How To Unsend An Email

How To Unsend An Email - Bloguettes


We’ve all been there. The point of no return. Your heart is pounding, your palms are sweating and you would do anything to take it back. You just sent an email to the last person you would want to see it. Now all you can do is wait for the fallout. Or not! There are some options for unsending an email, if you take the proper precautions and act quickly. We will explain everything!


Google knows all and it knows that you are likely to want to unsend that email you sent to a coworker that was intended for your best friend. They have given users the option of unsending emails by enabling a setting that delays sending all emails so that you have time to retract them.

  1. 1

    Click the gear in the top right

  2. 2

    Select Settings

  3. 3

    Scroll down to “Undo Send” and click Enable

  4. 4

    Set the cancellation period (5-30 seconds, we suggest 30!)

  5. 5

    Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page

  6. 6

    Whenever you send an email, an undo option will pop up for the chosen time and all you have to do is click undo

To give you time to undo, Gmail delays sending the message for a few seconds. So if you don’t select “Undo” within the time limit, your message will be sent. “Undo send” may not work if you experience connection issues.

Microsoft Outlook

Outlook’s retracting an email option is a little less desirable than Gmail’s for a few reasons. 1) it can only be retracted if the email was sent within your organization, aka your work, and 2) an email is sent to the receiver telling them that you deleted the email from their inbox. But as most workplaces uses Outlook, this is a handy trick to have in your back pocket! The upside is you can take back your email until the email is read. Meaning any hasty, angry emails to your boss will be deleted before they check their email in the morning.

  1. 1

    In Mail, in the Navigation Pane, click Sent Items

  2. 2

    Open the message that you want to recall

  3. 3

    On the Message tab, in the Move group, click Actions, and then click Recall This Message

  4. 4

    Click Delete unread copies of this message

Browser Plug-Ins

If you are ready to get really fancy, then consider installing some browser plug-ins that will always have your back. There are a variety of different plug-ins on the market that allow you to unsend emails and even track who has opened them. Check out Criptext, and Virtu. Some of these programs even allow you to delete an email out of the receiver’s inbox after it’s been read (although having an email deleted out of someone’s inbox after they read it is likely to get you in even more trouble!). So it might be best to only retract one if it hasn’t been seen!

Our last piece of advice: practice sending emails and retracting them to another one of your email accounts or a friend. This way, when the time comes and you start to panic, you won’t be attempting to unsend for the first time!