How to Undo Actions in Gmail

Easily reverse moving, labeling, or even sending messages

Using Gmail Google Mail on computer

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You can undo just about any action in Gmail, including deleting a message, moving a message into a different folder, marking a message as read, adding a label to a conversation, and even sending a message. Here are instructions for how to undo some of the most common actions.

Undo Actions in Gmail

The same method is used in Gmail to take back a variety of actions: select the Undo link that appears at the bottom of the screen. You have about 10 seconds before it disappears. There are some variations on this method, so see below for specific instructions on each action.

Another way to undo an action in Gmail is to press Z on your keyboard. This method only works for the same period that the Undo link is visible. If you perform any other actions between the one you want to undo and pressing Z, this method won't work.

After you undo an action, whether by selecting Undo or by pressing Z, Gmail displays the message, Action undone.

Undo Moving a Message

Use the following steps to undo moving a message to the Trash folder (deleting a message).

The process is the same for undoing other actions, such as moving a message into a different folder, marking a message as read, or adding a label to a conversation.

  1. After you delete an email, it's sent to the Trash folder and a Gmail message appears: Conversation moved to Trash. The message is followed by a link: Undo.

    Gmail undo message
  2. To retrieve the email you deleted, select Undo.

  3. The message is removed from the Trash and restored to where you deleted it from.

Undo Sending a Message

To undo sending a message, you must use the Undo link quickly. How quickly depends on a setting you can adjust to give you a little more time.

  1. To do so, in the upper-right corner of the Gmail screen, select the Settings (gear) icon and choose Settings.

    Gmail with Settings menu displayed
  2. Select the General tab. Next to Undo Send, use the dropdown menu to select the number of seconds you'd like to have to undo a sent email. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Save Changes.

    Gmail with Settings screen displayed
  3. Otherwise, the process for retrieving a sent email message is the same as undoing the other actions as described above.

Limitations of Gmail Undo

If you delete a message from the Trash folder or the Spam folder, you can't undo that action; the message is gone forever. You're reminded of this fact when you delete from these folders because the button you must select to do it is labeled Delete forever. When you perform this action, you get the message, Conversation deleted forever and there's no Undo option.

Keep in mind that all messages in the Trash and Spam folders are automatically deleted after being there for 30 days. That means that if you have something in one of those folders you want to keep, you must move it to another folder before 30 days pass.