If you came across this article because you want to unsend an email you already sent from Gmail, you’re out of luck. You can unsend emails in Gmail, but only for a short period of time after you send them. But keep reading so you can cover your tracks next time.
How to unsend an email in Gmail
Spend less time in your inbox
The Undo Send function is a built-in Gmail feature. By default, after you send an email in Gmail, you have a whopping five seconds to recall your email. (If you don’t remember seeing this option before, I don’t blame you—it’s a small box that pops up on the bottom of your screen for a matter of seconds.)
If you sent the message from within an existing thread, it’ll look like this:
If you sent a new message that’s not part of an existing thread, it’ll look like this:
Click Undo to retract the email, and you’ll be brought back to your message draft.
It’s worth mentioning that you’ll lose your chance to unsend the email if you don’t click in time, or if you click View message or otherwise navigate away.
How to unsend an email in the Gmail app
If you want to recall an email you sent using the Gmail app, the method is practically the same as what you’d do with Gmail on your computer.
Whether you sent a message from within an existing thread, or you started a new email thread, a box will pop up at the bottom of your screen that looks like this:
Tap Undo to unsend the email, and you’ll be brought back to your message draft.
How to change the amount of time allowed to undo send
Let’s be honest: a five-second window of opportunity is barely a window. It’s more like a crack. That’s why Gmail allows you to change the amount of time you have to recall a message. Here’s how.
- Once logged in to Gmail, click the Settings icon, which looks like a cog, and then click See all settings.
- In the General tab, click the dropdown arrow in the Undo Send section, and select the amount of time you’d like: 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds.
I suggest selecting the maximum of 30 seconds. There’s no downside except that there’ll be a delay of 30 seconds before your email is delivered to the recipient. But better 30 seconds late than sorry, right?