Here’s How to Retract Gmail Messages Sent in Error

By: Alexis Scaffidi

Have you ever accidentally clicked “send” on an email? Maybe it was during a heated moment or as you tried to change the font formatting.  Maybe you forgot to proofread or addressed it to the wrong contact. Luckily, there is a way to pull back emails sent in error. The commonly used email service, Gmail, offers a way to “undo” emails… and it’s really easy to set up.



Gmail’s undo button is a life saver that you can’t afford NOT to set up.  If you’re unsure how to activate yours, then all you need to do is follow the simple steps below.


  1. On your computer, open your Gmail account
  2. In the top right corner, find the button that looks like a circular bolt. Click the small drop down arrow to the right and then click “Settings”
  3. At the top, you will notice you’re on the “General” tab. If you look at the middle of your screen, you’ll see a section titled “Undo Send”
  4. Click the little box next to Undo Send and a checkmark will appear
  5. Set the cancellation time period to the longest possible (30 seconds)
  6. Lastly, scroll all the way to the bottom and click “Save Changes”


While it won’t save you hours later, the “Undo Send” feature is a great way to quickly protect yourself from personal and professional mishaps. As a best practice, always reread emails immediately after sending to ensure you still have the chance to pull them back.

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