Life

No more sinking feeling; now you can 'undo send' that misfired work email

Posted by
Harriet Hall
Published

Have you ever accidentally emailed your boss a job application for another role? Sent your boyfriend a rant about how he doesn’t tidy up after himself, that was meant for your best friend? Or sent a naked selfie to your dad?

Well, breathe a big sigh of relief, for Gmail has just added a button that will help you retract all these perilous mistakes: the ‘undo send’ button.

The button allows a maximum period of 30 seconds for you to realise the error of your ways and get that email right back to your inbox, so you can send it to the correct person.

Thirty seconds doesn’t sound like a long period of time but after a quick discussion in the office, we all accepted that you usually know immediately when you’ve sent an email to the wrong person.

We tried out the new feature, and the 'inappropriate nude images' were recalled at several time intervals up to 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, the 'undo' button simply disappears. 

undo

Here’s how to enable it: Go to settings > undo send > tick the box. Pretty simple. A little yellow box will appear on your screen when you send an email with the option to ‘undo’ once an email is sent.

The button works because it delays sending your email for a time of 30 seconds after you click send, so it adds a bit of leeway for you to realise you’ve made a mega blunder. So, if you’re the type of person who needs your email to reach the recipient before they have time to blink, then this one’s not for you.

It's different from the 'recall' feature in this way, which allows an email to be sent but then deletes it from the inbox of anyone who wasn't logged on at the time. For those who were logged on, however, the recall button only serves to pique interest in an otherwise unnoticed email - recall is a dangerous line to walk.

The feature was actually created in 2009 for Google Lab – an opt-in service where users can test out new settings. ‘Undo send’ was, understandably, the most popular of the new features.

Other options available via ‘Labs’ were an Unread message icon, custom keyboard shortcuts and the ability to preview Google Maps inside messages.

The feature is not yet enabled on smart phones, though, so perhaps make sure you triple check your messages before sending hastily on the commute…

Images: Thinkstock