Learn the Correct Way to Unsend an Email With Gmail

Set a sending pause in Gmail to have time to unsend

Unsend Gmail
Lifewire

Did you just send that message to Sam W. instead of Sam G.? It may not be too late to take it back. If you use Gmail on the web or through a native mobile app, you can unsend the message you just sent if you move quickly.

Gmail can be set to pause for up to 30 seconds before it delivers your emails after you click Send. You can recall an email and recover from false recipients, spelling mistakes, a poorly worded subject, and forgotten attachments.

You can only unsend emails if you have enabled the Undo Send feature, which is not turned on by default.

Enable Undo Send Feature in Gmail on the Web

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

  1. Click the Settings gear in Gmail.

  2. Select Settings from the menu that appears.

    Settings menu item in Gear menu for Gmail
  3. Go to the General tab.

  4. In the Undo Send section, select the number of seconds Gmail should pause before sending emails. 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
  5. Click Save Changes.

    Save Changes button for Gmail settings

How to Unsend an Email With Gmail

After you enable the Undo Send feature in Gmail, you can retrieve an email immediately after you send it. As soon as you realize you need to make a change to a sent email, you have a couple of ways to recall it:

  • Click Undo in the message that appears above the Gmail screen next to Your message has been sent after you send a message. You'll see a confirming Sending has been undone notification in the same area if you click Undo within the time frame you set up. If you don't see the confirmation that the message was undone, you may not have caught the outgoing message in time. If you aren't sure, look in the Gmail Sent Mail folder. If it appears there, the email was sent.
Undo button after sending an email with Gmail
  • Press the Z key on your keyboard promptly after you send a message and realize you want to stop its delivery. The same Sending has been undone confirmation appears at the top of the Gmail screen, but you aren't required to do anything else. Because you don't have to look for the message on your screen and move your cursor to it, of the two methods, this is the faster way to use the Unsend feature, which — considering you have only up to 30 seconds — means it is the preferred way.
Sending undone message in Gmail

Make any desired changes or additions to the message and send it again.

How to Unsend an Email With Gmail Mobile App

To unsend an email immediately after you send it using the Gmail mobile app for iOS or Android mobile devices, promptly tap Undo at the bottom of the screen.

Undo button at the bottom of Gmail mobile app

You'll see an Undoing message, and your email is displayed onscreen where you can make edits or additions to it before sending it again. If you don't send it again and tap the arrow to return to your inbox, you'll see the message Draft Saved at the bottom of the screen with an option to Discard the draft. The message displays for only seconds.