How to Recall an Email in Gmail: A Step-by-Step Guide

Recalling an email in Gmail is quite simple. Just click on the ‘Undo’ button that pops up at the bottom left corner of your screen after sending an email. However, you need to be quick as you only have a few seconds to click it before it disappears. If you miss it, there’s no going back.

After you complete the action, the email will not be sent to the recipient’s inbox, and it will return to your draft folder. You can then edit it or delete it as you wish.


Have you ever had that ‘oh no’ moment just after hitting the send button? Whether it’s a typo, missing attachment, or sending an email to the wrong person, it’s a common mistake that can lead to embarrassment or even professional setbacks. Fortunately, Gmail has a feature that can save you from these blunders: the ability to recall an email.

This article is for anyone who has ever experienced email regret and wants to learn how to undo that sent email in Gmail. Whether you’re a professional who needs to maintain a polished image or just someone who values clear communication, this information could be a lifesaver.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Recall an Email in Gmail

Before we dive into the step-by-step process, it’s important to understand what we’re aiming to accomplish. The steps below will guide you through recalling an email that you’ve sent, but wish you hadn’t. This can save you from potential embarrassment or miscommunication.

Step 1: Check your settings

First things first, make sure that the ‘Undo Send’ feature is enabled in your Gmail settings.

When you access your Gmail settings, you will find the ‘Undo Send’ feature under the ‘General’ tab. Here, you can adjust the cancellation period, which is the time frame you have to recall your email. You can set it between 5 to 30 seconds, which is the time period during which the ‘Undo’ button will appear.

Step 2: Send your email

Go ahead and send your email as you normally would.

After you click the send button, keep an eye on the bottom left of your screen. The ‘Undo’ button will appear there, but remember, it’s a race against time!

Step 3: Click ‘Undo’

If you realize you need to recall your email, click the ‘Undo’ button before the time runs out.

By clicking ‘Undo’, Gmail will prevent the email from being sent to the recipient’s inbox. It will instead show you a message saying that the sending has been undone, and the email will go back to your drafts.


Prevents embarrassmentAvoid the awkwardness that comes with email mistakes.
ProfessionalismHelps maintain a professional image by preventing unintended information from being sent.
Peace of mindKnowing you have a safety net can ease the stress of email communication.

Preventing embarrassment is one of the best benefits of recalling an email. Who hasn’t sent an email in the heat of the moment or with a glaring typo? This feature can save you from that face-palm moment.

Maintaining professionalism is crucial in the workplace. The recall feature helps ensure that you only send out polished, correct communications, which reflects well on you and your company.

The peace of mind that comes with knowing you can recall an email can change the way you approach email communication. It adds a layer of security and confidence when sending important emails.


Time-sensitiveThe recall feature is only available for a few seconds, so you must act fast.
Not foolproofIf the recipient opens the email before you recall it, there’s nothing you can do.
AvailabilityThis feature is only available in Gmail, so if you use a different email service, you’re out of luck.

The time-sensitive nature of the recall feature is its biggest drawback. If you don’t notice your mistake right away, you may miss your chance to undo the send.

The feature is also not foolproof. If the recipient is quick and opens the email before you click ‘Undo’, you can’t recall it anymore.

Finally, the availability of the feature is limited to Gmail. If your workplace uses a different email service, you won’t have access to this lifesaver.

Additional Information

While the steps above outline how to recall an email in Gmail, there are a few additional tips and tricks that can help you make the most of this feature. For instance, it’s a good habit to proofread your email before hitting send to reduce the need to recall it in the first place.

Also, keep in mind that the recall function works best when you’re emailing someone who is in a different time zone or unlikely to check their email immediately, giving you a larger window to ‘Undo’ the send. Lastly, be aware that the recall feature won’t work if you’re sending emails through scheduled send or using third-party email clients that don’t support this Gmail feature.


  1. Check your settings to ensure ‘Undo Send’ is enabled and set the cancellation period.
  2. Send your email.
  3. Click ‘Undo’ to recall the email if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to the recalled email?

The recalled email returns to your drafts folder where you can edit or delete it.

Can I recall an email after the ‘Undo’ option disappears?

No, once the ‘Undo’ option disappears, you cannot recall the email.

Does the recipient get notified if I recall an email?

No, the recipient does not get any notification if you recall an email.

Can I recall an email sent from my phone?

Yes, the ‘Undo’ feature is available on the Gmail mobile app as well.

Can I extend the time I have to recall an email?

You can extend it up to 30 seconds in the Gmail settings under the ‘Undo Send’ feature.


Email communication can be tricky, and mistakes happen. But with Gmail’s recall feature, you have a safety net that can save you from potential embarrassment or miscommunication. It’s a simple yet effective tool that can make a big difference in your professional and personal email exchanges.

So next time you’re about to hit send, remember that you have the option to ‘Undo’ if necessary. And if you’ve never enabled the ‘Undo Send’ feature, now’s the time to do it. Trust me, it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy