There is not one person reading this who has not wished for a way to unsend email. Although the mailmeisters would have had us believe that there was absolutely no way email can be retrieved once sent because , we have always known that the technology existed to save us from our snarky selves.
Without further ado (and before the powers-that-be take back the email take-back feature), how to unsend email:
Does Gmail’s Unsend do just what you think it does? Kinda sorta.
While you can’t actually go in to the receiver’s inbox and extract your snippy missive, you can pull it back within a few precious seconds as that sinking “oh no!” moment hits you.
- Go to Settings in the drop down menu directly below your profile photo.
- Click “Enable Undo Send,” and then
- Select the cancellation period from these options: five, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.
- Save Changes.
(Why would anyone select anything other than 30 seconds??)
- Select Mail | Sent Mail from the menu in AOL.
- Highlight the message you want to pull back.
- Click Unsend.
Which Emails You Can Unsend
Note that you can (effectively) unsend an email only if:
- The message was sent to AOL recipients only.
- You cannot take back an email if it also has been delivered to internet recipients, not even from AOL recipients.
- You sent the message from AOL itself, not from an email client using IMAP and SMTP to access an AOL email account.
- The message has not yet been read by any recipient.
There are a few browser plug-ins that offer unsending features. One of our favorites for its ease of use and effectiveness is Criptext. At this time however, it’s just for Chrome and Safari.
Enabling Criptext on an email encrypts the message and any attachments, tracks it so you know when it’s been opened, and gives you the option to “recall” it. Messages can also be set to expire after a certain amount of time.
UnSend.it is a similar service that works with more browsers and email services than Criptext. It offers all of Criptext’ features, except encryption. You will also need to configure your email service to run through UnSend’s servers.
Then you can send email and attachments to anyone. If you decide to unsend the email, just click a button in your email service. You can also track when someone opens the message or you can set it to self-destruct.
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.
As always, stay safe.