4 Quick (and Easy!) Steps to Unsend an Email.

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We've all done it. I have, but thankfully, I learned my lesson. What am I talking about?Hitting the Send button on email too soon! If you use Google Mail, you'll want to pay attention, unless you already know about it, in which case, feel free to get up and get some coffee! For the rest of you, I want to share this really amazing tip for taking back that email you didn't mean to send.

 I've been using Google Mail for a number of years now but I sure didn't know that there was this handy dandy "Undo" button that's available for all times when you need to retract emails you didn't mean to send, or changed your mind about sending. Sometimes we hit that "Send" button just a little too soon.

This extremely valuable tip is courtesy of Claire Diaz-Ortiz, who knows about social media inside and out, including being a supreme expert on Twitter.

Here's are the basic steps for activating the "Undo Send" button in Google Mail:

  1. Go to "Settings," which can be found when you click on the gear icon under your profile photo.
  2. Find the "Labs" tab and click on it. 
  3. Scroll down the list until you find "Undo Send," click the Enable button.
  4. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and click "Save Changes." 

At this point you'll be able to undo any email you send from Google Mail. You'll know this setting is on because when you send your message, you immediately see above your inbox, the message: "Sending message. Undo. View message." When you see this, quickly click on "Undo." If you've caught it in time, you should get this second message at the top: "Sending has been undone." And your email will pop up. So now, for Pete's sake, delete the darn message!

But you say, "What if I don't catch it in time? What's my recourse?" Well, no need to panic. There's a way to yourself more time in case your finger just isn't fast enough to hit  "Undo."  

For this, go back to Settings, but this time go to the "General" tab.

  1. Scroll down the list of actions on the left hand column until you find "Undo Send." There should be a checkmark in the box next to "Enable Undo Send."
  2. Right below that you'll see, "Send cancellation period:" This is where you have options that give you from 5-30 seconds to hit "Undo Send." 
  3. Again, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page where you need to click the "Save Changes" button. 

All that's left to do now is to test it, and I strongly recommend you do this at least a couple of times to make sure that you're able to undo an email message in the amount of time you've selected.

Please let me know if this did or did not work for you. I'm so glad that I know about this valuable feature on Google Mail now. Thank you, Claire!