how to unsend an email
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How to Unsend an Email in Gmail

Is it possible to recall an email after sending? Gmail allows you up to 30 seconds to cancel an email once you’ve hit Send. To enable this Gmail feature, you need to go to Settings to set up Undo Send. An email can’t be stopped and will be sent once 30 seconds has passed. 

How to Unsend in Gmail. 

1. Enable the Unsend feature 

  • Go to Gmail Settings – click on the Settings gear icon in the top right of the Gmail window
  • Click on See all settings
  • Under Settings > General (the first tab) look for Undo Send: (4th down)
  • Choose a Send cancellation period: you have from 5-30 seconds 
  • Scroll to the bottom of the Settings page and click Save Changes

2. How to Unsend an Email 

  • Once you’ve enabled the Undo Send feature compose an email and click Send
  • DO NOT close this black Message Sent box that pops up after you’ve hit send
  • To unsend an email for up to 30 seconds (or the time you set under Settings) click on Undo
  • The email you wrote will pop back up in Gmail ready to be edited or deleted.
  • If you’ve waited past the maximum unsend time, you’ll see this box which means its too late to Undo.

Often the reason we want to unsend an email is for personal reasons. We may regret what we said in the email, realize we didn’t proofread it or we hit Send by mistake. 

Unless you realize your mistake within the first 30 seconds of sending the email, you won’t be able to stop it going out to the recipients mailbox. It’s also not possible to retrieve an email from another inbox once the email has been sent. 

Emails are sent using SMTP or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. They are relayed from the clients email server (you) to the recipients email server before landing in their inbox. Unfortunately, unlike physical mail, there’s no electronic way to retrieve an email once it enters the system.

How to Unsend an Email after an Hour? Unless your email is still in draft mode, you won’t be able to unsend it after an hour. The maximum time Gmail allows is 30 seconds to undo a send.

How do I recall an Email after 30 Minutes in Gmail? You won’t be able to unsend an email after 30 minutes time. The maximum time Gmail allows is 30 seconds to undo a send.

How long does it take to unsend an email? If you set up the Undo Send feature in Gmail settings, you have up to 30 seconds to unsend an email 

How to recall an email after Unsend Maximum? Unfortunately there’s no way to recall an email after the 30 second maximum period has ended.

Unsend Hack: Use Gmail Confidential Mode 

If your concern is that your email may be copied, forwarded, printed or downloaded, then you may want to turn on Confidential mode before sending your email.

NOTE: If you’re using Gmail with a work or school account, be sure to clear this with your admin first.

By putting your email into confidential mode you won’t be able to unsend it but you will be able to limit how long your recipient can read it. You can choose 1 day to 1 week.  During that time the receiver won’t be able to share, print or copy your email.

You also have the option to revoke access to view the email at any time. If you send the email in confidential mode and then revoke access before your recipient has read it, it’s as good as un-sending it. 

  • Compose an email
  • In the bottom right window click the confidential mode icon (lock with clock)
  • Once the Confidential mode window pops up, choose when you want the email to expire from 1 day to 5 years
  • If you choose to require a SMS (text) passcode tick that box. To create enter your recipients phone # and they’ll get a passcode by text
  • Click Save

If you need to edit the email once it’s in confidential mode, go to the bottom of the email and click Edit

When your email recipient gets your email it will look like this.

In order to stop the recipient from reading the email, you’ll need to remove access ahead of the expiration time you selected. To do this, go to your Sent email folder in the left pane of Gmail.

Open the confidential email and click Remove access.

Your recipient will get a message like this when they try to open the message.

Keep in mind, that even if your email is in Confidential mode, once your recipient opens it they can conceivably snap a photo of the contents or attachments.

Of these major email providers, Gmail is the only one offering an Unsend feature.

What Other Email Providers use Unsend?

Yahoo email doesn’t have any feature that let’s you stop an email from being received.

If your email ends in @outlook.com, @live.com, @msn.com or @hotmail.com, message Unsend isn’t an option either.

Outlook has a feature that may allow you to recall a message if the recipient hasn’t opened or read the email yet. Open the sent email and go to Actions > Recall Message.