Outlook Catches Up to Gmail: Introducing the Undo Send Button

Outlook has recently introduced a feature long enjoyed by Gmail users: the ability to undo sending an email. This new functionality addresses the common dilemma of spotting a mistake just after hitting the ‘send’ button—whether it’s a typo in the subject line or forgetting an attachment.

For years, Gmail users have had the advantage of retracting an email momentarily after dispatch, and now, Outlook has integrated this highly anticipated feature for its users.


What is the Undo Send Feature in Outlook?

The Undo Send feature in Outlook provides a brief window during which you can retract an email after sending it. If you immediately realize there’s an error, simply hit the undo button. The email will not proceed to the recipient, allowing you to correct the mistake and resend it. This feature is available on both the web version and the Windows application of Outlook. By default, the email is held for a few seconds before it is actually sent. If you choose to undo the send within this window, the action is reversed; otherwise, the email will be sent as usual.

Setting Up Undo Send in Outlook

To enable this feature, first log into your Outlook account and navigate to Settings, found in the top right corner. Under the “Mail” section, select “Compose and reply”. Scroll down to the “Cancel send” option. Here, you will find settings to enable the Undo Send feature and adjust the cancellation period, which can be set up to a maximum of 10 seconds. While 5 seconds might seem adequate, a 10-second window is recommended to ensure you have ample time to catch and rectify any last-minute errors.

This function is not designed to work indefinitely after sending—as is possible with messaging apps like WhatsApp—but instead offers a critical, brief moment to amend errors immediately after dispatch. This addition is a significant enhancement for Outlook, leveling the playing field with Gmail, which has provided this option for over a decade.

Why This Matters

The introduction of the Undo Send feature in Outlook is more than just a technical update; it’s about enhancing user experience and efficiency in professional communication. By reducing the anxiety and potential embarrassment associated with email mistakes, Outlook is now more user-friendly and forgiving, much like its competitor, Gmail.