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How to Unsend an Email

by on June 24, 2015
in Tips & How-Tos, Software & Games, Mobile Apps, Tech 101 :: 20 comments

Woman surprised at her computerHave you ever regretted an email immediately after you’ve sent it? Do you wish you had the ability to unsend a message? It’s not just some tech fantasy: After nearly five years of beta testing in Google Labs, Gmail this week officially launched a new feature called Undo Send. Once enabled, it will allow you a brief time window where you can successfully retract your message before it reaches its end destination.

The new feature is making big waves across the Googleverse, but did you know that Gmail isn’t the only mail app that lets you unsend email? In fact, there are a number of different iOS and Android programs and web services that add an unsend button to your current email provider, even if it’s not Google. Take a look at some of the best unsending options we’ve found below – the right one could save you a lot of embarrassment!

Google Gmail Undo Send

While Gmail’s Undo Send has been kicking around in testing for a while (we briefly discussed it in our 2011 article titled 10 Tips to Get the Most out of Gmail), it’s only now become an official part of the service. It works by holding your emails in limbo for a few minutes after you click send, giving you a chance to change your mind before delivering it. You get to choose the time period emails are held for – 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.

Before you can use Undo Send, however, you need to tell Google to enable the feature on your Gmail account. This can be accomplished by entering your Gmail Settings (cogwheel icon). Choose the Settings option from the menu, then choose the General tab. Scroll down and click the check box next to “Enable Undo Send.” Set the expiration timer to whatever is most convenient for you, and that’s all there is to it.

Remember, Gmail Undo Send doesn’t go into other people’s inboxes for you to scrub them clean, it simply delays sending all your emails. As such, you’ll want to note that enabling the feature will add short delays to the delivery of all your communications. Few emails are high priority enough that every second matters, but still, it’s something to keep in the back of your mind, especially when comparing Gmail’s Undo Send against the other options available.

Criptext

Do you feel the need for an Gmail unsend window greater than a mere 30 seconds? If so, check out the new Safari and Chrome browser extension Criptext. It allows you to scrub the contents of any Gmail message any time after you’ve sent it. It doesn’t matter if your message has been sitting in the boss’s inbox all week – if it hasn’t been read yet, Criptext can ensure it never will be. Criptext also lets you create self-destructing emails that erase themselves if not read in a timely manner.

Criptext works by converting the text of your emails to a picture file, which is sent to recipients instead. You can’t pull the entire email – your recipient will always know you’ve sent one – but you can have Criptext delete the created picture file or any included file attachments. The free version of the service also adds a garish advertisement for Criptext to all your emails, so be aware of that as well.

You can get the Criptext extension for your browser by visiting criptext.com. The extension is currently available for Chrome and Safari, support for Outlook and Firefox is coming soon.

Criptext Recall feature

UnSend.it

UnSend.it is an email delivery service that, like Criptext, converts your text-based communications to images so they can later be withdrawn. But unlike Criptext, UnSend.it doesn’t just work with Gmail – it's compatible with most providers. Emails can be sent through the UnSend.it dashboard, or you can set up your existing email client (AOL, Outlook, etc.) to use UnSend.it servers instead.

The biggest drawback here is that UnSend.it is an incredibly new service – so new that the web version is missing important basic features like BCC and attachments. And unsending email still results in its recipient getting a blank email, just like with Criptext. That’s not a huge issue for many people, but do be prepared to explain why you are sending blank emails to your contacts.

You can sign up for UnSend.it by visiting the service’s website at – naturally – http://unsend.it.

Virtru

Looking for a more professional way to embrace undo send? Take a look at Virtru. It’s an email add-on that allows you to lock files and messages with strong encryption, allowing them to only be accessed by their intended recipient. That’s because recipients need to verify their identity before they can read your email. It’s this added verification step that gives Virtru users the ability to delete email contents before they’re read.

Virtru is well-designed, but its unsend feature is not free to use. It can only be accessed through a $2.50 per month subscription to Virtru. Fortunately, though, the company offers a 14-day free trial, so you can test the service out before shelling out the cash for it.

You can sign up for Virtru by visiting the company’s website.

[Woman surprised at computer via Shutterstock]



Discussion loading

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How do use this on my iPhone

From fern on June 25, 2015 :: 1:58 pm

How do you use the unsend on an iPhone?

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This is Old News

From Eugenio Bini on June 25, 2015 :: 11:03 pm

MS-Outlook has had this feature available for many years.

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Not a brilliant idea - here's why

From John Kemp on October 10, 2015 :: 5:06 am

Inherently clunky and clumsy. Never EVER send an email or post a blog without double checking the content AND the recipient list. This option will encourage complacency and slaphappiness, and if that’s how you work how likely are you to be on the ball enough to use this option when necessary?

By the way, I don’t put anything on the net that would cause difficulties of any kind if they became public without my wish. For example, all my Flickr pics are public, the price I pay is that I can’t put family pics there unless I have permission to make them public.

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Usefull option

From John on October 15, 2015 :: 8:31 am

Gmail can hold back delivering emails for some time—a few seconds—after you have clicked Send. You can “unsend” an email and recover from false recipients. we must use this to have a good track record. You provided good process to work with it.
Thank you

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This is great

From Manisha on October 15, 2015 :: 3:58 pm

Looking for a more professional way to embrace undo send? Take a look at Virtru. It’s an email add-on that allows you to lock files and messages with strong encryption, allowing them to only be accessed by their intended recipient. Thanks.

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Xender on PC

From Lavish on October 16, 2015 :: 6:21 pm

Thank you very much, recently I send a wrong email to a company. This actually told me how to undo it.

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I wonder how this is

From COC Geek on December 01, 2015 :: 9:45 am

I wonder how this is possible.Email is send and received within a fraction of seconds. Is this really possible.

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geek

From bekah on December 01, 2015 :: 1:05 pm

awesome

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I just loved it completely

From Rachel Jewell on December 01, 2015 :: 2:33 pm

I just loved it completely

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great new to me

From forpcapp on December 05, 2015 :: 12:50 am

Thanks for this awesome post.

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SHAREit for PC

From Adrianna Roosey on December 05, 2015 :: 4:23 am

Hey Fox,

An impressive and interesting information about Unsend email, all kind of knowledge regarding it is more appreciable, thanks for shared and enjoyed to read!

Reply

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iPhone 7 release date

From Tanya Khan on January 03, 2016 :: 2:32 am

I don’t know about this kind of stuff! Thanks for sharing and I further used of it or I really enjoyed to reading this post.

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THANK YOU

From hearty zapanta on February 10, 2016 :: 5:19 am

thank you for saving my day..
Very nice and interesting post..

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Mother's Day 2016 Wishes Quotes

From Mother Quotes on March 04, 2016 :: 4:07 am

Amazing article to read, Thanks for sharing this.

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New to me

From Amita on March 30, 2016 :: 2:49 am

this article is awesome

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Awesome Tutorial

From Chaitanya on April 07, 2016 :: 1:26 am

Nice tutorial brother. Really useful for me if i send a wrong email or without sufficient data i can cancel that email.

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Thanks

From TechAppsPC on April 07, 2016 :: 5:38 pm

Thanks for sharing this, it actually helped me quite a bit.

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Superb Tip

From Slither on June 15, 2016 :: 3:12 am

I once get into this trap, sent a wrong data to wrong client, then I was looking for this method but couldn’t find. finally, I am aware of the method now. Big thank. smile

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Timely discussion , I was

From stacey crawford on July 22, 2016 :: 10:23 pm

Timely discussion , I was enlightened by the info - Does someone know where my assistant would be able to find a template CA I&A mileage Form version to edit ?

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Appreciating Blog

From Sonia Malhotra on August 14, 2016 :: 5:16 pm

Most Informative blog, This blog is more appreciable and helpful.

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