We’ve all been there: you click send on an email and immediately cringe. The email wasn’t spell checked, or you forgot to add a specific thought. Or what if you’ve sent an email to the boss, and it’s loaded with grammar errors, and you’re a copywriter?

We all know what comes next. The “whoops, wrong person!” or the “sorry, not ready to send!” follow-up emails. Thankfully, Gmail offers a small window of opportunity to recall an email, so it’s deleted before hitting the client’s inbox.

But, the option to recall isn’t a magic button, because you have to notice the error within seconds, otherwise, the email will be sent as usual. The best approach is double-checking your work before you fire off any communication in a professional and honestly personal capacity.

If you dare to walk on the wild side and still try to recall an email, check out these quick tips on how to do it in Gmail, heed our warning: you gotta be fast or else the boss will see how bad you are at spelling restaurant.

Use Gmail’s “Undo Send” Feature

The name speaks for itself – it’s a Gmail feature that lets users cancel an email up to 30 seconds after sending. You have to opt-in for the feature to work, and if you’re writing emails as a part of your job, it’s probably a good idea. To turn on Undo Send:

1) Go to Gmail settings in the gear icon.



General > Undo Send > Enable Undo Send > set time limit > Save Changes


The time window you’ve set is the total amount of time you’ll have to cancel sending the email. The “Undo Send” feature is actually an email delay feature. Once the timer runs out you won’t be able to stop an email from going out.

Send a test email after you’ve configured the settings make sure you’ve got the hang of the feature. After sending an email, you’ll notice a small pop-up asking if you’d like to “Undo” or “View Message.” Clicking either option will stop the email from sending and open it for editing.

Quick Pro Tip:

If you send a lot of emails on a daily basis, set the time delay for the full 30 seconds. Giving yourself 5 seconds may not be long enough to realize a mistake. But, it can’t be overstated: proofread your emails (at least once, and if they’re important two or three times). Glance at the address, header, body, and attachments.

By going over them that second time can end up saving you an awkward apology later. The “Undo Send” feature should be treated as an emergency button behind the glass case and not as the end-all to fixing mistakes.

Want to learn more about easy Gmail hacks? Check out more of our pro tips on the Umuse blog.