Gmail Adds Undo Send Button for Outgoing Messages
Article by George Norman
On 20 Mar 2009
Every once and again you find yourself in the awkward position of having sent out an email and then realizing that perhaps it wasn’t the best course of action to take. Google of course has taken into consideration the fact that sometimes you might want to have some form of protection against your unruly mail activities, and consequently has provided Mail Goggles a while back. Apparently that wasn’t enough for some and Google now provides an additional means of preventing some emails from being send out – Undo Send.

With Google Goggles, you had to solve some simple math problems before you could click the send button. If you are sober and conscious of your actions, then you will have no problem doing the math. But if you just got home and you’re so drunk that you can’t figure out what 7x3 is, then perhaps you shouldn’t be sending out emails and “acting a fool.”


With Undo Send, you have something that is even more useful. After you have composed an email and you hit the send button, for 5 seconds you have the option to prevent that email from being sent by simply clicking the “Undo” button. This functionality might come in handy if you forgot to attach files to an outgoing email, or you forgot to mention something in said email. The 5 seconds time is supposedly more than enough for you to realize your mistake.

User Experience Designer, Michael Leggett explains: “Sometimes I regret sending a message the morning after. Other times I send a message and then immediately notice a mistake. I forget to attach a file or email the birthday girl that I can't make her surprise party. I can rush to close my browser or unplug the Internet — but Gmail almost always wins that race. An email to the wrong Larry pushed me over the edge. I could undo just about any other action in Gmail — why couldn’t I undo send? This feature can't pull back an email that's already gone; it just holds your message for five seconds so you have a chance to hit the panic button. And don't worry – if you close Gmail or your browser crashes in those few seconds, we'll still send your message.”

In order to enable Undo Send, follow these simple steps:
Step 1 – Go to Gmail and login to your account. If you do not have one, perhaps this would be the best time to sign up (it’s free and you get tons of features to play with).
Step 2 – In the top right corner of the screen, right next to your user name you should be able to see “Settings”; click it. Now locate “Labs” and click it as well.
Step 3 – Locate “Undo Send” and select “Enable”. Click “Save Changes” (at the bottom of the screen) and you’re done.

It must be said that this is the third time this week that Google enhances its mail client. We previously reported on Gmail’s better mark as unread capability and how to preview multimedia content in Gmail.

Tags: Google, Gmail, Undo Send
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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