It’s late, you’re in a rush, and you accidentally pushed the wrong button, sending sensitive information the wrong way.
The good news is you can make a few tweaks to your Gmail and Outlook accounts to make sure you know how to unsend an email in Gmail and Outlook in case of future slip-ups.
Does Gmail allow users to recall an email? Yes, and no.
Gmail doesn’t have a traditional “recall” function, but it is possible to recall a message in Gmail within a certain timeframe – Gmail users have up to 30 seconds to hit the “Undo” button.
To turn the feature on:
You can test out the feature by sending an email to yourself. Once you send it, you should see a prompt in the lower-left corner.
The recall email function on Gmail mobile is also available.
Unlike Gmail, Outlook has a recall feature that doesn’t rely on a delay.
Outlook users can recall an email as long as the recipient hasn’t opened it. There’s no guarantee that the recipient hasn’t read the email, but most of the time, the function will only be available if the message has an “unread” status.
The recall function may not be available for users that don’t have an Exchange account. Sometimes, it’s only enabled for users within an organisation.
To unsend an email on Outlook:
(Classic Ribbon layout)
To recall a message in the Simplified Ribbon layout, select the “Message” tab and click on “More Commands.” Select “Actions” in the drop-down menu and click on “Recall this Message.”
Outlook notifies the recipient when a sender recalls an email. The recipient will receive a separate email from Outlook, stating that the sender has deleted the message.
If the email recipient uses a different email provider, such as Gmail, the recall function will not work.
To reduce the chances of having to recall your message on Gmail and Outlook, here are some things you can consider before clicking the “Send” button.
Missing attachments are a common scenario, especially when it comes to business emails. Not only does it cause a delay that could have been avoided but you’ll also have to scramble to recall that email.
If you’re sending a lengthy email, it might be best to divide it into several parts and use bullet points to ensure that you’ve covered everything you intended. It’s much easier than having to recall a Gmail message.
To avoid recalling an email on Gmail, Outlook, or any other email service, you might want to slow down when responding to partners and important clients.
Both Gmail and Outlook allow users to schedule their emails. This feature can allow you to double-check your email at a later time or cancel it altogether if something comes up in the meantime.
This might not be applicable in all situations as the recipient field is likely to be pre-filled when dealing with replies, but adding the recipient’s email address can help prevent the necessity to recall your message on Gmail.
In the rush of a busy day, it is easy to accidentally push the wrong button and send an email to the wrong person. Luckily, email providers like Gmail and Outlook have some features in place that can help undo a potential PR disaster — provided that you act quickly.
As a writer for Don’t Disappoint Me, my job is to collect relevant key information and interpret it into a wide range of content. I also have an MSc in Marketing, so I am always trying to expand my knowledge and discover new and exciting areas of digital marketing, SEO and web traffic building. I am a nature enthusiast, so when I’m not researching and analyzing, I love to go hiking with my dogs, camping, or snowboarding. I am a bookaholic as well and have an ongoing obsession with crime TV shows and movies.