Gmail: how to cancel sending an email

You just sent an email with Gmail and you realize that you should not have? Note that Google provides an option that in a way allows you to cancel the sending of an email. Here’s how to make up for it.

This is a situation that you have certainly encountered before. After typing your e-mail, you click on the “Send” button and you realize that you made it go way too early: the attachment is missing, not all recipients are present, a gross foul throne in the subject line or you find that the tone you use is a little too carried away.

The good news is that it is somehow possible to catch up with an email that left too quickly.

Not by going to retrieve it while it is spinning over the networks to your correspondent’s mailbox. Neither by going to look for it directly there. It doesn’t quite work that way. In fact, for cancel a message sent in error, you just have to delay sending it to give yourself enough time for you to click on the “Cancel” button.

The trick presented here concerns Gmail, a webmail very widely used in France, which justifies dwelling on it: if it is difficult to estimate the number of Internet users using it in France, we know that there are around 1 , 5 billion active users worldwide according to figures dated 2019. We can therefore reasonably estimate the use of Gmail in France at several million individuals.

Cancel sending an email in Gmail

To stop being fooled, you must first set up your Gmail mailbox so that you can prevent e-mail from leaving, even if you click the “Send” button. Warning ! This safety net only lasts for a while: at one point, the email will definitely go to your contact’s inbox. If there is any doubt, it might be better to leave it in draft and pick it up later.

The cancel option is not active by default. Or at least, it is reduced to the union minimum.

The famous section // Source: Numerama screenshot

For it to become much more efficient, you need to go to the service settings, accessible via the icon symbolized a toothed wheel at the top right of the screen. In the “General” category, find the line “Cancel shipment”. Open the drop-down list and choose the period that you think is adequate to withdraw in time. You have four possible choices: 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.

It should be noted that this feature does not actually cancel the sending of the mail, but tells Google’s servers how long it takes for the mail to actually leave. It is therefore a option that sets a timeout between when you press the “Send” button and when it is gone. At that point, it cannot be canceled. If you have any doubts, choose 30 seconds rather than 5.

How to cancel a sent email

When you send an email, you will see a small information window at the bottom left of the screen with the following words: ” Message sent. To cancel. Display message “. If you click on “Cancel” during the cancellation window, the email is reopened to be edited and completed. Warning: the other option is tricky, because it has the effect of canceling the cancellation of the email.

It is at the bottom left, just after your sending, that you can catch up.

This functionality had existed for several years via “Gmail Labs”, which offered testers the opportunity to discover options before their possible deployment on the consumer version of the messaging system. This option was finally generalized in June 2015. The functionality is accessible from the Gmail website, but also in applications for Android and iOS, with a display adapted for mobile.

Article originally published on February 16, 2018 and updated on August 26, 2021

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