Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Sent Email To Wrong Person or at Wrong Time? Undo Send in Gmail

One of my favorite movies in the last decade is called The Internship starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. In this movie, they play a pair of veteran salesmen who lose their job due obsolete nature of the products they sell. To shake things up, they apply for internships at Google and are competing with applicants half their age. A challenge they have to do is come up with a cool new app. In one scene, one of the younger teammates wants to "drunk text" a girl. It is there where they decide to develop an app to prevent yourself from such a social blunder.

Gmail has a similar feature built in. Distance learning has caused me to send more emails than ever before. On more than one occasion, I have sent an email to the wrong student or colleague. Though not a faux pa in the same category of a drunk text, a wrongfully sent email can be annoying. In your Gmail settings, you can set it to give yourself up to 30 seconds to stop a mistakenly sent email from being delivered. This is also useful if you meant to schedule an email a specific time and you send it immediately by accident. Click here to learn more about scheduling emails.

After composing an email and clicking Send, to the bottom left of your screen, you'll see a small pop up that states Message sent and gives you the options to Undo or View message. If the email was sent by mistake, click Undo to stop it from being delivered. Gmail settings allows you to set from 5-30 seconds time to Undo any sent message.

To access the Undo send settings, click the Settings gear in the top right corner of your screen. In the dropdown menu, click See all settings.

Scroll down to where it says Undo send. Click the box next to where it says Send cancellation period.

You will be given the option to change the "grace period" to 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds. I recommend setting it to 30 seconds.

As a teacher, this has been useful when I sent whole class reminders to the wrong class. As a coach, when I schedule on-call video chat emails, this has been helpful when I accidentally send the message immediately instead of schedule it for a later time. When have you needed to Undo send an email?

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