How to Unsend an Email on Gmail

How to Unsend an Email on Gmail

In this article, we'll dive deep into how to unsend an email on Gmail, guiding you through using it effectively and adjusting the recall time to match your needs.

sanjana

September 26, 2023

5 mins read

In the fast-paced world of digital communication, the “send” button is a double-edged sword. It’s a gateway to instant connection but can also be a source of dread when a hasty click dispatches an email before it’s ready. 

Enter Gmail’s “Undo Send” feature – a digital lifesaver that grants you a brief reprieve after hitting that fateful button. But did you know you can customize the time to undo a sent email? 

In this article, we’ll dive deep into Gmail’s “Undo Send” feature, guiding you through not only using it effectively but also adjusting the recall time to match your needs. 

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Can you unsend an email on Gmail?

When we talk about how to unsend email on Gmail, Gmail app does not provide an an unsend emails feature on their app. However, you do have a short window within the message in which you can unsend an email on Gmail.

This feature is called the undo send. 

The “Undo Send” feature in Gmail allows users to retract an email just after sending it. It creates a brief time window, typically a few seconds, during which you can undo the send action. This feature is useful for correcting mistakes, making last-minute changes, or preventing emails from being sent prematurely, providing a safety net for email senders.

Some critics have talked about how this feature isn’t very useful, but this is what Gmail provides. Hence, we need to make the best of it.

Enabling the undo send in Gmail

Mostly this feature would be auto-enabled on your own desktop browser or app, but in case it is not, you can do it in this way:

Step 1: Open Gmail

Begin by opening your Gmail account if you haven’t already. You can do this by visiting the Gmail website (mail.google.com) and logging in with your credentials.

Step 2: Access Settings

In the upper-right corner of the Gmail interface, you’ll spot a small gear icon. This icon represents the the settings icon. Click on it to access the settings menu.

Step 3: Go to Settings

From the dropdown menu click settings that appears when you click the gear icon, select “See all settings.” This drop down menu will take you to Gmail’s comprehensive settings page.

Step 4: Navigate to General Settings

In the settings page, you’ll find several tabs at the top, such as General, Labels, Inbox, etc. Click on the “General” tab to access the general settings screen.

Step 5: Locate Undo Send

Scroll down the General settings page until you reach the “Undo Send” section. This section is usually near the top right corner of the full settings page here.

Step 6: Enable Undo Send

To enable the “Undo Send” feature, you’ll see a checkbox next to “Undo Send.” Check this box to activate the undo button feature. In case you do not see the option, undo send is enabled by default.

Step 7: Set Cancellation Period

Just below the checkbox, you’ll find a dropdown menu where you can specify the undo send window. This period determines how many seconds you have to click “Undo” after sending an email. Gmail offers options like 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds. Choose the timeframe that aligns with your preferences.

Step 8: Save Changes

After you’ve checked the box to enable “Undo Send” and selected your preferred cancellation time period, scroll down to the bottom of the settings page. Here, on lower left side you’ll find the “Save Changes” button. Click this button to save your settings.

Step 9: Confirmation

Gmail will save your changes, and you’ll be returned to your last email in gmail inbox. Congratulations! You’ve successfully enabled the “Undo Send” feature in Gmail with your chosen time frame.

Now, whenever you send an email, you’ll see an “Undo” option at the bottom of view message on the screen during the specified cancellation period.

Using the undo send on desktop

Here’s how to use undo send on a desktop:

Step 1: Compose Your Email

Open Gmail in your web browser.

Click the “Compose” button to start composing your email as usual. Enter recipient’s email address and write your content.

Step 2: Send Your Email

After composing your email, click the “Send” button located at the bottom-right corner of the email composition window.

Step 3: Undo Send

Immediately after sending original message, look at the bottom of the page. You’ll see a notification message that says “Message sent.”

Right next to this message, you’ll find an “Undo” button. Click on it promptly if you want to retract the email.

Step 4: Confirmation

After clicking “Undo,” Gmail will take you back to the email composition window with your email draft intact.

You can now make any necessary edits or changes. Once you’re satisfied with the email, click “Send” again to resend it to recipient’s inbox.

How to undo send in Gmail App

Recalling an email sent via the Gmail app follows a similar process to what you’d do on Gmail’s desktop version. Whether you’ve sent an email as a part of an existing conversation or initiated a new one, you’ll encounter a pop-up box at the bottom of your mobile screen that resembles this:

Touch “Undo” to retract the email, and you’ll be redirected to your email draft file.

Changing the undo send time

By default, Gmail offers a mere 5-second window to click the “undo” button, which can be quite tight. Gmail recognizes this limitation and allows users to easily extend this timeframe to a more reasonable 30 seconds. While it may not be a generous duration, it’s certainly an improvement over the frantic rush of trying to hit “undo” within just 5 seconds.

Step 1: Go to General Settings

  • In the Settings page, you’ll see several tabs at the top (General, Labels, Inbox, etc.). Click on the “General” tab.

Step 2: Locate Undo Send feature

  • Scroll down the General settings page until you find the “Undo Send” section. It’s usually towards the top of the page.

Step 3: Change the time period to recall an email

  • In the “Undo Send” section, you’ll see a dropdown menu labeled “Send cancellation period.” This menu allows you to choose the amount of time you have to undo a sent email.

  • Click on the dropdown menu to see the available options. Gmail typically offers 5, 10, 20, and 30 seconds. Select the desired time duration to recall an emailfrom these options.

Step 4: Save Changes

  • After you’ve chosen your preferred cancellation period, scroll down to the bottom of the settings page.

  • Click the “Save Changes” button to save your new settings.



sanjana

Sanjana Sankhyan is a freelance writer who specializes in delivering data-driven blog posts for B2B SaaS brands. She helps businesses attract more audience and sales with her writing. If not writing, you’ll find her helping other freelancers improve their work. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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