How To Recall an Email in Gmail

Gmail Undo Send

Sent an emotional email in a moment of rage with the wrong choice of words and regret sending it now? Or maybe, you sent an email with confidential information to the wrong person/client or just forgot to include an important attachment?

Thankfully, there is now a handy option called ‘Enable Undo Send’ in Gmail that you can enable to prevent an embarrassing situation. If you have this option enabled and you act swiftly, you can unsend an email in Gmail. Here’s how to recall an email in Gmail:

Note that if you meet any of the three conditions below, you cannot recall an email in Gmail:

  1. It has been more than 30 seconds since you sent that email.
  2. You have NOT enabled the ‘Undo Send’ option in Gmail previously.
  3. You used a mobile device (Cell phone or Tablet) to send that email.

How To Recall an Email in Gmail (Undo Send)

The ‘undo send’ option is not enabled by default in Gmail, and if you’ve already sent an email without this option enabled, it cannot be recalled. With the Gmail’s Undo Send feature enabled, all your emails are held in the outbox for a specific number of seconds, giving you a leeway to change your mind.

Follow the steps below to enable undo send in Gmail:

Step 1

Click on the gear icon (cog wheel) on the top-right corner and select ‘Settings’ from the drop-down menu.

How To Recall an Email in Gmail Step 1

Step 2

On the General tab, navigate to the Undo Send section. To enable it, check the box next to ‘Enable Undo Send.’

Recall Gmail Message Step 2

Step 3

After checking the ‘Enable Undo Send’ option, choose the desired cancellation period from the drop down menu – 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds and 30 seconds. It is the time within which an email can be recalled after being sent (best option is to keep it at 30 seconds).

Undo Send Gmail Step 3

Step 4

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click ‘Save Changes.’

Recall Email Gmail Step 4

Step 5

To check if it works, try composing a test email and send it. You’ll see the message ‘Your message has been sent’ and the option to ‘Undo’ or ‘View message’ on the top of the screen.
Click ‘Undo’ within your earlier chosen time frame (30 seconds).

How To Unsend Gmail Step 5

Step 6

Once you click undo, you will get a message on the top of the screen saying ‘Sending has been undone.’ The email you composed earlier will pop back up on the screen so that you can make the required changes before sending it again or discard it entirely if you want. So, that is how you recall an email in Gmail.

Gmail Undo Send Step 6

Gmail never fails to impress with its impressive, convenient and amazing features that make our emailing experience pleasant. You not only escape from the moral damages a wrong email could cause but also from all the probable confidentiality related issues and economic losses.

The recalling feature from Gmail is thus a great gift as it saves users from embarrassments and provides them with better control over emails.

The recalling option used to be in the ‘Labs’ section before the 23rd of June 2015, but it has been moved to the ‘General’ tab since then, If you enabled the option from the labs section before that date, then, it will remain enabled automatically.

To recall an email in Hotmail, see How To Recall an Email in Hotmail.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. I didn’t have the ‘Enable undo send’ option enabled & I want to recall an email. How can I recall it?

A. Unfortunately, you cannot recall it. You need to have the option enabled before you can recall an email in Gmail.

Q. I sent an email from my Android/iPhone. Can I unsend it?

A. Unfortunately, this feature is not available when sending an email from mobile devices. You should be using the Web/Desktop interface of Gmail for it to work.

Q. Can I recall an email I sent a few hours ago from my Gmail account?

A. No, you can only recall an email if it has been less than 30 seconds since you sent it, and you had the option of ‘Undo Send’ enabled before sending it, and you are using the Web/Desktop interface of Gmail.

Copyright © 2016-2019

About The Author

Author of this page is Amit Goenka who is a Cisco Certified Network Associate & a Microsoft Certified Professional.