Outlook. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can control your email communication. So, next time you hit send too soon or spot an error right after sending, remember that Gmail has your back with its handy "Undo Send" feature. 

FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should you undo sending an email from Gmail after sending it?

You might want to undo sending an email in Gmail to correct mistakes, add or remove recipients, or revise the content before it reaches the recipient's inbox. This feature provides a brief window of opportunity to catch errors or adjust immediately after hitting the send button. 

How to delete a sent email?

To delete an email sent in Gmail, open the email from the "Sent" folder, click on the "More" option (three vertical dots), and select "Delete Message." However, this action only removes the email from your sent folder; it doesn't retract it from the recipient's inbox. 

How to change the time enabled to undo send features?

To change time allowed to undo send in Gmail: 

  • Open Gmail and click on the settings icon. 
  • Select "See all settings" and go to the "General" tab. 
  • Look for the "Undo Send" section. 
  • Adjust the "Send cancellation period" to your preferred time limit, ranging from 5 to 30 seconds. 
  • Scroll down and click "Save Changes." 
Why can't I unsend an email in Gmail?

Gmail's "Undo Send" feature allows recalling emails within a short time frame (maximum 30 seconds) after sending. If the "Undo" option isn't visible or if too much time has passed, the email is likely already sent and cannot be undone. It's crucial to act swiftly to utilize this feature effectively. 

POSTRelated Posts

What Does a Back-End Developer Do
14
Jun
What Does a Back-End Developer Do?

Learn about the tasks and responsibilities of a back-end developer in developing and maintaining the functionality of websites. Get valuable insights here.

6 minute
122 views
practical-applications-of-js-and-tips-for-web-development
13
Jun
12 Practical Applications of JavaScript & Tips for Efficient Web Development

Master JavaScript with our guide to 12 practical applications and valuable tips for efficient web development. Start optimizing your coding skills today!

8 minute
122 views
best-programming-languages-to-learn
11
Jun
Top 20 Best Programming Languages to Learn in 2024 & Beyond

Master the most in-demand programming languages of the future with our comprehensive guide. Explore the top 20 best programming languages to learn in 2024 and beyond.

18 minute
122 views
Picture of our Logo
image
ConnectiTECH_Award-VLinkInc
image
image
Get In Touch!
Phone