- It's easy to recall an email in Outlook or undo a sent message in Gmail
- You just need to follow our simple guide below
It's late, you're tired and you accidentally just emailed an angry rant about your boss to her, instead of to the co-worker it was intended for.
It's probably too late to do anything about that email. But by making a few simple tweaks to Gmail or Outlook you can greatly reduce the chances of future email slip-ups ruining your life.
Gmail doesn't have a traditional "recall" function like Outlook. Instead, it has a function you can enable that allows you to "unsend" a message within a certain amount of time.
- You can turn it on by going to the cog icon in Gmail (on the top right), selecting "Settings" and then selecting the "General tab."
- Scroll down the page and check the "Enable Undo Send" option. You can choose a cancellation period of five, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.
- Now, whenever you send an email, you'll see a pop-up that asks if you want to unsend the message. Tap it and it'll never leave your outbox.
Things are a bit different in Outlook, where you'll need to recall a message instead of relying on a delay to cancel it entirely. There's no guarantee the message hasn't been opened, and sometimes it only works within your organization (depending on settings).
Still, it's worth a shot if you sent something pretty gnarly. Here's what to do:
- Open the Sent folder
- Double click the message you want to recall, then tap the Actions button in the top ribbon. Then select "Recall this message."
- You'll have two options, to delete unread copies of the email, or to delete unread copies and send a different message in replacement. There's also the option to receive a notice if the recall fails, just in case you want to worry yourself even further.
That's all there is to it. It only takes a few seconds of your time, and you can save yourself from some real embarrassment.