How to Undo Sending an Email in Gmail and Outlook

How to Undo Sending an Email in Gmail and Outlook

Everyone has experienced that terrifying moment where you regret sending a strongly worded email, or you accidentally hit “reply all” when the content was intended for one person. If you just sent an email on Gmail and Outlook, hope isn’t lost; you can still recall a mistakenly sent message. Use the following tutorial to undo a sent email quickly.

Can you Undo Send an Email in Gmail and Outlook?

Yes. Sending the wrong message to a client, boss or friend isn’t uncommon, which is likely why Gmail Labs created the “Undo Send” option in 2015. Now, Undo Send is a turned-on feature that you can’t deactivate, but you can adjust the time you have to unsend an email.

Outlook has the same option and can Undo Send emails when enabled. Just like Gmail, you’ll have a few seconds to click the button, but you can’t recall an email if it’s already sent. It’s in your best interest to carefully review each drafted email before hitting send.

Email Disaster: You’ve Emailed a Confidential Contract to the Wrong Client

Picture this scenario: you recently drafted a proposal with a client, and you’re ready to send your completed freelance contract to the designated email address. You hit send and start to close your tab or walk away from the computer when you notice that the document you sent doesn’t match the name on the email address. You’re now worried you’ve just given your client private information about someone else. What can you do?

How to Undo Sending an Email in Gmail

Unfortunately, if you didn’t already have Undo Sending enabled, you won’t be able to bring it back. However, you can prevent mistakes like this in the future by doing the following.

Undo Send on Desktop

Log into your Gmail account and locate the Gear icon on the upper-right part of the screen. Select settings and find the General tap. “Undo Send” should be the 4th option down. Select if you want the undo option to appear for up to 30 seconds after hitting send.

It’s better to use the maximum time available, so the option stays on the screen for the longest amount of time. Once you click Save Changes, an Undo button will appear on the left. You can click that option, and the email will go back into drafts for editing.

Undo Send on Mobile

Once enabled on mobile, you can click Undo at the bottom of the page when the app shows a grey bar with the word “Sent…” “Undo” is located on the bottom right half of the app. Both Android and iPhone have this feature built-in after multiple updates.

How to Undo Sending an Email in Outlook

Outlook is one of the best Gmail Alternatives. You can enable Undo Send on both the classic and enterprise versions. While the interface is slightly different, the process is similar. You need to keep the browser open to send a message.

Undo Send on Desktop

For Enterprise Versions: Click the setting cog to “View all Outlook Settings.” Then, switch to “Email” settings and choose “Compose and Reply.” Click the Undo Send option and select how long the Undo button will appear after sending for a maximum of 10 seconds.

For Classic Versions: Click the setting cog, then select “Mail.” When switched to Mail options, scroll down and select “Undo Sending.” Select “Let me cancel messages I’ve sent for” and choose the amount of time the button will appear for a maximum of 30 seconds.

Undo Send on Mobile

You currently can’t Undo Send on mobile devices. Only the desktop has this functionality.

What to do After a Mistakenly Sent Email

No one is perfect, and sometimes we send angry, typo-filled, or privacy breaching emails. The best thing to do is accept that it’s happened and to acknowledge the error. In the “Email Disaster” example, a professional would take ownership of their oversight, apologize, and send the correct contract straight away. If you handle the matter appropriately, it could prove to the client that you can problem-solve and address issues head-on.