Did you ever send an email to someone and wish you hadn’t because, after you had time to think about it, it was inappropriate? Or maybe you sent your boss an email intended for your wife? Oops!

Well, if you use Gmail, you may be able to avoid those situations. Did you know that you can retract a message sent via Gmail’s web interface (or your Google Apps email)?

Gmail on the web defaults to sending a message the instant you click on “send”. But, using a Gmail Labs function, you can pause the sending of an email so if you have second thoughts, you have up to 30 seconds to cancel (undo)  its delivery.

The video immediately below describes how to unsend gmail. If you prefer to read how to do it, see the text below the video.

Here’s are the:

Simple Steps to Unsend (Cancel) Gmail or Google Apps Email using Google Labs after you Click “Send”

  1. Log into your Gmail account.
  2. Go to the gear icon in the upper right portion of your screen.

    Go to the gear icon in the upper right portion of your screen.

    Go to the gear icon in the upper right portion of your screen.

  3. In the drop down, choose “Settings”.
  4. Choose “Labs” in the menu.

    Choose "Labs" in the menu.

    Choose “Labs” in the menu.

  5. Search for “Undo Send” and choose the “Enable” radio button.
    Search for "Undo Send" and choose the "Enable" radio button.

    Search for “Undo Send” and choose the “Enable” radio button.

    Choose the "Enable" radio button.

    Choose the “Enable” radio button.

     

  6. Click on “Save Changes”.

    Click on "Save Changes".

    Click on “Save Changes”.

  7. Your email account will refresh.
  8. Go back to “Settings” (Steps 1 and 2 above)
  9. Choose the “General” menu.
  10. Scroll down to “Undo Send” settings. “Enable Undo Send” should be checked.

    Scroll down to "Undo Send" settings. "Enable Undo Send" should be checked.

    Scroll down to “Undo Send” settings. “Enable Undo Send” should be checked.

  11. Set the “cancellation period”.  You can choose up to 30 seconds.
  12. Save changes again (like in Step 6)
  13. That’s it.
  14. Next time you compose an email and hit send, you’ll get an option at the top of your screen to “undo” the send. If you click on undo, the message will not be sent.

    You'll get an option at the top of your screen to "undo" the send.

    You’ll get an option at the top of your screen to “undo” the send.

  15. Rather, you’ll receive a message that the sending of the message has been “undone” and Gmail will take you to the drafting screen, giving you a second chance. Whew!

    You'll receive a message that the sending of the message has been "undone"

    You’ll receive a message that the sending of the message has been “undone”

Thank you Allison S.  (to whom we try not to send inappropriate emails) for informing us of this essential function!

Do you have any tips on how to make Gmail work better and do more for you? Or, even better, what’s your memorable, sharable “oops, I didn’t want to send that email” story? Leave a comment below.


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