Whether you sent an email to the wrong person on Gmail or later figured out some mistakes in it, you might have wished for a way to revert it.
Well, fortunately, Gmail allows you to undo your email message. While sending the message, Gmail gives you a Cancel option. And, even if you missed it, it again shows you an Undo option to recall your email.
However, if you are looking to recall an email after a minute or so, you have run out of luck. But, still, there are things you can do to minimize or even avoid the consequences. Continue reading further to learn more in detail.
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How to Recall an Email in Gmail?
While Gmail provides an undo option, it’s only for a split second. Once the email message reaches the recipient and you miss the Undo option, there’s no way to recall it. However, you can extend the time Gmail displays the options.
- Once you click the Send button, click the Cancel option at the window’s bottom left corner.
- If the above option disappeared too quickly, click the Undo button.
On Mobile App
- Similar to the web, you can tap on Cancel, which appears in the bottom right corner of the app.
- Otherwise, quickly tap on the Undo option.
Even though you can’t extend the time limit of 30 seconds to recall your email in Gmail, you can try other workarounds.
Send Using Confidential Mode
While sending an email message on Gmail, you can enable the Confidential mode for it. This way, the email contents expire on their own from the recipient’s Gmail inbox.
- After composing the message, click the Toggle confidential mode icon (looks like a lock icon with a clock).
- On the Confidential mode window, choose an expiration date.
- Additionally, check the SMS passcode option if you want the recipient to verify with their phone number. But make sure you enter their contact number.
Use Google Docs
Anything you want to send as a message on Gmail, you can write on Google Docs and share it with the other person. Doing this has an added advantage: you can restrict the document anytime later.
- Sign in to your Google Docs account.
- Once you write the email message in it, click the Share button in the window’s top-right corner.
- Add the recipient’s email address and choose Restricted under the General access section.
- Click Send.
What to Do if You Can’t Undo the Sent Email?
Once you miss the Undo option, there isn’t a way to revert it. However, you can take certain actions as a precautionary step so that you don’t repeat the same mistake the next time.
Adjust Your Undo Settings (Desktop)
By default Gmail only displays the Undo option for 5 seconds. To extend it for a longer time, you can configure the Gmail settings as follows.
On Gmail Web
- Sign in to your Gmail account.
- Click the gear icon in the top-right corner of the window.
- Click See all settings.
- Under the General tab, scroll to the Undo Send field.
- Click the dropdown between Send cancellation period field and choose one of the available options; 5, 10, 20, and 30 seconds.
- Scroll to the bottom and click Save Changes.
Enable the Confirm before Sending Option (Mobile App Only)
If you use Gmail on a mobile device, you can enable an option that displays a confirmation prompt before sending the message.
- Open the Gmail app.
- Tap the hamburger menu in the top-left corner.
- Choose Settings > General settings.
- Scroll down to the Action Confirmations section, and enable the Confirm before sending checkbox.
Inform the Receiver
If you didn’t get a chance to undo your email, you should at least inform the recipient that the message wasn’t meant for them. Also, request them to delete the message if possible.
Review the Email Before Sending
The proverb “Prevention is better than cure” fits perfectly in your case. Rather than repenting over the spilled milk, cultivate a habit of reviewing your emails before sending them. This way, you won’t even require an undo option.