back to article Gmail offers 'undo' email option

The folks at Gmail Labs obviously dedicate a healthy amount of brainpower to the prevention of regrettable emails sent through their service. Gmail logo Custodial hearts at Google who've brought us Mail Goggles to stave off late-night drunken e-correspondence have now introduced an Undo Send option to their web-based email …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Kudos... your fucking article and fucking fuckfest you fucking almost fucking hid but left fucking just fucking visible.

  2. Jeremy
    Thumb Up

    fucking fuck horses


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Ahem... 'Nuf said

  4. Tim Groven
    Thumb Down


    If it only takes you five seconds to realize your email might get you in trouble, you obviously aren't pissed off enough. I suggest getting worked up more, then regret it the next day.

  5. jc

    Use UUCP to send/receive your mail

    That way you have time until the next time your uucico fires up to stop it going.

    This saved me many times in the early 90s - both e-mail and usenet posts.


  6. benzaholic

    Should have been 13 seconds

    see: Omega 13 device from Galaxy Quest

  7. James O'Brien


    "2) Author regrettable email message.

    5) Atone for your wicked, wicked ways."

    HAHAHAHAHA just ended up covering my work monitors with tea. You owe me a new one :)

    Assmouth classic

    /Would call my boss that but I like my job :P

  8. Steven Raith
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    Can I get something similar for FaceBook? I think I may have made a mistake tonight.....

    Steven R

  9. Kanhef

    Old news

    This was a standard feature back in the day, when you had to dial up your ISP to send the batch of e-mail messages you'd worked on for the last hour.

    Seriously, five seconds is much too short. Half of that gets used just waiting for the page to finish loading. It would be better to implement an (optional) 'outbox' that holds messages for a user-defined length of time before delivering. One or five minutes would be a good standard setting. Unless the recipient is checking for new messages more frequently than that, they won't notice the difference. If you really need to reach someone that urgently, use the phone.

  10. Pope


    They keep adding silly functionality and have yet to get rid of the stupid conversations (threads) structure they have. This probably causes most of the mistakes people make that they need the delay trick to fix.

  11. Jamie


    perhaps people could just use their brains every now and again if they thought about what they were doing before they did it they would realise they didnt have to hit send at all. Proof reading takes maybe 30 seconds for your average email and saves you a lot of hassle. Society is getting more and more stupid but a good idea I guess

  12. Allan Rutland
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    Hang on

    This isn't a feature, its just that they've added a timer to you sending your mail. What happens when they decide that you want to "undo" a message you sent the night before, we'll see them delay all mail for a day before sending. If anything this all sounds like a way to ask users to be in a bandwidth shaping scheme for gmail.

  13. Dale Richards

    This sounds eerily similar... the ancient, cross-platform technique of waiting an extra 5 seconds before pressing Send, no?

  14. wibbilus maximus


    Gmail's User Experience Designer Michael Leggett illustrates the team's M.O.:

    "Sometimes I regret sending a message the morning after.

    5 seconds will be REALLY helpful then!!

  15. Richard Porter
    Gates Horns


    I remember whan I was at work a colleague sent me a snottygram which he later regretted and followed it up with four or five cancel messages from LookOut! As I was using Netscape Communicator at the time I got the lot, and finally a telephone call to apologise. I was amused.

  16. A J Stiles

    This has legs .....

    If someone hits the "undo send" button, it's a fair guess that there was something in the message that they really, really don't want the recipient to see. After all, if you merely forgot to attach a file {NB: Kmail, which I use as my main email client, warns you and gives you an option to abort sending a message if you used a word such as "attached" or "attachment" in the text, but didn't attach a file. It's saved me more times than I care to remember}, you can just try again; this time sending only the attachment {since the recipient already has the text}.

    It's not such a huge leap to imagine that undoing the sending of an e-mail might end up becoming the sort of "premium" service for which money could reasonably be charged. £50 would be a small price to pay to have a "thank you for last night" message {meant for your mistress} removed from your wife's inbox!

  17. Geoff Johnson

    Hopefully they'll do attachment warning next.

    Scan the mail for attach, attached, enclosed or other such words and warn you if you didn't add an attachment. That'd save plenty of embarrassment.

  18. Russell Favell

    Should be longer

    with a "no, send right now, I'm not angry" button

  19. theotherone
    Thumb Up


    considering that most of my regrettable emails, forum posts and general unpleasant internet discourse, are made when I'm completely arse faced and drunk, means that 5 seconds to hit undo is akin to wanking an elephant with a pair of tweasers ...... quite useless

    therefore i suggest a breathalyzer affixed to a usb port, which will detect when you are out of it, and prevent you from embarrassing yourself via email, IM twatter, arsebook and other such assorted interweb paraphernalia....

  20. Chris Hatfield
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    Those Google people are geniuses

    wow, they are so clever!!!!one!

    Just kidding. This feature is shit.

  21. skeptical i
    Thumb Up

    More kudos

    Just. Fucking. Beautiful.

  22. David Harper

    Austin would like to recall the message "Dear assmouth...."

    My company uses a combination of Linux (in the research and IT divisions) and Microsoft (in HR and admin) mail systems. I'm always amused when one of my admin colleagues tries to use Outlook's "Recall This Message" option to delete an email that they realise they shouldn't have sent. Sorry, guys, it doesn't work like that over here in Linux land. Now, let's see what juicy gossip was in your original email ... :-)

  23. xjy
    Paris Hilton

    Bloody bloody fuck fuck

    As my Finnish wife used to say after getting an earful of English repartee...

    (Paris cos she might find this feature useful and must be kicking herself for not having it in the past)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about this improvement

    Learn to insert your own completely user defined pause between finishing the email, deciding to send it and actually hitting the send button.

    Surely it's not too hard to learn to add such a pause even when you are in a rush (or in the heat of the moment)?

    Such a manual feature should also be completely portable to other mail user agents and other systems that have nothing to do with email at all.

    Or is it actually useful to be able to turn one's attention away absolutely immediately, assuming no change of mind, without having to return to hit send some seconds later?

  25. Ian

    RE: Hopefully they'll do attachment warning next.

    Pretty sure I just saw that in the list of Labs options. Do a search in Labs for "Forgotten Attachment Detector".

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I object in the strongest possible way.

    How dare El Reg spy on my emails to the bank manager.

  27. A J Stiles

    @ Geoff Johnson

    You mean, like the way Kmail already does?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My idea:

    They should make the send email button whiz around the screen for 20 secs before disappearing... if you're unable to click it you're obviously in no condition to be sending emails.

  29. Joe Montana

    Step backwards

    Back in the old days we had this, we had the whole time the modem was handshaking and trying to transmit to decide otherwise and stop the mail!

  30. Alex C

    life too fast these days

    Could we have a user definable pause, please? Mine'd be half an hour.

    when I were a lad all this was fields

    grumble grumble curmudgeon etc.

  31. Keith Martin


    Outlook does this wonderfully with filters - just set them to hold outbound emails for two minutes before sending. Has saved me on a few occasions.

  32. Joe Harrison


    It's the "5) Atone..." screenshot that really makes this funny!

  33. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    @Geoff Johnson: Hopefully they'll do attachment warning next.

    "Scan the mail for attach, attached, enclosed or other such words and warn you if you didn't add an attachment. That'd save plenty of embarrassment."

    I have this already for Outklook - see

    Also warns you before sending a meeting request with no location or a message with a blank subject line.

  34. Stu

    @A/C #1 "Ahem..."

    But you wont find that pause rule accessible in Outlook Web Access will you?

    Kind of the whole point of Gmail is to be accessible from just about anywhere like OWA is.


    Mind you I'm not sure if you can set up the rule in 'full-fat' outlook and it will be done in OWA too?

  35. Anonymous Coward


    akin to wanking an elephant with a pair of tweasers

    Wow, learned something new today...i didn't even know that was possible.

    Anyway, that's MR. to you.

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