At the time of this writing, it is 48 hours after the fallout of Gmail’s botched April Fools’ Day prank. In case you haven’t heard of it, Gmail basically introduced a joke button, the “Mic Drop.” Upon hitting that button, Gmail would cleverly attach a microphone drop GIF to your email, like the one below:

This image was inserted into every email sent through Gmail's Mic Drop feature.
This image was inserted into every email sent through Gmail’s Mic Drop feature.

Little did they know that this feature would provoke outrage among users, even causing some to lose their jobs.

However, all of us email users have one thing in common, whether or not we were affected in any way by this prank. We’ve all sent an email on accident, whether to the wrong person, without the attachments, or in an incomplete state. If only there was an “Undo” button to get us out of these mishaps! Luckily for Gmail users, there is.

Enable “Undo Send”, it could save your bacon

It’s pretty simple to turn on the one feature that could save you many headaches down the road. Go to your Gmail settings (link for the lazy), and scroll down to Undo Send. Check the box, and set the cancellation period to your desired amount (mine is at 20 right now).

That’s it. Next time you unwittingly hit Send, you have a few seconds to redeem yourself, thanks to this friendly notification:

Your message has been sent. Undo / View message

Yes, there are caveats

If you choose to enable Undo Send, your email sending will be delayed by the system for the time period that you specify. For example, if you choose to enable undo for 20 seconds, then your email will be sent at least 20 seconds after the moment you pressed Send. If your line of work is extremely time critical, then this feature may not be you.

The Undo button is available right after you send your message. But if you click anywhere else in Gmail, that notification will disappear. Lesson: click carefully!

Is it still worth it? Absolutely

If I had a nickel every time I had to hit Undo, I could be driving a Mercedez right now.

Published by Geoffrey Liu

A software engineer by trade and a classical musician at heart. Currently a software engineer at Groupon getting into iOS mobile development. Recently graduated from the University of Washington, with a degree in Computer Science and a minor in Music. Web development has been my passion for many years. I am also greatly interested in UI/UX design, teaching, cooking, biking, and collecting posters.

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