Quick Tip: How to stop an email after you hit “Send” (Gmail and Microsoft Outlook)

Oh no! You’ve just hit “Send,” but you’ve realized too late that you sent your email to the wrong client. Luckily for you, there is an easy way to prevent this from happening. Many email systems will allow you to introduce a short delay between when you hit “Send” and when your email is really gone. Below are instructions for how to do this in Gmail and Microsoft Outlook.

Delay Send in Gmail

In Gmail, this is surprisingly easy to configure. Simply use this link to navigate to Google Labs, and enable “Undo Send.” You can also get to the “Google Labs” page using these instructions from Google:

  • Open Gmail.
  • Click the gear in the top right and select Settings.
  • Open the Labs tab.
  • Identify the labs you want to turn on and click the Enable radio button.
  • Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Gmail Undo Send Screenshot

Once this is enabled, you will see an “Undo” option for about 20 seconds after an email is sent.

Delay Send in Outlook

For this example, I will be using Outlook 2013.  Start by opening the “File” menu at the top left of your screen.

1 Outlook File

Now click on the “Rules and Alerts” icon, as shown below.2 Outlook RulesYou should now see a box like the one below. Start by clicking “New Rule.”
3 New Rule Select “Apply rule on message I send” and click “Next.”4 Rule Setting on All outboundWhen Outlook asks for “conditions,” simply click next again without selecting any options. This will pop up a dialog box to confirm that you would like this rule to apply to all outbound emails.
5 All messageOn this screen, we’ll be selecting “defer delivery by a number of minutes.” Click on the blue text to specify how many minutes to delay your outbound emails by. I have found that one minute is plenty of time for me, but you can make this as long as you would like.6 delay send by number of minutesClick next until you are given the option to give your rule a name and finish the wizard.7 Name SaveNow all emails you send will wait in the Outbox folder for 60 seconds after you hit send. If you need to “undo” an email, simply double click the message in the Outbox folder to return to “edit” mode, or right click and delete the message before it sends.

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