How to unsend an email in Gmail if you accidentally sent it

The instantaneous delivery of email comes with consequences. Once you send an email, it’s gone and out of your hands. We all make mistakes, though, and Google gets it. To help out, Gmail includes a feature called Undo Send that allows you to cancel your send request.  In the past, you had to manually enable it, but now it’s on by default.

Here’s how to make the most of it.

How to recall an email in Gmail for web

Gmail’s Undo Send feature only delays the email — it doesn’t actually recall accidental messages sent to others. In other words, if you set the Send Cancellation Period to 30 seconds, Gmail doesn’t actually send the message until 30 seconds after you click Send. After that, there’s nothing you can do but send a follow-up “whoopsie” email or wait for the response.

Here’s how to customize Undo Send:

Gmail Web See All Settings

Step 1: Sign in to Gmail with your account.

Step 2: Click the Gear icon located in the top right corner.

Step 3: Click the See All Settings link in the roll-out menu.

Gmail Web Change Undo Send Settings

Step 4: The Undo Send option is located under the General tab. Click the down arrow to select a delay in seconds from five to 30.

If you are worried about sending the wrong email, you probably want to set the cancellation period to at least 10 seconds, just to be safe. Five seconds isn’t very long to realize you made a mistake and click the Undo button.

Gmail Web Settings Save Changes

Step 5: Scroll down to the bottom and click the Save Changes button.

Send a test email

Want to see this feature in action? Let’s give it a test run.

Undo Sent Gmail

Step 1: With the Gmail web client open, click the big Compose button. You can’t miss it.

Step 2: Type your email address in the “To” field. If you have another email account, use that instead.

Step 3: Click the blue Send button.

Step 4: A Message Sent pop-up appears in the bottom left corner, as shown above. Click the Undo link to recall the email.

Step 5: In a second pop-up window, click the blue OK button to confirm.

Step 6: Your unsent email should now be on your screen as a draft. Adjust your message accordingly and send it, or delete it instead.

You might also find our other tips and tricks for Gmail here to be useful.

How to unsend an email in Gmail for mobile

Gmail iOS App Undo Send

Recalling an email on iOS or Android is easy, and it doesn’t require adjusting any settings or options. The Send Cancellation Period is a predetermined interval that you can’t change like you would on a PC. You have a limited time to select Undo once the button appears on your screen. If you don’t click it in time, the message will be sent automatically.

It might be a good idea to send a test email to test the feature out before you start using it. Use the directions above to send a test mail and get a feel for the Undo choice time window.

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