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Blog How to delete emails after sending

Please, mind this article is being drafted or rewritten and may contain imperfections. It has not been yet reviewed for final publication.

People receive malware or other malicious threats daily. In fact, this threats everyone's personal data privacy and security.

Whatever the reason, you want to cancel sending the email now, but it's too late. Damage has been done.

Both Gmail and Outlook offer solutions to this problem, although they work differently.

How to unsend emails on Gmail

Gmail has an option in its settings that lets you un-send an email before it reaches the recipient.

  1. Log in to your Gmail account.
  2. Click the gear icon in the upper left corner and select Settings.
  3. In the Settings menu under the first tab (General), find the option titled Undo Send.
  4. Under Send Cancellation Period, select how long you want the period to be. Google allows you to cancel emails 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds after pressing "send," so you still need to work fast.
  5. After selecting the cancellation period, go to the bottom of the Settings page and click the Save Changes button.

Alternatively, you can cancel sent messages in real-time: 1. Compose a new email. 2. Click Send. 3. You should see a message box. Your message has been sent. 4. Press the Undo link. 5. Gmail will stop sending the message now. You can edit it and resend it, or you can turn it off, and it will go into your drafts folder, where you can delete, change, or send it later.

Recalling emails in Outlook

Microsoft's Outlook has a similar option to recall emails you sent. However, the difference is that instead of undoing the send, Outlook will send another email to the recipient:

  1. Select the Sent Items folder from the folder pane left of the Outlook window.
  2. Double-click to open the email you want to recall.
  3. Go to the Messages tab.
  4. Select Actions and then Recall This Message is protected by Azure Information Protection**.
  5. Next, to delete the message sent to the trash, click one of the two options: Delete the unread copy of this message or Delete unread copy and replace it with a new message. You can also check/uncheck the Tell me if each recipient's recall succeeded or failed box to find out if it worked.
  6. Click Ok to confirm.
  7. If you selected the Delete unread copies and replace with new message option, compose a new email and click Send.

Which option works better?

Which option is better if I have to choose between Gmail's unsent mail and Outlook's recall email feature. The answer is Gmail.

The reason is simple. With "Undo Message" on Gmail, you don't actually send the email to other people, so they won't see it in the first place. As far as they were concerned, there was no news.

This means that your boss won't see your angry quit message, or you won't send the message to the utterly wrong person in the first place.

However, for "recall messages", the situation is different.

This option does not prevent messages from reaching the subject. Instead, as we said, it just sends another message, and you want to recall the first one.

Now, this might have some uses, but let's consider the following scenario:

You write your boss a not-so-good email and click "Send." After 2-3 minutes, you regret sending the message. You then find the message and select Recall This Message and one of the two options below (Delete or Resend).

What happens next depends on whether the recipient opened the first message. If it is not opened and only sees the Recall message, the recall is successful, and the original message will be deleted.

If they have read the original message (marked as "read"), the recall will fail and delete the new message.

Note that the recipient must still mark the original message as "read". If he marks it As "unread", the recall will still succeed even if they read the message.

As you can see, there are other factors at play here, such as whether the recipient read the original message or whether they marked it as "read" or "unread" for the recall to succeed.

You don't have this problem with Gmail's "Undo Mail" option.

Alternative method - use Liverado self-destructing email feature

Undo sending can be handy, but you must work fast. The message will be sent if you let 30 seconds (max) pass. You cannot undo messages sent an hour or a day ago.

Instead, you can send an email with a self-destruct timer at Liverado.

To activate it:

  1. Compose your message.
  2. Check Auto self-destruct.
  3. A pop-up window will appear, allowing you to select a date and time for the message to self-destruct.
  4. Click Send, and the message will self-destruct after the specified time.

Remember that messages will not only self-destruct from the recipient's inbox. Yours will also self-destruct.

And this feature only works if both the sender and the recipient are Liverado users.

Sign up now to unlock the self-destructing email feature on Liverado.

Ready to join Liverado? Start your free 14-day trial today.