Home Tech How To Recall Emails on Gmail – A Step By Step Guide

How To Recall Emails on Gmail – A Step By Step Guide

Have you ever sent an email you regretted the moment you clicked the send button? Have you ever sent personal or confidential information to the wrong email address? If you have done any of these, learning how to recall your email would do you a world of good.

This is one of the features that are available to Gmail users. Google’s email service caters to the needs of over one billion users, and about a hundred billion emails are sent and received daily.

It is the most popular email service in the U.S. and many other parts of the world. Its rise to global prominence has no doubt come as a result of excellent service and cutting edge innovations.

Some of the services and innovations introduced into Gmail over the years include its spam filter that uses artificial intelligence algorithms to detect harmful emails, 15GB of free storage so you never have to delete emails, easy to use search tools, staring and priority inbox options, and of course the option for recalling emails.

This article will help you understand what it means to recall emails on Gmail, why it is very important to know how to use the recall option, you’ll also learn the steps to take in recalling emails both on mobile and web versions of Gmail. Another topic that would be covered is the confidentiality mode in sending emails and its uses.

Why Should You Recall Emails 🤷‍♂️

Perhaps, you’re telling yourself how awesome you are, and how your emails never make mistakes while sending an email; there are some good reasons why knowledge on how to recall emails is important to have for you, and your more error-prone friends and colleagues.

There are sometimes when our emotions get the better of us, and in the heat of the moment compose a stinker. You may realize after sending the email that it may have been better to go easier on that colleague.

You may have forgotten to copy someone in the email, or even sent the email to the wrong person entirely. Having the recall option is very useful in such cases.

You may have sent too much information, or not enough information, or the wrong kind of information; recalling the email would save you a lot of trouble.

If you have been distracted and hit the send button before you have actually finished composing the email, recalling the email seems like the logical step to follow.

What Recalling an Email on Gmail Actually Means

The truth is, you will not actually be able to retrieve an email that has been delivered to the recipient. What Google allows you to do is to unsend an email.

This means you can stop an email from getting to its recipient after you have hit the send button, as long as it has not actually been delivered. So in a sense, the action you are performing is to undo the sending of the email you have initiated.

There is a time limit within which you can recall an email on Gmail. This time is usually not more than thirty seconds. It can be less, depending on your settings.

This approach is different from what is obtainable on Outlook, where it is possible to recall or modify an email even after it has been sent.

The closest thing to truly recalling an email on Gmail is removing access to a confidential mail. To do this, the email must have been sent as a confidential mail in the first place.

What Is a Confidential Mail 🤫

Google’s confidential mode helps protect sensitive information you want to send via email. It makes it impossible for the recipient to forward, copy, print, or download the content of the email.

It also prevents unauthorized access to the email by setting a passcode to open the email, placing an expiry date for the email, and even revoking access to the email.

How to Send Emails in Confidential Mode

To send an email in confidential mode, follow these steps.

Step1:- Go to Gmail on your computer, or open the app on your mobile devices, Begin composing the email by clicking on compose.

How to Recall Emails on Gmail

Step2:- In the bottom right of the window, click on turn on confidential mode. If the confidential mode has already been turned on, click on edit at the bottom of the email.

How to Recall Emails on Gmail

For mobile users, click on the three-dot icon at the top right of the screen and select confidential mode.

Step 3:- Set an expiration date and passcode. These affect both the content of the email and any attachments you may include.

How To Recall Emails on Gmail - A Step By Step Guide

You can either choose a no SMS passcode option for the passcode to be emailed to them, or an SMS passcode for the recipient to get the passcode via SMS. Click Save.

How to Remove Access Early in Confidential Mode

As has been stated already, removing access already serves the same purpose as recalling an email. The recipient will not be able to view the email. These are the steps to remove access.

1. Open Gmail
2. Open sent
3. Open the confidential email
4. Select remove access

How To Recall Emails on Gmail - A Step By Step Guide

How to Recall Emails on Gmail 🤷‍♂️

Now that you know why it is important to know how to recall emails, and also how to send confidential emails, and remove access to those confidential mails, it is time to learn how to recall emails on Gmail.

The first thing you need to check is the email settings. Recalling emails is usually set automatically, but there is no harm in double-checking. Also, you can extend the time frame within which emails can be recalled to thirty seconds.

Checking Settings for Recalling Emails

These are the steps you should take in checking if the “undo send” option is enabled.

First, you open your email. Next, you click on the cog icon found at the top right corner, then select settings and then select the general tab.

How To Recall Emails on Gmail - A Step By Step Guide

After this is done, scroll down the page and check the enable undo send option.

Enable it if it isn’t already enabled. Below it, you’ll see an option to set the cancelation period. You can set the cancelation period to five, 10, 20, or 30 seconds after the email has been sent. The maximum time allowed is thirty seconds.

It is advisable to send a test email and try recalling it to be sure the feature works.

How To Recall Emails on Gmail - A Step By Step Guide

How to Recall Emails on Mobile

With your mobile devices, either on Android or iOS, recalling emails you sent is very easy. There are no complicated steps involved.

Of course, before you can recall an email, you first have to send it. Compose your email, add the recipient’s email address, and hit the send button.

Once you’ve sent the email, you’ll see the option to undo sending at the bottom of the screen. Hitting the undo button will recall the email that has already been sent.

Note that the undo option will only be displayed for a few seconds, depending on the time you have set.

How To Recall Emails on Gmail - A Step By Step Guide

Recalling Emails on Desktop

The method for recalling emails sent via Gmail on your desktop is almost identical to the steps involved in undoing sent emails on your Android or iOS mobile devices.

Once you have composed the email and typed in the recipient’s email address, you can send the email.

At the bottom left you should see “message sent“, and the option to “undo ” or “view message”. Clicking on undo will stop the email from being sent.

How To Recall Emails on Gmail - A Step By Step Guide

How to Recall Emails on Gmail With Outlook Client

Outlook client is one of the most used email clients by lots of people and I am also the user who loves to use outlook to access my email accounts with outlook.

It’s too easy to recall email with outlook client, just open the sent items and select the email that you want to recall.

Click on the Action button under the Message tab and select the “Recall This Message” option.

Note:- If user already opened that email, it’s not able to delete that email.

How To Recall Emails on Gmail - A Step By Step Guide


The invention of electronic mails has revolutionized the way we communicate. You can send messages across the world with a few clicks on your phone or computer. Many people spend a large part of their days sending and responding to emails.

With the fast pace of events we experience, it is possible to send an email to the wrong person or disperse information we did not mean to. Sometimes we send emails we regret immediately after we hit the send button. We can undo out mistakes on Gmail with a few very easy steps.

The recipient will not even have any clue about the changes that you made when they finally read the email.

Also, using the confidential mode, you can send sensitive information in ways that are almost impossible to duplicate or replicate. You can revoke access to this sensitive information whenever you desire.

Learning how to recall sent emails on Gmail is an important skill. It can save you a lot of embarrassment, and it helps you prevent your information from getting to the wrong hands.