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How to Unsend an Email with Gmail

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Man using laptop in cafe
Sam Edwards/Caiaimage/Getty Images

Samw or samg?

Did I just send that message to Sam W.? Ouch…

It may not be too late yet. Gmail can hold back delivering emails for some seconds after you have clicked Send. You can "unsend" an email and recover from false recipients, spelling mistakes and maybe forgotten attachments.

Unsend an Email with Gmail

To take back an email shortly after you have sent it in Gmail:

  • Make sure Undo Send is enabled (see below).
  • After having sent an email in Gmail:
  • Make any desired changes to the message, then send it again.

Change the Time Before a Message is Delivered with "Undo Send" Enabled in Gmail

You have at least 5 seconds to unsend the email. To increase the time before the email gets delivered:

  • Click the Settings gear in your Gmail's toolbar.
  • Choose Settings from the menu that has come up.
  • Open the General category.
  • Pick the desired time to undo message delivery for Send cancellation period: __ seconds under Undo Send:.
  • Click Save Changes.

(While offline, you can avoid having emails sent — and unsend them — for even longer.)

Enable Undo Send in Gmail

To have Gmail hold back delivery of sent messages for a few seconds so you can take them back:

  • Click the Settings gear in Gmail.
  • Select Settings from the menu that appears.
  • Go to the Labs tab.
  • Make sure Enable is selected for Undo Send.
    • You can locate Undo Send quickly by starting to type "undo" under Search for a lab:.
  • Click Save Changes.

(Updated October 2012)

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