How to Unsend an Email

After spending an hour writing the perfect job application email, you notice something terrible: you’ve spelled the hiring manager’s name wrong. Sweat appears on your head, terrible thoughts start racing through your mind, and hopelessness settles in your soul. As desperate as a situation like this may seem, there’s no reason to cry just yet. In this article, we show you how to unsend an email in popular email services so you can recover from unfortunate mistakes.

Situations When Knowing How to Unsend an Email is Useful

The situation we’ve described in the introduction to this article is just one of many instances when knowing how to unsend an email is useful. Just think back and try to remember the last time you’ve sent an email to the wrong recipient. Maybe you wrote a silly email that was intended for your friend and accidentally sent it to one of your parents instead, or perhaps you accidentally sent confidential information to the wrong client.

Or perhaps you wrote something on the spur of the moment, regretting it as soon as you clicked the send button. Unless you know how to unsend an email, one temporary loss of common sense could haunt you for the rest of your life.

Of course, there are also more trivial situations when knowing how to unsend an email is useful, such as when you make a typing error, use bad grammar, or forget to include an important attachment and want to save your face because you feel embarrassed about it. However, being able to unsend an email shouldn’t be seen as a reason to neglect email management.

Instructions on How to Unsend an Email

The good news is that several major email providers have added the option to unsend emails, but the option is typically available only for a certain amount of time, so you should know how to unsend an email even before you actually need to unsend one, and the instructions below are here to help you with that.

We highly recommend you send an email to yourself or a friend and use our instructions to retract it. By actually applying what you’ve learned in real life, you’re guaranteed to remember the steps you need to take to unsend an email the next time you make a mistake and input a wrong address or forget to include an attachment.

How to Unsend an Email in Gmail

Let’s take a look at how to retract an email in Gmail. Google added the Gmail undo send functionality in 2015, after it had been in Gmail Labs for six years. Today, Gmail undo send works also in the Gmail Android app, and it’s safe to say that it has saved many people from losing their jobs and ending their relationships. This is how to use it:

Web:

  1. Right after you send an email, you'll see "Message sent" in the bottom left with the option to "Undo" or "View message."
  2. Select “Undo.”

If you want to customize the undo period, you can do so from Settings. Simply select the desired cancellation period next to "Undo Send.” Unfortunately, the maximum amount of time you can set is 30 seconds, so there’s no way how to unsend an email in Gmail after an hour, let alone a day.

How to unsend an email in Gmail

Android:

  1. Right after you send an email, you'll see the message "Sent" and the option to Undo.
  2. Select “Undo.”

iOS:

  1. Right after you send an email, you'll see the message "Sent" and the option to Undo.
  2. Just like on Android devices, all you need to do is select “Undo.”

As you can see, it’s not difficult at all to learn how to undo in Gmail since all you need to do is click or tap a single button.

How to Unsend an Email in Outlook

It’s similarly easy to learn how to unsend an email in Outlook:

  1. Right after you send an email, you'll see the message “Sending…” and the option to Undo right next to it.
  2. Select “Undo.”

For the Undo button to be available, you first need to enable it in the Settings menu. Select the gear icon located in the top-right corner of your Outlook email account and choose “View all Outlook settings”. Select “Mail” and then “Compose and reply”. Under Undo send, choose the how long Outlook.com will wait to send your messages. Emails can be cancelled for up to 10 seconds.

How to unsend an email in Outlook

How to Unsend an Email in Yahoo

Unfortunately, we can’t teach you how to unsend an email in Yahoo because Yahoo doesn’t support this feature at the moment. Because Yahoo’s two main competitors—Gmail and Outlook—give their users the ability to unsend emails, it’s likely that Yahoo will follow suit in the near future, but we can’t tell for sure.

Other email services that doesn’t support the unsend feature include AOL, Zoho Mail, Mail.com, Yandex, Inbox, iCloud, and GMX, just to name the most prominent ones. If you use one of these email services, you can still unsend emails by sending them using an email client like Mailbird, which enables you to unsend emails and save yourself from embarrassing social faux pas.

Conclusion

The next time someone asks you, “Can you used an email in Gmail (or Outlook or Yahoo or any other email service)?” you’ll know the answer. The ability to unsend emails can be a real lifesaver, and it’s no wonder that email users are flocking to email services that support, such as Gmail and Outlook. Just don’t fool yourself into thinking that the unsend feature can replace proper email management because it absolutely can’t. There’s a very good reason why those who keep their email accounts clean with the help of Clean Email inbox cleaner are much less likely to accidentally send an email to someone else.

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