Oops! How to Undo an Email Sent in Gmail or Outlook

January 29, 2010
2930 Views

Oh no…

gmail Oops! How to Undo an Email Sent in Gmail or OutlookHave you ever sent an email that says, “Hey Fred,” when you meant “Hey Alice,” making it clear that you’re either stupid or you copied and pasted from another form email? Or have you ever hit “reply all” and said something out of line that you only meant to send to your coworker buddy?

We’ve all been there and had that moment of panic where your entire career or a deal flashes before your eyes. If you realize the faux pas the next day, it’s probably too late, but if you realize immediately, there’s a chance that you can take it back if no one has read it, and here’s how:

  • In Gmail, all you have to do is go to “Settings” and click “Labs” (or the beaker symbol) and find “Undo Send.” All you have to do is click “Enable” to turn on this feature. Now, if you need to “undo” an email from Gmail, just click your new “Undo” button/link.
  • In Outlook, in the Navigation Pane, click “Sent Items” and open the message you want to recall/undo. On the “Actions” menu, click “Recall This Message” and click “Delete Unread Copies of this Message.” In Outlook, you have a few options for whether or not you want to replace it, and see who has or has not read the message.

Since we’re on the topic, have you ever wanted to undo an email you’ve sent? Tell us about it in comments and we might share some of our own 1990s “oops” stories!

AGBeat Chief Operating Officer: Lani, named 100 Most Influential, as well as 12 Most Influential Women in Blogging, Bashh Founder, Out and about in Austin A Lister, is a business and tech writer and startup consultant hailing from the great state of Texas in the city of Austin. As a digital native, Lani is immersed not only in advanced technologies and new media, but is also a stats nerd often buried in piles of reports. Lani is a proven leader, thoughtful speaker, and vested partner at AGBeat.



Weigh in...

  • Judy Moriarty

    ARGH Lani! This post is just one stinkin’ day late! Just yesterday I hit “reply” instead of “forward” in Outlook and sent a not so flattering email about my daughter’s teacher directly to her!!! This post is favorited and I’m thinking of having it tattooed on my hand as well!

  • http://www.myvirtualsolution.com Joycevdb

    Good article. I once worked at a company, where the Dir. of HR accidently sent an excel spreadsheet list of the entire company’s salary to THE ENTIRE COMPANY!! Unfortunately for me I was making more than my manager….not a good situation to say the least!!

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  • yep, I did

    In the middle of a by-email argument with my sister-in-law, A, (who should have been talking to my husband!), I got a message from another in-law, B, that the A’s newest grandchild was born.

    I hit reply (intending to send it to B, only) and said something like, “Thanks for letting us know. She had all afternoon to bitch at me about….but didn’t even mention her new grandson!”

    yeah, that message went to the whole family.

    At the next family wedding a few days later, everyone but her was still laughing about it. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t laughing because she wasn’t speaking to me that night.

    and yeah, things are ok, now.

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  • The Lord

    Thanks for the lesson. I have learned something new today.:-)

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