The past couple of days got the entire Internet curious about Google’s new Undo Send feature, but is it all that innovative? And most of all, is there any way you can do this for other services as well? Of course you can.
Since emails became a pretty big and important part of our lives, mistakes managed to make their way through, resulting in wrong send addresses or messages you regret the next minute. Usually, such errors get you in trouble, and it’s not quite polite, moral, or legal for that matter to hack into someone’s email account to delete some messages.
Taking a closer look at Google’s new addition to its email service, we realized that, at the surface at least, the whole process is actually a delayed send, with the possibility to change your mind within a given amount of time. Figuring this out led to some experimenting, and a few discoveries. In other words, rules can be created so that your messages are sent with a delay after hitting the Send button.
Online alternative for more email services
A short while ago, some folks decided to create an online option that attaches to your email account, tracks messages, and lets you edit or remove them even after the target read it. The service in question is unSent.it with a little more info here, and steps to use:
Step 1: Go to the unSend.it website and create a new account for the email service you use.
Step 2: Activate your account and follow the given steps to set up outgoing messages through the service.
Step 3: Once activated, click on My Account in the upper part of the web page.
Step 4: Click the compose button in the left panel.
Step 5: Add the recipients, subject, and the message to send.
Step 6 (optional): Scroll down all the way to the bottom, and check to Self-Destruct Email, so that it’s automatically removed once read.
Step 7: Access the Sent Mail area from the left panel.
Step 8: With a message selected, you can Delete, Unsend, or Edit the message if you made any mistakes.
Note: This way, your text message is processed by the unSend.it servers and sent as an image, giving you the possibility to later on edit it. When removed, the receiver still has the email entry in the inbox, but with no content, since the picture got removed from the servers as well.
Configuring Microsoft Outlook to undo send
Step 1: Download and install Microsoft Office to get the Outlook component.
Step 2: Run outlook and add your account. It can be an Outlook email account, or any other service.
Step 3: Press File, and under the Rules and Alerts section, choose to Manage Rules & Alerts.
Step 4: In the prompt window, click on New Rule all the way to the top.
Step 5: Look for the last section to Start From a Blank Rule, choose to Apply Rule On Messages I Send, and press Next.
Step 6: Press Next again because there’s no condition you need to check.
Step 7: When the prompt appears, press Yes so that the rule is applied to all messages you send from now on.
Step 8: Check the last option to Defer Delivery by a Number of Minutes.
Step 9: In the lower section that says Step: Edit the rule description, click the blue link to specify A Number Of minutes.
Step 10: Set it between 1 and 120, and press OK.
Step 11: Press Next again if you don’t want to add any exceptions.
Step 12: Give the new rule a name, and make sure to Turn On This Rule.
Step 13: Press Finish, Apply, Ok, and you’re all good to go.
As a result, pressing the Send button on a new email doesn’t send it right away, but gets stored in the Outbox folder, until the specified time runs out. Accessing the Outbox folder lets you edit and delete messages. If a message is no longer in the Outbox folder, it means it got sent.