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How can I delete a Gmail email AFTER it’s sent?

Crisis averted!

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We’ve all experienced the white-hot panic of sending an email and then realising that you’ve misspelt the recipient’s name, littered it with typos or accidentally attached a photo of a cat wearing Cookie Monster pajamas. But, before you lob the laptop out of the window, there’s a neat way of turning back the clock. Here’s how to delete a Gmail email after it’s sent.

The process is simple, but you have to be quick off the mark. By default, the “Undo” option will only appear in the bottom-left corner for a mere five seconds. This is what it looks like:

Undo Gmail

On your phone, the box fills the bottom of the screen:

Undo Gmail Android

After five seconds, the blue Undo link will simply disappear – taking with it the chances of you regaining your dignity or saving your job.

If you’ve got cat-like reactions, five seconds might work, but it’s certainly not enough leeway for me. Here’s how to extend the countdown.

Lengthen the period in which you can delete Gmail emails

If you haven’t already, log into your Gmail account via a desktop web browser (changing settings via your phone is too fiddly) and click on the settings cog in the top-right of the window.

On the page that appears, scroll down to the “Undo Send” option.

Send cancellation period

You can now choose to extend the recovery time to ten, 20 or 30 seconds by clicking the dropdown box. I find that 20 seconds is a happy medium, but there’s no harm in waiting longer.

Once that’s done, scroll down to the bottom of the Settings page and select Save Changes. And that’s it – you’ve given yourself a few extra moments to delete a sent Gmail email.

READ NEXT: How do I use Gmail offline?

About the author

Max Figgett

Max has written for numerous websites and magazines over the years. Whether it’s about ancient hardware or software secrets, no Big Tech Question is too obscure for him to tackle.

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