So you accidentally sent an angry email to your supervisor from your Gmail account– now what? If you’ve enabled the “unsend” feature, you can undo your mistake. If not, you may want to start looking for a new job.
The average Gmail user has no idea that the “undo” option is even available. How do you enable this feature? How does it work?
How “Undo Send” Works
A lot of email programs will give you the option to retract your email, but unfortunately, these mails wind up in the recipient’s inbox anyway. Gmail works a little differently.
If you have “undo send” enabled, Gmail will actually wait a few seconds before sending an email. This gives you just enough time to change your mind and refrain from sending your message. You’ll still need to be quick, though. Gmail only gives you a certain amount of time to stop the mail from being sent out.
The Undo Send feature was stuck in Google Labs for a whopping six years, but now it’s a standard feature that’s available to all Gmail users.
How to Enable the Unsend Feature for Gmail
Ready to enable the “undo send” feature? The process is simple and easy. Here’s how it works:
- Log into your Gmail account.
- Click on the gear on the top right side of the page.
- Click Settings.
- Find the “Undo Send” feature, and click Enable.
- Now, select the cancellation period and click Save Changes.
The cancellation period is the amount of time Gmail gives you to decide if you want to “undo” your sent message. Google gives you four options: 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds. For maximum protection against sending accidental emails, we recommend setting the cancellation period to 30 seconds.
How to Use the “Unsend” Feature
Now that you’ve enabled “undo send,” it’s time to test it out.
- Make sure that you’re logged into your Gmail account.
- Click Compose to create a blank email. Set the recipient as yourself, and create a dummy email.
Now, pay attention to the top of the screen. A notification bar should appear (just like the one you see when you send a message normally). Along with the usual “Your message has been sent” message, you’ll also see an “Undo” link.
Prevent your test message from being sent by clicking the “Undo” link. Gmail will prevent the message from being sent and will even display the email to you. This way, you can make changes if you wish and resend the message. Otherwise, it will be saved to Drafts, and you can choose to either keep it or delete it.
Now, keep in mind that you’ll only have seconds (up to 30) to undo your mistake, so act quickly. And if you navigate away from the page or experience connection issues, you’ll lose your chance to undo your sent message. Even clicking on the link to “View Message” will count as navigating away from the page.
Unfortunately, the Undo Send feature is only available on the desktop/web version of Gmail. You won’t be able to unsend any email that you compose through iOS or Android mobile apps. Ironically, people are more prone to making mistakes when writing emails on mobile devices.
Enabling Gmail’s “unsend” feature is simple and easy. Just follow the steps listed above, and give the feature a test drive. Because you never know when you might need this feature, we suggest that you drop everything right now and enable it (just in case). Now, you never have to worry about sending out another poorly written or angry email again.
*Featured Image – Youtube/Google