How Can You Undo an Email in Gmail and Outlook 365?

Whether you’re sending out emails to clients, customers, employees, or in your personal life, emails are everywhere.  When writing these emails, there could be mistakes in these messages. They can vary from typos, forgetting to send an attachment, or sending an email to the wrong person. In both Gmail and Outlook 365, there are tools in place that will allow you to recall the email. 

SEO Design Chicago will explain recalling an email, how to recall emails in Gmail and Outlook 365, and the reasons why you might find yourself needing to recall emails.

email marketing

Why Should You Undo an Email?

There are multiple reasons why you would want to recall an email. It could be because you forgot to send an attachment, you sent said email to the wrong person, or there are typos or misleading information in the email. All of these situations would be reasons to want to recall an email. 

Here are a few times you may find yourself wanting to undo an email that you’ve sent.

You’ve Sent Too Many Emails Recently.

Sending marketing emails to customers or potential customers is a great way to spread the news about your business and what it can offer your target audience. 

In this regard, it’s important to find the balance between not sending enough emails and losing your customer’s attention and sending too many and annoying your customers. If you realize that you’ve sent an abundance of emails this month, the ability to recall them can be a helpful feature.

You’ve Made an Error or You Forgot to Proofread Your Email.

With sending marketing emails, it’s imperative to make sure that you have all of the correct and necessary information to give to your customers and audience. If you send out a marketing email with information that’s incorrect or outdated, your audience will not be able to have the proper information to know your business. In this digital age, where many communications happen online, proofreading your marketing emails is more important than ever. 

Errors in emails can lead to people receiving the wrong information. An example of this might be if you were having a promotional event for your business and you put in the wrong date, time, or location. This would mean that any customers or potential customers would not be able to be at your event because they didn’t have the right information. 

If you realize after hitting send that you’ve made a mistake, simply recall the email and fix it before sending it again.

Writing Marketing Emails

How to Write Great Marketing Emails

If you want to avoid having to undo a sent email, it’s important to know how to write great marketing emails. Here are a few tips to improve your email marketing tactics.

  • Include preview text that draws in your reader.
  • The body of your email should be simple and straightforward.
  • Make your emails engaging to keep your audience interested in your business.
  • Keep your marketing emails concise. You want to get your point across and not bore your reader.
    • For reference, marketing emails are typically between 50 and 125 words, which is approximately 3 to 10 sentences.

Marketing emails need to catch the eye of your reader. Typos or misleading information can skew your reader’s perception. If you send out an email to your target audience and realize after the fact that you forgot to include an attachment or gave out incorrect information, you need to know how to recall an email. Potential customers who receive an email with misleading information may no longer trust your business.


If you sent an email using a Gmail account and you’re looking to recall the email you’ve sent, here are the steps you need to follow. 

Setting the Email Cancellation Period

By default, Gmail gives you a 5-second window where you can recall an email after you hit the send button. If this is too short of a time period for you, you have the ability to extend the length of time Gmail will keep emails pending before it sends them. After the email is sent, it can no longer be retrieved. 

Changing the cancellation period can be done in the settings menu of Gmail using a desktop or laptop, not the app. After you open Gmail in your web browser, click the “settings” icon in the top right corner above your email list. Then click, “settings” and look at the “general” tab of your Gmail settings, where you will see an option for “undo send” with the default 5 second cancellation period. This can be changed to a period of 10, 20, and 30 seconds from the drop-down menu. 

Once you’ve changed the cancellation period to your desired amount of time, press the “save changes” button at the bottom of the menu, and your new settings will be applied to your Google account as a whole, including emails sent in the Gmail app. 

Recalling an Email from Gmail

If you want to recall an email sent in Gmail, you need to do so within the cancellation period. This period begins from the moment you press the “send” button. To recall an email, press the “undo” button that appears in the “message sent” pop-up, which is visible in the bottom left corner of the Gmail window on a web browser. 

With Gmail, this is your only chance to recall the email, if you miss the pop-up or click the “X” button to close the pop-up, you will no longer be able to recall it. Once the cancellation period has passed, the “undo” button will disappear. Then the email will be sent to the recipient’s mail server. Once it has reached the server, it can no longer be recalled.

For mobile devices using the Gmail app, the process is similar to recalling an email in the web browser. Once you send an email, a black pop-up box will appear at the bottom of your screen, telling you that the email has been sent. The “undo” button will appear on the right-hand side of this pop-up. If you want to stop the email from sending, tap this button within the cancellation period. Pressing the “undo” button will recall the email, returning you to the “compose” draft screen in the app. From here, you can make changes to your email, save it as a draft, or delete it entirely. 

Email Marketing List

Outlook 365

Microsoft’s email client, Outlook 365, has a built-in solution for situations where you can stop a recipient from seeing an incomplete, angry, or otherwise bad email you sent. In Outlook, you also have the option to delay your emails. It is important to note that these instructions won’t work on the web-based version of Outlook. These steps only apply to the desktop client. They also only work if both you and the recipient use a Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft 365 account with the same organization. Recalls in Outlook won’t work with recipient email addresses from outside of the sender’s organization. 

Recall Outlook Emails

First, open your “sent items” folder and look for the email you want to recall—it should be at the top of the list. Double click this email to fully open it, then click the “message” tab on the toolbar to make it active. 

Next, navigate to the “move” second and click the “more move actions” button. This button has a letter and an envelope on it. Click the “recall this message” option on the drop-down list. If your interface is the simplified version of the ribbon, select the “message” tab. Then choose the three dots icon. Next, select “actions” and choose “recall this message.” A pop-up window will appear on your screen. It will give you two options. You can choose to “delete unread copies of this message. Additionally, you can choose to “delete unread copies and replace with a new message.”

Also, you have the option to have Outlook notify you if the process succeeds or fails. Select your option and then click the “ok” button to continue. If you chose to replace the message, Outlook will open a second screen so you can revise the message. 

As you compose your new email, Outlook recalls your old message and displays a notification if you selected that option. After you have revised the message, simply click the “send” button.

It’s important to note that if you send a recall message, it doesn’t exactly make your old email disappear. In order to have the original message disappear, the recipient may need to open the recalled message first. For this reason, you should type “URGENT” or something similar in the recalled messages’ title. This encourages the reader to open it before the first email. Microsoft also states that the recipient may be notified when recalled messages are deleted from their inbox. Bear in mind that, even when recalling an email, the recipient may still know that a message had been sent to them even if they can’t view it.

email drip campaign

Invest in Email Marketing

Know how to craft great email messages (and undo them if you happen to mess up). This is an important part of your business’s email marketing strategy. SEO Design Chicago can help you turn prospects into loyal customers and repeat buyers with our email marketing services. Contact us today.


  • Why would I need to recall an email?
  • What are tips for writing great marketing emails?
  • How do I change the cancellation period in Gmail?
  • What do I do if I need to recall an email?
  • How do I recall an email in Gmail?

Contact Us Today!

Call Now ButtonCall Now