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Gmail Lets You "Unsend" Emails

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P.C. World: Sometimes after sending an e-mail, you immediately realize it was a mistake. You slap your forehead and pray the recipient confuses it for spam or just thinks you're off your meds. Google understands your pain, and has introduced an Undo Send feature to Gmail.

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Turn Undo Send on in Gmail Labs under the Settings panel of your Google account. Undo Send is hidden somewhere near the bottom of the page. Once the feature is enabled, an Undo option appears after you've sent a message. You have five seconds to click it. Hit it in enough time and you're good to go. Miss the mark and your acid-laced diatribe about your boss will see the light of day.

Undo Send functions a lot like Gmail's Mail Goggles feature that was seemingly made for the purpose of stopping intoxicated lonelyhearts from drenching exes with professions of love. The difference is that with Undo Send, you have to be super quick, and it's questionable whether someone accustomed to sending mistake messages would be fast enough to stop it.

I tested Undo Send by composing foul-mouthed messages to myself and then trying to zap them in time. Messages I sent from my Google account to my Google account appeared instantly and didn't offer me a chance to delete. But if you send them to an outside address, they will never arrive at their intended destination. To ensure my test was failsafe, I sent a bunch of really awful e-mails to friends and family and zapped those, too. It was quite cathartic.

Undo Send exploits Gmail's relative slowness. Slower e-mail clients -- are you listening, Outlook? -- should take note from today's news from Google Labs and replace clunky "recall message" options with an undo button. Gmail's Undo Send works, as long as you're quick with your regrets.

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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
itsAjOKe March 24, 2009, 5:05 PM

Um, yea. this is a joke. They do this every year. There is no “undend” thing on gmail. Sheesh

jemma March 24, 2009, 5:08 PM

This is ridiculous.Sounds like more people need to really “sleep on it” if they are one’s to send messages they don’t mean to send. Who would send a message, then in less than 5 seconds, realize it was a “mistake” and undo it? Um. Bi-polar people. THis is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of.

Sonny March 26, 2009, 12:00 AM

Yeah there is no “undend” thing? that would be a perfect time to recall or cancel or undo a message anywhere. Even edit a message, so you don’t look like a moron.

Then you have jemma over here with her narcisistic view of everything, who suddenly decides to become a psychologist midway through her little rant.

This is an awesome feature, anyone who claims that having IN ALL EMAIL CLIENTS the ability to UNSEND A MESSAGE, AT ANY MOMENT as “the dumbest thing they’ve ever heard of” probably has the brain capacity of a lizard.


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