Through this step-by-step article, we will try to tell you how you can unsend an email in both Gmail and Outlook. In either case, however, the extent to which you can do this will differ.
Let’s take a look.
If you want to unsend an email in Gmail, you can simply do so by clicking on ‘Undo Send’ through the ‘Message Sent’ box that will be visible to you at the bottom of your screen after you send your email.
This ‘Undo Sent’ feature is automatically enabled for you. However, the limitation of this feature is that it is only available to you for up to 30 seconds after sending your email.
If you are only able to view this feature for 5-10 seconds, you can adjust this through the following steps:
- Go to Settings by clicking on the gear-shaped icon on the top right corner of your desktop tab.
- Click on ‘See all settings.’
- In the General tab of your Settings, locate the ‘Undo Send’ option.
- You will see that you can adjust the cancellation period from anywhere between 5 and 30 seconds.
- Select the option preferable to you.
- Scroll down and click on ‘Save Changes.’
Once you unsend your email, you can find the email in your Drafts section. This will allow you to make necessary edits and changes to it and send it again to your recipient if you choose to do so.
You can also access this feature through the application on your phone by clicking on ‘Cancel’ while it is still being sent or on ‘Undo Send’ after it gets sent.
The restriction with this method is obvious. If it has been longer than 30 seconds, you will no longer be able to unsend your email.
If you want to unsend an email in Outlook, the process is similar to the one in Gmail. However, you have a few more options available to you.
Unsending an Email
In Outlook.com, the ‘Undo Send’ feature isn’t enabled by default. To enable it, you can go through the step-by-step process mentioned below:
- Go to your Settings by clicking on the gear-shaped icon towards the top right corner of the desktop tab.
- Click on ‘View all Outlook settings.’
- Locate the ‘Compose and reply’ setting option and click on it.
- Scroll down until you locate the ‘Undo Send’ feature.
- Toggle the slider anywhere between 0 and 10 seconds.
- Click on the ‘Save’ button that will appear at the bottom of the box.
Once you have made these changes, you will be able to see the ‘Undo Send’ option at the bottom of your screen. If you click on it within 10 seconds (or your stipulated timeframe), you will be able to unsend the email so that you can make any necessary changes to it.
As compared to Gmail, Outlook only allows you a timeframe of 10 seconds to unsend your email. Thus, if it is any longer than that, you will no longer be able to unsend your email.
You can access this feature through both your search engine and your phone app.
If, however, you are using the desktop app, you will have to make a new rule that will allow you to delay sending the email for a selected timeframe (anywhere between 1 and 120 minutes).
To do this, go through the following pathway:
Rules > Manage Rules and Alerts > New Rule > Apply rule on messages I send > Next > Defer delivery by a number of minutes.
You can then select the number of minutes, save changes, create a name for this rule and click on ‘Finish.’
Recalling an Email
When it comes to Outlook, you have another option available to you that lets you recall or replace an email after sending it, even if some time has passed. However, you can only do this if you, as well as your recipient, use Office 365 or if both of you have a Microsoft Exchange account.
To learn how to do this, you can go through the following step-by-step process:
- Locate where your email is. It might either be in your Outbox if it is still sending or it might be in your Sent Items folder. In case it is still in your Outbox, you can simply delete it.
- Click on the particular email you want to recall in order to open it up.
- Click on ‘File’ and then on ‘Info’ so that you can view more settings.
- Locate the ‘Message Resend and Recall’ option.
- You can then click on ‘Delete unread copies of this message’ so that you can recall the email.
- If you want to replace it, you can select ‘Delete unread copies and replace with a new message.’ This will let you replace the previous email with another one.
- If you want to be informed about the status of this feature, you can click on the box next to ‘Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient.’
- You can save the changes and apply this setting by clicking on ‘OK.’
This method will only work if your recipient has not yet opened and read your email. If you recall it, the email will get deleted from their inbox. If you recall and replace it, you will be able to edit the email. Sending this edited email will replace the original email with the new one.
If you want to do this through your desktop app, you can find these options through the ‘Actions’ option under ‘Move’.
Now that you have gone through the processes of unsending an email through both Gmail and Outlook, you can now start applying them to your own emails, if you choose to do so in case of an immediate recall.
While you can unsend emails through both, Outlook offers you more advanced options to recall and replace emails as well. Further, the way you can do this will differ depending on whether you are using Outlook through a search engine, phone app or desktop app.
Either way, you can now unsend your email through Gmail and Outlook through the aforementioned steps.
Lorenzo has been using the internet for as long as he can remember. He was there for the early days of message boards, he watched social media take over, and he’s excited to see what comes next.