How to Unsend a Message in Gmail

You can prevent a message from going through after it's been sent

Unsend Gmail
Lifewire

Did you just send that message to Sam Watson instead of Sam Griggs? It may not be too late to take it back. The same is true for messages that include spelling mistakes, a poorly worded subject, or a forgotten attachment. Whether you use Gmail online or through a mobile app, you can unsend any message.

The feature that allows unsending is the Undo Send setting, which is turned off by default. It allows you to pause the sending of messages for up to 30 seconds after you select Send.

Enable Undo Send Feature in Gmail

To have Gmail delay the delivery of sent messages for a few seconds so you can retrieve them:

  1. Open Gmail and, in the upper-right corner of the window, select the Settings (gear) icon. From the menu, select Settings.

    Settings menu item in Gear menu for Gmail
  2. If the General tab isn't already active, select General.

  3. In the Undo Send section, select the number of seconds Gmail should pause before sending messages. The choices range from 5 to 30 seconds.

    Drop down menu to choose the number of seconds Undo Send is good for in Gmail settings
  4. Select Save Changes.

    Save Changes button for Gmail settings
  5. Now you're ready to put the feature into action.

Unsend an Email Message in Gmail

As soon as you realize you need to recall a sent email, you have a couple of ways to do it.

  1. After you send the message, look for a menu bar at the bottom of your screen. Within this bar, select Undo. A Sending undone confirmation alert appears. If you don't see the confirmation, it's possible that you didn't catch the outgoing message within the time you indicated in the steps above. If you're not sure if the message was sent, look in the Sent folder. If it appears there, it was sent.

    Undo button after sending an email with Gmail
  2. Alternatively, you can press the Z key on your keyboard immediately after sending the message you want to recall. The same Sending undone confirmation alert appears. This method is the faster of the two and, therefore, the preferred method, considering you only have up to 30 seconds to recall a message after it's been sent.

    Sending undone message in Gmail
  3. With either method, the original message appears back on your screen. You can either delete it or make any desired changes or additions and send it again.

Unsend an Email with the Gmail Mobile App

To unsend an email immediately after you send it using the Gmail mobile app, promptly tap Undo at the bottom of the screen. An Undoing alert appears and your email is displayed so you can make edits or additions before sending again. If you don't send it again and tap the arrow to return to your inbox, you'll see the alert Draft Saved with an option to Discard the draft.

Undo button at the bottom of Gmail mobile app