How to cancel sending an email

In the fast-paced and unforgiving business environment of the 21st century, it’s easy to lose customer confidence or, worse, make a simple mistake in an email. While it’s always best to proofread emails before sending them out, mistakes sometimes escape. Normally, when a mistake escapes, you end up with follow-up apology emails and eggs in your face, but if you’re using Gmail, you have tools at your disposal to avoid those mistakes in the first place.


Calling back or unsubscribing emails is one of the most useful features of Gmail to avoid embarrassing situations. Let’s take a look at the feature and how to set it up.

How to set up Undo Send in Gmail

Gmail handles unsubscribing an email by simply not sending the email until a predetermined period has passed after clicking or tapping Send. The delayed submission approach might seem clunky, but it makes more sense when you consider the circumstances. Gmail doesn’t check all email accounts in the world, so the delay ensures that you can cancel the sending regardless of the recipient, because the email never reached the recipient’s inbox.

Before you can cancel sending an email in Gmail, you need to create a delay between clicking the Send button and when Gmail actually sends the email. To get started, open your Gmail inbox in a browser and follow these steps:

  1. Click the Settings gear in the upper right corner of the window to open the Settings pop-up.
  2. In the Settings pop-up window, click See all settings to open the full settings page.

  3. On the settings page, in the General tab, find an option called Cancel sending and use the drop-down menu to select the number of seconds to delay sending an email. The maximum sending delay is 30 seconds.

  4. After making the necessary changes to the Cancel Send options, scroll to the bottom of the Settings page and click Save the changes to save the new configuration.

Now that you have enabled a send delay, you will be able to cancel the sending of emails when you realize you have made a mistake. You still have to be careful enough as the maximum delay is only 30 seconds, which doesn’t give you much time to review an email. However, you should be able to detect a missing attachment or a major typo before the email goes through.

How to cancel sending a Gmail in your browser’s inbox

Let’s take a look at how to use the unsubscribe feature in Gmail now that you’ve gone to great lengths to set it up. You can use the feature on both mobile and desktop versions of Gmail.

To cancel sending a Gmail email from a desktop browser, follow these steps after clicking Send on your unfortunate email:

  1. After clicking To senda small pop-up in the lower right corner of the screen confirms that the email is sending along with a Delete button.
  2. Click the Delete button in the pop-up to cancel the email and return to the editor to correct the error.

How to cancel sending an email in Gmail for Android or iOS

Let’s say you are inclined to send emails on the go. If so, you’ll be familiar with the dread of making a grammatical mistake due to the unfortunate combination of multitasking, suboptimal autocorrect, or just plain clumsy thumb syndrome. You can unsubscribe from Gmail emails from Android or iOS as well, and the process is pretty much the same as described above for the desktop version.

After completing the email and pressing Send, a small pop-up appears at the bottom of the screen confirming that the email has been sent. On the right side of that banner, you’ll see a Cancel button. To cancel sending the e-mail, tap the Delete button. Unsending cancels the email immediately and brings you back to the text editor to make changes before resending it.

Once the send banner disappears, you are out of luck and can no longer cancel sending the email. It’s always a good idea to act fast if you think you’ve made a mistake.

How to get a longer cancellation period in Gmail with scheduled sending

If you are hoping to unsend an email hours after it is sent, the normal unsubscribe feature will let you down. Fortunately, there is a workaround for this exact problem. Instead of clicking send in your email, you can schedule sending, giving you more time to think about what you said and make any changes that may come to you in any potential eureka moment. You can schedule an email in both the mobile and desktop versions of Gmail.

How to schedule an email in Gmail

If you’re using a desktop browser and want to send an email at a certain time, instead of clicking Send, click the little arrow up to the right of the Submit button to expand the Submit menu and follow these steps:

  1. In the To send menu, click Send program to open the Schedule Delivery Options pop-up.

  2. In the pop-up, you can choose from some predefined options or you can click Select date and time to be more specific. By selecting a predefined time and date, your email is scheduled immediately. If you opt for Select date and timefollow the instructions to schedule your email when you want to send it.

  3. Once you’ve selected a time and date to send your email, a call option Scheduled appears in the inbox sidebar. You can open the Scheduled outbox to view all scheduled emails.

  4. To cancel the scheduled email, if you want to change it before it is sent, you can open the email and click Cancel sending.

  5. After clicking Cancel sendingGmail opens the email in the draft editor so you can make any necessary changes.
  6. After making the changes, you can resend your email or schedule it again for another time.

If you’re on Android, instead of a drop-down menu built into the submit button, go to Send program options by tapping three vertical points next to To send button and selecting Send program. The rest of the process is basically the same as in the desktop version.

Make Gmail work for you

The main benefits of unsubscribing from email in Gmail are obvious. The feature exists for those times when you realize just a little too late that you forgot to attach a file, or you accidentally clicked Reply All instead of Reply. Unsubscribing emails is just one of the many tricks you can use to master Gmail and make the prolific email service work for you.

If email tips aren’t enough to boost your productivity, maybe it’s time to level up your work on the go by getting your hands on one of the best Android tablets.

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