Jobs Career Advice Signup

How to Recall/Replace an Email You Sent

Updated on Apr 10, 2020 9787 views
How to Recall/Replace an Email You Sent

Lesson 5: How to Recall/Replace an Email You Sent

Table of Contents

1. How to Recall an email on Gmail.

2. How to Recall a mail on Gmail from your mobile device.

3. How to Recall an email from Microsoft Outlook.

4. How to prevent sending a mail by mistake.

Course Navigation

Go back to lesson 1 - Basic Email Etiquette for job seekers
Go back to lesson 2 - How to Apply for Jobs Using Email.
Go back to lesson 3 - Tips for Landing Your Dream Job with A Cold Email.
Go back to lesson 4 - How to Appropriately Use Email Functions to Send an Effective Mail.

How to Recall/Replace an Email You Sent

Hi, welcome to Lesson 5 of the Email Etiquette Course. We have looked at 4 previous lessons in this course which has to a large extent given you a strong basic understanding of how the email works and how you can make use of basic email functions.

All the lessons that you have read so far (lesson 1 – 5) will definitely help you improve your job search since you will be interfacing with the email often as a job seeker.

In this lesson, we are going to talk about how you can recall/replace an email that you mistakenly sent.

Since you have already gotten used to the email interface and have also learned how to send emails, but what happens when you send a mail to the wrong person?

As cool as it is that you can click “send” and your email will be sent immediately sure comes with some consequences. Once you send an email, you may not be able to get it back. This can cause some form of obstacle if you send a message at the wrong time or to the wrong person.

If you have been sending messages that you did not intend to send, guess what? There is good news for you. The good news is that you can recall an email before the recipient sees the email.

Now the big question is how can you do this?

In this lesson, we are going to be looking at how you can recall/replace an email on Gmail and Outlook.



You must have sent messages that you instantly regretted, but Gmail has made it easy for you to recall/replace messages. We are going to take you through a step-by-step process on how you can recall a message in Gmail.

Step 1 – Go to Your Gmail Settings

The good thing about Gmail is that an “undo” button will automatically appear when you send an email, and this button will enable you to undo a message that you just sent. That’s great right?

As good as the Gmail undo button is, you can adjust the undo settings to give yourself more time to recall an email in Gmail. To achieve this;

First, you have to log on to your Gmail account on a desktop. Once you are on your Gmail, click the little gear icon in the upper right-hand corner. Once you do so, a menu will drop-down, scroll downwards and select “settings” from the menu.



Step 2: Personalize Your Send Cancelation Period

Just like we said earlier, in Gmail the undo button shows up by default immediately you send an email. The thing is that this button is only available for 5 seconds after you send an email, and that may not give you enough time to realize that you made a mistake talk less of fixing it.

The good thing is that Gmail gives you the option to extend the time. Once you have clicked on settings, scroll down to the option that says “Undo Send”.  (Make sure you’re in the “General” settings tab).



From the settings, you can choose to show the “undo” button for 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds after your email is sent. So the big question is; how much time do you need to recall the email before it is permanently sent to the recipient's inbox? The answer to this question is totally dependent on you.


Step 3: Scroll Down and Click “Save Changes”

In this next step, once you have personalized the “undo time” for your Gmail account, make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and save the changes you’ve made in your settings.



N: B = always remember that this is an important step, you should always click the save changes button because if you click away without saving your changes your account will go back to default settings.


Step 4: Test Your Email Recall Settings

Since you have finally updated your settings in Gmail, it is time to test if the settings that you updated is working. Once you are done with the settings, you can send a test email to yourself.



Depending on the settings that you have selected in the settings drop-down, you have between 5 to 30 seconds to recall your mail in Gmail.

Once you click on the undo button circled in red, you’ll also receive a confirmation that the email has been recalled. You will see this text displayed “sending undone”.


Recalling a Mail on Gmail from Your Mobile Device

If you are accessing your email address from your mobile device, the process is pretty the same, just that you have to enable your preferred setting on the desktop for you to access it when you send a message on your mobile phone.

In the Gmail mobile App, you would see the “undo” button at the bottom of your phone screen.


Recalling a Mail from Microsoft Outlook

If you are using Microsoft outlook, you can recall a mail following these simple steps:

Step 1: Open your sent items folder.

Step 2: Open the email you would like to recall/ forget.

Step 3: Mouse over to the ribbon top up, and go to “move group”.

Step 4: Click on actions.

Step 5: Select “Recall This Message”

Step 6: Click “Delete unread copies of this message” (or Replace …, which is also good).



A Few things to note when trying to recall an email in Microsoft Outlook

  • You can make the best use of Microsoft Outlook “Message Recall” after you have sent the message, since the message will move the unopened email right into the recipient’s Deleted folder.
  • A recall request may not always work. If the recipient have already opened the message, the message is going to remain in their inbox (the recipients will be notified that you tried to recall the message).
  • If you use a desktop Outlook application that is not on Exchange Server, you will still see this option to recall your message, but it would not delete an email from a third party email inbox. Your recipient will only receive a note that you attempted to recall the message.


Looking at the awesome recall features in both Gmail and Microsoft Outlook, it is clear that you may have experienced some form of limitations using these features.

While you have a maximum time of 30 seconds to recall an email on Gmail and may probably face some limitation on Outlook, how about learning to prevent sending emails by mistake.



We know that mistakes are things we don’t plan to happen, even if mistakes happen when you don’t expect, you can still do your best to prevent them from happening.

So how can you avoid making mistakes when sending your emails? You can avoid making mistakes when sending an email by following these steps:

  1. Run your emails through

Running your emails through before sending it reduces the risk of sending a message by mistake. Grammarly provides an extension that you can use on your chrome or Firefox browser, which means that you can use the prof-reading techniques to fix your emails while you are writing.


  1. Open links or attached files before sending your mail.

Have you ever sent a broken link or attached a wrong file to your prospective employer? Or even sent an email without attaching a file you intended to attach.

To prevent this from happening, take a moment to open all the files and links before sending your email.


  1. Enable the “Confirm before sending” setting in Gmail

The “confirm before sending” settings on Gmail will allow you to be sure of the message you want to send before hitting the send button. This option basically asks you, “Are you sure?” before you send an email.

You can enable this setting on Gmail’s mobile app.

All you need to do is click on the three lines at the top left corner of the app to open the menu. Then, scroll down to settings.


Then select “confirm before sending”



Now, you have learned how to recall an email from your Gmail or Outlook account before you hit send.

You should note that every email is important, especially if you are searching for a job. You should know that emails form the building blocks to the relationships you are going to have with your prospective employers.

Even if you can recall an email that has an error, you should always take out time to go through your emails before sending them.

Hope this lesson was helpful, click previous to read the previous lesson.

Answer these questions to know how well you have understood this course so far:

  1. What are the basic steps you need to create an email account?

a. _______________________________________________________

b. _______________________________________________________

c.  _______________________________________________________

d. _______________________________________________________

e. _______________________________________________________


  1. List 4 things you must do when you are applying for a job through email?
  1. _______________________________________________________


  1. _______________________________________________________


  1. _______________________________________________________


  1. _______________________________________________________



  1. What is a cold email? _____________________________________
  2. What are the factors to consider when sending a cold email?
  1. ________________________________________________________
  2. _________________________________________________________


  1. _________________________________________________________


  1. __________________________________________________________


  1. __________________________________________________________


  1. What are these email functions used for?
  1. Bcc _______________________________________________________


  1. Cc ________________________________________________________


  1. Subject field ________________________________________________


  1. What are spam mails? ________________________________________


Congratulations! You have come to the end of the “Email Etiquette Course”. By now you should have a basic understanding of basic email functions, how to apply for jobs through email, tips to land a job by sending cold emails, and basic email etiquettes.

Hope you enjoyed this course?

Click here to Download the Course on Email Etiquette for Job Seekers


Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

1 Comment(s)

  • Ochuko Evidence
    Ochuko Evidence Aug 10, 2023

    This is nice. I found what I was looking for with ease. They were able to explain  was step by step and I fully understood. 

Leave a Comment

Login required
Related Post
Top Post