Sent an email too soon? We’ve all been there – you send a message to the wrong person, or you send an email you regret. Luckily, Gmail lets you undo those mistaken emails. But Google doesn’t enable the “Undo Sent Message” feature by default. We’ll show you how to enable it, and how to unsend Gmail emails.
Enable “Undo Send”
Gmail’s “Undo Send” feature isn’t enabled by default. In fact, it’s not even a part of Gmail’s General settings. It’s actually a part of Google Labs. To enable the “Undo Send” feature:
- Click on the gear on the top right side of the page (just above your inbox).
- Click on “Settings”.
- Click the Labs
- Find the “Undo Send” feature and click Enable.
- Click “Save Changes”.
Now that you’ve enabled the undo feature, you can adjust the cancellation period. Here’s how:
- Click on the gear on the top right side of the page.
- Click “Settings”.
- Find the Undo Send feature again. It should be on the General tab now.
- You should be able to adjust the cancellation period (30 seconds maximum).
- Click the “Save Changes” button when you’re done.
How to Unsend Messages
Now that you’ve enabled the “undo send” feature, you can start using it right away. But here’s the thing about this feature – you need to be quick if you want to use it.
Each time you send an email, you’ll see the usual “Message has been sent” message. Right next to the alert will be a link to “Undo” your sent message. You’ll need to click on the link quickly if you want to unsend your email. Once you click on your Inbox or start doing other tasks on Gmail, the “undo” link will disappear. Altogether, you have about 30 seconds to take back your message after you’ve sent it.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to unsend emails once the cancellation period is up. So, if you send an email in haste, be just as swift about clicking the “undo” button.
Unsend a Test Message
You’ve enabled the “undo send” feature, so it should be working properly. But you probably want to test it out just to make sure. There’s a quick and easy way to do this:
- Compose an email to yourself. Make sure you put your own email address in the “To” box. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A simple one-letter email will do.
- Click “Send”.
- Once you click “Send,” you should see the “Undo” link just above your inbox. Click it.
- Your message should be “unsent”.
We’ve all sent emails we regret, but Gmail gives you the chance to take those mistakes back. If you still haven’t enabled the “Undo Send” feature on your Gmail account, follow the steps above to enable it now. You’ll thank yourself later when you accidently send that embarrassing email to your boss instead of your co-worker three cubicles down. And make sure you adjust the cancellation period to the full 30 seconds to give yourself enough time to undo your mistake.