Remember sending an email and realizing the very next moment that you shouldn’t have sent it? Like most people in similar situations, you too must have wished if only there was some way to undo or cancel a sent email.
Luckily, there is actually a way to cancel a sent email in case you are using Gmail. The “Undo Send” feature in Gmail can help you avoid such an occurrence in the future by allowing you to cancel a sent email, but you first need to enable this feature in your Gmail account.
Cancel Sent Email in Your Gmail Account
First introduced in beta mode, the “Undo Send” feature is now an official part of Gmail and it is easy to enable this feature in your Gmail account by following the steps below.
1. Log in to your Gmail account from a computer
2. While in your email account, click on the Gear shaped Settings icon from the upper right corner of your screen.
3. From the drop-down menu, click on Settings
4. On the Settings Window, make sure that you are on the General Tab.
5. Scroll down and look for a section titled Undo Send and click on the check box next to Enable Undo Send.
6. Next, click the down-arrow next to Send Cancellation Period and choose from 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.
Note: We recommend that you should go for the maximum 30 seconds setting (Even this is not enough).
7. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Save Changes button.
Test Undo Sent Email Feature
Now that you have set up the Undo Send option in your Gmail Account, it is recommended that you test out this feature in order to see how it actually works.
1. Click on the Compose button at the upper left corner of your screen to launch a new email window.
2. Compose a new test email message and click the Send button.
3. Once you click the send button, take a look at the top of your screen. You will see a message reading “Your message has been sent. Undo, View message.”
4. Click on Undo to cancel your sent email and prevent it from reaching the recipient. Make sure that you are quick in making a decision and immediately click on the Undo link (30 seconds can go very fast).
5. Once you click the Undo link, Gmail will immediately stop the message from being sent out and displays back the email to you. This will allow you to make changes to your message and send it back again (in case you want to).
In case you do not want to send a corrected message, simply close the message and it will land in your Drafts Folder, allowing you to either delete the message or keep it for your records.
A Word of Caution
In case you can remember the past email (regretful one), you should be able to recall that even a few seconds could have made a difference and you could have easily stopped the email from going (if there was an option to Cancel Sent Email).
However, when it comes to Gmail, the maximum allowable period of 30 seconds is low in our opinion. You can easily miss the Undo option as it appears fleetingly at the top portion of your screen.
The ‘Undo Sent Email’ option as displayed by Gmail is very casual and not particularly designed to attract attention or facilitate quick action in such desperate circumstances.
In short everything is wrong with the way this option is designed in Gmail – Small strip, small fonts, casual color choice and an Undo link which is not at all prominent.
Hence, make sure that you get used to what ‘Undo Send’ option looks like in Gmail and how it works by sending out test email messages and cancelling them within the 30 second window.