HomeWinBuzzer TipsHow to Recall an Email in Gmail (Unsend Email)

How to Recall an Email in Gmail (Unsend Email)

We show you how you can unsend an email in Gmail, set a retention interval before emails get sent out, and how to recall emails after clicking send.


Have you ever sent an too fast and regretted it right after? Maybe you forgot to attach a file, or you made a typo, or you realized you were too harsh or too informal. Whatever the reason, sending emails too fast can cause embarrassment, confusion and even damage your reputation.

That's why it's important to take some time to review your emails before hitting send. You can use tools like spell checkers, grammar checkers, and tone analyzers to help you polish your emails.

Is It Possible to Unsend an Email in Gmail?

The recall email feature of is a useful tool that allows users to undo a sent email within a certain time limit. This feature can help users avoid sending emails with mistakes, typos, wrong recipients, or attachments.

To use this feature, you can enable/adjust it in Gmail settings on the web. There you can choose how long they want to have the option to recall an email, from 5 to 30 seconds. Once activated, you then can also retract emails on the Gmail app. The Gmail mobile app additionally offers a manual send confirmation feature which can help you think twice before sending out messages too quickly.

How Does the Recall Gmail Email Feature Work? Can I Unsend an Email for Real?

Gmail actually does not really unsent/retract emails. Once an email has left the mail server, there is no technical way of stopping the delivery afterward. You cannot delete an email you sent out. This feature works by delaying the actual sending of your email for a few seconds (up to 30 seconds) so that you have a chance to cancel it if you change your mind or notice a mistake. This means the email is withheld for the predefined period and actually sent out a bit later. This allows you to recall emails in Gmail. Here is how you can set up and use the Gmail unsend email feature. 

How to Set up the Recall Email Feature in Gmail on your PC

If you want to recall/unsend email in Gmail, you will have to set up the feature via the web version, even if you want to use it with the mobile Gmail app on your smartphone. Here is where you find the required setting.

  1. In Gmail web, click the wheel icon on the top right
    Windows 11 - Gmail - Settings Icon
  2. Select “See all settings”
    Windows 11 - Gmail - Settings Icon - See All Settings
  3. Set the “Send cancellation period” in “Undo Send” as desired
    We strongly recommend you to use the 30 seconds option for the recall Gmail email feature as those seconds might pass to quickly before to react. When sending out emails you surely won´t be in such a hurry not being able to have it send out just half a minute later.
    Windows 11 - Gmail - Settings Icon - See All Settings - General - Send Cancellation Period
  4. Don´t forget to click “Save Changes” for the unsend message feature 
    Windows 11 - Gmail - Settings Icon - See All Settings - General - Send Cancellation Period - Save Changes

How to Recall an Email in Gmail on your PC

To unsend emails in Gmail is pretty straightforward as you can see in the following screenshots.

  1. Send out your email normally
    Windows 11 - Gmail - Send
  2. Click “Undo” in the black box with the “Message sent” confirmation
    The email will reappear in editing mode for you to change anything or to manually delete the existing draft.
    Windows 11 - Gmail - Send - Undo

How to Recall an Email in Gmail on Mobile Devices

Unsending Gmail emails with the mobile apps works similar to the web version.

  1. Send out your email via the arrow button on the top right
    Gmail app - Compose - send
  2. Click “Undo” in the confirmation box at the bottom of the screen to revert/unsend the email and to show it again in editing mode
    Gmail app - Compose - send

How to Set Up “Confirm Before Sending” on Mobile Devices

On the mobile Gmail apps you might want to activate the feature “Confirm before Sending” which requires you to approve the delivery in an extra step.

  1. Tap your Gmail profile picture on the top right to open the options
    Gmail app - Inbox - Open menu
  2. Select “Settings” at the bottom of the options-sidebar
    Gmail app - menu - open settings
  3. Tap on “General settings”
    Gmail app - menu - settings
  4. Activate the checkbox at “Confirm before sending”
    Gmail app - menu - settings - General settings - confirm before sending
  5. Now when you send out an email via the send button…
    Gmail app - Compose - send
  6. … you will have to confirm on an extra screen by tapping “OK”.
    The unsend email feature will still be available afterwards, so you can choose to just rely on it with a larger interval or to add the extra confirmation for more security.
    Gmail app - Compose - Send - Confirm to send message


Extra: How to Create Folders in Gmail

Folders are an underutilized part of Gmail that can aid in the organization of your communications. Moving emails into distinct categories helps you to find them quickly in the future and collate ones of a similar subject. In our other tutorial we show you how to create folders in Gmail so you can try this for yourself.

 Featured - How to create folders in Gmail

Extra: How to Use Email Signatures in Gmail

Email signatures help you to sign off professionally and include important supplementary information such as your phone number, website, and position. In our other tutorial we show you how to add a signature in Gmail so that you can make use of these benefits.

 Featured - How to add a signature in Gmail

Extra: How to Bulk Delete (All) Emails on Gmail

Whether your Gmail account is overflowing or you want to clean it out, knowing how to delete all emails from your Gmail inbox will enable you to start again. Free webmail services do not have the same storage capacity limitations as they did initially. It may be helpful to empty your Gmail inbox for various reasons.
Featured - How to delete all emails on Gmail



Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.