Friday, March 20, 2009

Undo sending an email

No. This can't be true. Its too good to be true. But it is now possible! Thanks to gmail I can now not resend an email for forgetting an attachment - not slap my forehead for missing an important line in the mail - not regret sending the mail to the wrong person - and so on and so forth. How many time was it that you've felt any of the above? (yes yes. nod nod. many a times) Trust Google to come up with useful features. They've done it again. Now you can actually 'Undo' sending an email that wasn't supposed to be sent the way it was. Don't believe me? Read Gmail offical blog : Undo Send.

How does google accomplish this? Once an email is sent, you can't do much to it. There's no post(wo)man to bribe. Well its simple. Actually that's the limitation to this feature, but its a very fair trade off. When you hit Send, Gmail actually doesn't send it for 5 seconds. Meanwhile, it shows you the following message:

You don't click it in five seconds or you aren't able to because your net connection suddenly went poof, Gmail will send the mail. Neat. But then here's the catch. You have to be bright enough to realize you've goofed up something - within 5 seconds! :P

This can be a problem actually. Say when you have to send a really really ultra urgent email to someone, you're effectively losing 5 seconds! :D So if you need to do that often, you might as well turn it off. Or you can spend 30* seconds going to Settings and turning off the feature! You get to pick it! Perhaps The Gmail Team can add a 'Send now' button. Easy.


PS: Am going to try sending some hate mail and then hit Undo. Gives some temporary satisfaction doesn't it?

*Dependent on your Internet connection speed and your agility with the mouse.

Update: I tried sending a mail to myself and hit undo. However, just before that the new mail actually reflected in my inbox!! :-o


Kunal Janu said...


Kunal Janu

Prashanth said...

ain't it? :-)

LVS said...

you guys tried it yet?

ambikadarolia said...

I sent atleast 20 mails daily. So a waste of 1 min 40 secs.. :o
Oh btw, I use yahoomail to mail :P

P.S.: I got the maths right!! Yayy!! :D :D

ambikadarolia said...

Sorry, that would be send*. A typo!

LVS said...

thanks for the extra comment :D

aandthirtyeights said...

maybe gmail should include an option where one can choose how much grace period to give. I'd personally like about 30 seconds!

LVS said...


hmmmm...perhaps you should be on the Labs team! Btw, what's with a and thirty 8s?

Janani said...

the time frame it waits to undo is a bit long i disabled it

LVS said...

hmmm..I see it this way. I hit send, and _if_ I need to undo I use it, else I just continue with my work; you navigate to another folder in Gmail, you don't lose anything :-)
unless of course, sending the mail is _that_ urgent

Janani said...

i check the 'view sent message' before navigating away from the doesn't suit me at all!

LVS said...

ah...the picture in the blog is misleading..should change it...
you also get the 'view message' link along with the undo :-)