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How to Delete a Sent Email in Gmail

Is there anything worse than clicking the Send button and realizing that you’ve just sent an email to the wrong person? If it contained some confidential information about your work, you might be in trouble.

While you can delete it from your “Sent Items” or “Outbox” folder, you can’t delete a sent email from the receiver’s inbox. However, in the first 30 seconds, you can undo a sent email. At least, there’s something you can do if you realize your mistake on time.

Undo Sent Email

The situation mentioned above situation has probably happened to everyone at least once. Sometimes it’s just embarrassing, the other times it could get you into serious trouble. A couple of years ago, Google recognized that many users were facing this problem, and it has decided to offer a solution.

But if you want to “unsend” an email, you have to act quickly. You have only 30 seconds to click the magic button. After that, this option disappears. That’s why we suggest you always check your emails as soon as you send them. You may be able to avoid inconveniences and prevent a disaster.

To do this, you need to have the Undo feature switched on. We’ll show you how to activate it, and we suggest you keep it on at all times. You never know when you might need it, and when the disaster strikes, you won’t have enough time to turn it on.

gmail delete sent email

How to Turn On Undo Feature?

Follow these easy steps to activate the Undo feature:

  1. Log in to your Gmail account and click on the Settings.
  2. Go to the General section.
  3. Look for Undo Send option.
  4. There, you can also choose the cancellation period. Thirty seconds is the longest you can select. The shortest is 5 seconds. Take your pick. Of course, we always suggest you opt for 30 seconds.
  5. After that, scroll down and click on Save Changes.

That’s it! It’s pretty simple. Just don’t forget the last step because Gmail won’t automatically save your changes.

how to delete sent email

How to Undo Sent Email?

Now you have the Undo feature on, but what to do when you need to “unsend” an email? Let’s say that you’ve composed your email, entered the recipient’s address, and clicked on Send. After that, you’ll see a message that says: Message sent. Undo or View message.

This message usually appears at the left bottom part of your screen. You have to be very fast, but there’s no need to panic.

Simply click on the Undo option, just make sure that you do it quickly. If you clicked the Undo button before the time expired, you should now see the message that says: Sending undone.

That’s it! You made it, and you can relax now.

In case you didn’t manage to undo your email, there’s one more possibility. Maybe you’ve sent an email to the address that doesn’t exist at all. That’d be great news because your email will never be delivered.

Your Stories

We hope that this article was useful. Now that you know how to undo a sent email, we remind you once again to keep the Undo option always on and to react quickly.

Now, we’d like to hear from you. Have you ever sent a sensitive email to the wrong address? Have you ever gotten into trouble because of it? What was the worst thing that happened? We’d love to hear your stories. Feel free to share them in the comments section below.