The Holy Grail of email has finally made its official entrance in Google’s popular Gmail service. Well, not having to deal with email at all is the Holy Grail, I suppose, but this is probably the next best thing.
Beginning immediately, Gmail users around the world have access to a ridiculously simple feature that could potentially be a life saver: The ability to recall a sent email.
How many times has this happened to you? You get a ridiculous email from your boss and want to laugh about it with a certain coworker. You bang out your reply and hit send, only to realize an instant later that you clicked “Reply All,” therefore guaranteeing awkward encounters with your boss for at least a month or two.
Now, there’s a handy new feature in Gmail that can prevent accidents like that one.
Dubbed “Undo Send,” the new functionality was born of an experimental feature that has been available in Gmail Labs for quite some time. As Google announced on its official Apps blog in the U.K., Undo Send is now available to all users.
Here’s how to enable Undo Send:
- On the Gmail website, click the gear icon in the top-right corner and select Settings.
- On the General Tab, you should now see Undo Send listed as the tenth option.
- To enable it, check the box next to Enable Undo Send.
- Now choose the length of time you’d like to have the ability to recall your sent emails from the drop-down menu. Options include 5, 10, 20 and 30 seconds.
The feature is really quite simple; it basically configures a delay on your Send button. Instead of firing off your emails when you click Send, it holds them for however long you configure, and then sends them. This way, if you realize you sent something you didn’t mean to, you can recall it.
Once Undo Send is enabled, you’ll see this box at the top of the Gmail page after each email you send:
Simply click the “Undo” link and your email will pop back up on the screen so you can make any necessary changes before sending it again.
For more help with email, see my earlier post on how I destroyed email.