6 free Gmail tricks you probably didn’t know about
These 6 free tricks will help you work more efficiently and effectively in your inbox.
There’s nothing quite like the embarrassment of sending an email and immediately wishing you hadn’t.
Maybe you left off an attachment you meant to include or made a spelling mistake you didn’t notice in time. Perhaps a great idea for a catchy subject line came right after hitting send, or maybe you sent the email to the wrong email address entirely.
Whatever the reason, there will probably come a time when you want to recall an email. Not only is this entirely possible in Gmail — it only requires a few steps.
Here’s a breakdown of how to recall an email in Gmail.
You can recall an email (also known as Undo Send) for any reason. After you send an email, you have a short period during which you can cancel it. Keep in mind that once this recall period ends, you won’t be able to recall the email anymore. You have to act quickly.
The steps for how to recall an email in Gmail are as follows:
With just these two clicks, you can send and undo send emails in Gmail.
Undo Send is automatically enabled on all Gmail accounts and set to five seconds. That means you don’t need to change any settings to be able to recall emails.
However, it’s possible to change the timeframe you have to recall emails from your Gmail account. Choose from 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds as your new Undo Send time limit.
To change your Undo Send timeframe settings:
The main limitation around recalling emails in Gmail is the time limit. After you pass the maximum 30-second time limit, there is no way to recall your sent emails anymore.
Think of the Undo Send function more as a "get out of jail free" card for mistakes than a catch-all solution for sending and recalling emails. Use those 30 seconds (or whichever time limit you choose) wisely to make sure you’re comfortable with the recipient(s) reading the email you just sent.
The Undo Send feature is available on mobile as well as desktop. On the Gmail app for mobile, the steps for recalling an email are only slightly different than on your desktop or laptop.
After you click undo, you will return to the draft of the email you just recalled.
There are no significant drawbacks or risks to recalling emails in Gmail. The only possible downside to the Undo Send function is that it may make you less vigilant about catching errors in your emails before sending them.
To avoid this, make sure you carefully type out all of your emails. Proofread each email once you’re finished, and check over the recipient list to make sure you spelled each email address correctly. If you referenced an attachment, make sure you attached it to the email and that there’s nothing wrong with the file.
Try to only use the Undo Send function as a last resort, not something that affects the way you draft your emails.
A common concern about recalling emails is that recipients may still be able to see the emails before you recall them. This isn’t the case.
The phrase “recall an email” is actually misleading because Gmail doesn’t send out your email to the recipient(s) until the Undo Send cancellation period has passed. In other words, if you set your Undo Send time limit to 30 seconds, your recipient won’t receive your email in their inbox until at least 30 seconds after you click “send.”
Gmail gives you this grace period before sending out your email. Your recipient won’t see the email and then have it disappear before their eyes if you recall it. Any email you recall never made it to the recipient's inbox in the first place.
If you don’t click Undo during the cancellation period, the email will go out to your recipient, and you won’t have any way to get it back.
What happens if you send an email and only realize there was a problem with it after 30 minutes, or a day? Is it possible to recall it then?
Even though many people want to know how to recall an email in Gmail after 30 minutes or more, it isn’t possible. By this point, Gmail has already delivered the email to your recipient, and you cannot get it back.
No, unfortunately, it is not possible to recall an email in Gmail a day after you send it. Once the maximum cancellation period (30 seconds) is over, there's no way to use the Undo Send feature anymore.
Undo Send is great when you catch a mistake at the last second, but wouldn’t you rather catch them earlier? There are a few ways to write emails more confidently and reduce the odds of making mistakes.
It’s natural to fill out an email from top to bottom - Adding the recipients, the subject, then the email body. While natural, this introduces a risk of accidentally sending your email before it’s finished.
Compose your subject line and email before adding recipients to guarantee your email is finished before you send it. Gmail can’t send an email if it doesn’t know where it’s going!
Always read through your email at least twice before sending it. If it’s an especially important email, you might even want someone else to read through it for you.
While Gmail’s built-in spelling and grammar checkers help cut down on mistakes, they can’t catch mistakes related to extra or missing content. For example, they don’t know that you meant to include a price in the quote you sent to a customer.
You can also proofread your recipient list to ensure that your email is sent to the right place.
Gmail allows you to schedule emails to send in the future. By scheduling emails, you’re able to send emails while giving yourself more time to catch errors.
If you realize you’ve made a mistake before the scheduled send time, you’re able to edit the email or cancel it altogether. You could use Gmail’s email scheduling similarly to Undo Send to give yourself more time to spot mistakes.
The Undo Send is one of several free Gmail hacks that can help you get the most out of your Gmail account. Tools like Streak will up your Gmail game even further by offering email power tools.
The best part? Streak is free to add to Chrome and use in Gmail.