How to Unsend an Email in Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo. Best Ways Explained

Posted by Anastasia Kryzhanovska on August 11, 2020

How to unsend an email in any email client
Anastasia Kryzhanovska

Anastasia Kryzhanovska
Senior Content Manager

Published on August 11, 2020

It happened again. In the rush of an overloaded day, you accidentally pushed the wrong button – and highly sensitive information went the wrong way. Not only is it awkward, but sometimes it might also cost you a lot. So, what’s the way out? Can you unsend an email? And more importantly how do you unsend an email? Let’s have a look at the possible solutions for how to unsend an email.

Different Ways to Unsend an Email

How to Unsend an Email in Gmail

If an undesirable email or a new message sent was through Gmail, you have to be fast enough to find the small window at the bottom-left corner of your browser and press “Undo” within about six seconds. That’s right, in Gmail, the cancellation period is a bit less than what you might want. If you’re looking for the easiest and fastest way to unsend an email, this is the one for you. Just click on the “Undo” button, and your email will be unsent. 

Gmail message Undo
How to unsend a Gmail email

Too slow? It’s gone. Unless you knew beforehand to set this amount of time for longer, the default six seconds are probably not enough.

How to Unsend an Email in Outlook

Although many people use Gmail, it’s also true that many don’t. If you don’t have a Gmail account, don’t worry, you can resend emails in Outlook as well. Let’s discuss how to unsend an email in Outlook. The story with Outlook is even more complicated than Gmail and might only work if the recipient has not read the email yet. Or the view message option has not been used.  So, the cancellation period is longer than Gmail but only if the receiver hasn’t read your new message.  If so, try to open the message in a separate window, click “Actions” and “Recall This Message.” Sometimes it randomly works, but it’s not a guarantee.

Outlook message recall
How to unsend an email in Outlook

If the email has been opened, it’s too late. There’s no fixed cancellation period. 

How to Unsend an Email in Yahoo

Some email clients don’t even have an option to recall an email, and Yahoo is one of them. You can only delete it from your own  “Sent” folder, but the recipient gets it anyway. When you send a message, the receiver can view it at any time, whether or not you delete it on your end. 

Oops.

Is it possible to unsend an email independently from an email provider’s limitations? Yes. Whether you have Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, or any other mailbox, it’s still possible to unsend your messages if you use a proper email client, such as Mailbird.

The Best Way to Unsend Emails: Use the Right Email Client

If you are looking for a solution to how to unsend an email, Mailbird is the fastest and best option for you. Mailbird is a very convenient email client for Windows that lets you easily manage all your email accounts in one place  — and also, you can unsend messages independently from the service you’re registered in. All you need to do is turn on the feature after installing the client.

So when you download Mailbird and add your email profiles in, go to its Settings and click the Composing tab here. What you need is located at the bottom of this tab:

How to unsend an email in Mailbird
How to set “Undo Send” in Mailbird

Drag the slider to the right. It provides you up to 30 seconds to change your mind after sending a wrong email.

If you click the “Undo” button, you will recall an email that was just about to be sent. It’ll then show up in a separate composer window or your email list, depending on how you composed it. It’ll also go to your Drafts folder where you can access it.

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How to Avoid the Necessity to Unsend Emails

Now, although you have multiple ways to unsend an email, you still cannot be 100% free from risk, but there are several simple steps you can take to protect yourself from the “can I unsend an email” situation.

Check That You Added the Attachment

A forgotten attachment is often a guarantee of an amount of time delay. First, someone has to find out that the required information is not actually there. Then usually you have to send another follow-up email with excuses and the attachment itself. So, you waste time and feel awkward — not the best way to have a nice and productive day, right? 

Mailbird might have your back here, as well. If your message’s context implies you’re sending an attachment, but there’s no file added, the app will automatically remind you about that — just like a polite and attentive assistant.

Make Sure You Replied to Everything That Matters

When answering a long email, it’s easy to overlook an important question. Then you need to write one more message and “catch up” the discussion. Or even worse, the other person has to ask you over and over again about the same thing — annoying to them, awkward to you.

What you can do is attentively check all the questions and your answers before sending an email — or use the Mailbird in-line reply feature to insert your answers right after the questions!

Reply in-line with Mailbird email client
In-line reply feature in Mailbird

Reply When You Are Ready

Rush is another common reason for mistakenly sent emails. But not all your incoming messages require an immediate response; some can easily wait until you are ready. Of course, that’s if you don’t forget to return to them! 

Here’s when the Mailbird Snooze feature becomes handy. Set the date when you want it back to your attention, and continue with what’s important right now.

Wrap Up

Sending emails is a fast and convenient way of communication, but sometimes it brings those awkward “oops” moments when you send a message to the wrong email address, forget an important attachment (like a CV), or send an incomplete letter by mistake. How do you unsend an email in this case? It’s not a rhetorical question.

Can I unsend an email? Generally, yes. But unfortunately, many popular mailing apps and clients cannot undo the damage. Mailbird was created to make the whole email experience more pleasant and to get rid of the “oops.” But it’s more than just unsending messages. A lot more amazing features, customizable layouts, and powerful productivity integrations turn in your mailbox into a space rocket.

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Is it possible to unsend an email?

Yes. For a message sent through Mailbird, to unsend click “Undo” in the small window at the bottom-left corner of your app. You can set the Undo timer for up to 15 seconds. For an email sent through Outlook, open the message in a separate window, click “Actions” and “Recall This Message.”

How to unsend an email in Gmail?

To unsend an email in Gmail, you have to be fast enough to find the small window at the bottom-left corner of your browser window and press “Undo” within about six seconds.

How to unsend an email that hasn’t been opened?

If you’re using Mailbird, simply click “Undo” in the small window at the bottom-left corner of your app. You can set the Undo timer for up to 15 seconds. This is similar to email in Gmail but with some advanced features. 

Is it possible to unsend an email in Outlook?

Yes, but it is only possible if the message has not been read by the recipient. For an email sent through Outlook, open the message in a separate window, click “Actions” and “Recall This Message.”


Anastasia Kryzhanovska

Anastasia Kryzhanovska
Senior Content Manager

Published on August 11, 2020

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35 thoughts on "How to Unsend an Email in Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo. Best Ways Explained"

  • I was so excited to see this feature listed in the latest release. Amazing job, guys! I was missing undo-ing my emails with Gmail. Now I can pursue my undo-ing a(ddi)ction with Mailbird. How great is that 🙂

  • Does this work with personal IMAP email accounts on your own domain name (so not a gmail, yahoomail, windows live mail account but a personal email account such as myemail@mydomain.com)?

  • Nm I just tested it.. It’s not really an undo, just a “delay in sending” feature it seems. Useful though 🙂

  • Regret for only delaying email, not undoing.
    Even this delay all email sending i want fast it.
    Pitiful.

    • Avatar
      Michael Olsen says:

      Hi Lin,

      Unfortunately it’s not technically possible to undo a sent email. Once that email is sent to a server and it propagates around the Internet there’s nothing that can bring it back 🙂

      For instance Gmail will tell you that they sent the email but that’s not actually true. They just haven’t sent it yet in the background 🙂

  • Please change “undo send” to “delay send” not to confuse all users of mailbird.

    • Hey Lin, thanks for the feedback. I think it would confuse people more to call it “delay send”. We would end up explaining that it works like gmails “Undo Send” feature.:-)

  • Naming this feature “undo send” makes it sound bigger that it really is. Its delayed send. I like it. I like it a lot. Its very useful. My suggestion would be to rename it to “delayed send” so it more accurately describes what it actually does, and allow a longer duration. I would like to be able to set the delay up to 2 minutes. Other people might want an even longer delay.

    • Avatar
      M. SANA ULLAH SAHAR says:

      +1 Ed Nafziger, Totally agree

    • I do not mind seeing it as “undo” as long as I understand what it’s doing but yeah, 30 seconds is not enough.. at least 5min.. Another cool feature I have in my Thunderbird is “send later” so I can prepare emails at evening/night but send them when working day started and so on. Useful.

    • Avatar
      Michael Olsen says:

      Hi Ed,

      We didn’t name it “undo send” to make it sound bigger than it is, but simply to align it with something that people already understand – Gmail’s undo send feature (which just delays the email sending just like we do – albeit in the background so you don’t notice it). We thought about having it show as having been sent as well, but that could lead to someone closing Mailbird thinking it’s sent, when in fact it has not. Gmail if you close the browser will still send the email because it’s already on the server, but we can’t do that as easily as a client on your machine.

      I’ll see what I can do about getting it renamed though – thanks for the comments 🙂

      Something to note about the maximum duration is the message will currently send if and when another notification takes its place, so the only way to get the full 2 minutes would be to not perform stuff like archiving and deleting while you’re seeing that undo send notification. For that reason it’s not currently feasible to lengthen the time, without making other changes – but we’ll take it into consideration.

      • I was not aware that Gmail had a delay send feature, or that they call it “undo send”. Apparently I’m one of the few people that absolutely despise Gmail’s web interface, I don’t use it. If that is what Google calls it, then perhaps it is already obvious to most uses what it does and how its expected to work.

  • Avatar
    RAJAN VAIRAWANATHAN says:

    This is good. Now I can rest easy about sending mails.Have a good day

  • Nice introduction and a much needed one.

  • Good feature. To people who want to rename it to “delay send”, that will just confuse people. Sure it is actually delaying the send, but the button people will click to recall the email will be “undo send”, so it makes perfect sense to call it that.

  • Avatar
    prometheus63x says:

    This feature gives you time for 30 seconds to decide… What about if you realize the mistake after a couple of minutes? Is there any way to unsend?

  • It’s a useful feature but I wish the message wouldn’t disappear out of sight to Drafts. How am I going to see those spelling errors or those social faux pas if I can’t see the message

  • Better than UnSend would be if they fix the glitch where when you use the TAB key in an email, it goes to the SEND button (instead of tabbing 3-5 spaces) and if you then hit ENTER (because you tabbed like you would in a normal doc and are going to next line) it sends a half-finished email.

    I wouldn’t need an Unsend button if this were fixed 🙂

  • Would like a longer delay – up to five minutes. 30 seconds is not enough time in my opinion. I do the same thing with my corporate email using an Outlook rule. But let me say – great feature!

  • Avatar
    Guilherme Aguiar says:

    I would like to ask for some new features!

    1) Android App;
    2) A native spam filter.
    3) Telegram app.

    Are you working on this future updates?

    Thanks!

  • Worthy content
    Thanx for this blog

  • where’s the ‘undo’ button?
    I’ve set it in settings.
    I’ve sent myself emails from one account to another.
    I see the delay.
    But I don’t see the ‘undo’ button anywhere.
    Am I missing something?
    Yep, the ‘undo’ button!

    • Andrew @ Mailbird
      Andrew @ Mailbird says:

      Hello SJ!

      The Undo button is displayed at the centre of Mailbird main window, after you click on Send Email. It stays there for the period defined in Settings. Hope this helps. Thanks!

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