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You've just fired off an angry email in Gmail. "Uh-oh," you think, right after you've sent it. "Maybe I shouldn't have written that. If only I could retrieve the email before it hits the recipient." Well, you can.

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Gmail's Android app now offers you the ability to undo a sent email, just as in Gmail for the Web and Gmail's iOS app. The option went live with the current 8.7 version of Gmail for Android, which was released on August 10, a Google spokesperson told Download.com.

Undo Send doesn't truly retrieve a sent email. Rather, the app waits five seconds before it launches the email onto its destination. During those few seconds, you can tap an Undo link. That action takes you back to the message where you can now revise it, tone it down, or just discard it completely.

"Gmail will delay the delivery of an email for a period of time before it is actually sent (so, in essence, the sending is not undone or recalled like its name would suggest)," the Google spokesperson explained. "When a sent email is undone, it turns back into a draft in the Compose box for you to edit (and resend) or delete the draft."

The Undo Send process works the same in Gmail for the Web and the Gmail for iOS app. You can change the amount of time provided to stop the email, but only with Gmail for the Web. Open Gmail for the Web. Click the Settings icon in the upper right and select Settings. At the General tab, look for the section for Undo Send. Click the dropdown field for Send cancellation period and you can set the time to 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds.

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Takeaways

  1. Google's Gmail Android apps gives you the ability to undo a sent email.
  2. You have five seconds in which you can stop an email from being sent.

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Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books - "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time" and "Teach Yourself VISUALLY LinkedIn."