WASHINGTON — Impetuous e-mailers breathed sighs of relief when Google introduced “undo send” for Gmail.
But there are other ways to snatch back an email that you regret sending. Some give you even more leeway, but they all have drawbacks.
Google “undo send” lets you retract an email by delaying the actual sending of it by up to 30 seconds. You can enable the feature in Gmail Settings. Techlicious says there are delays, and those could cause occasional problems.
Other options include Criptext, which works with Safari and Chrome, and you’re not limited to 30 seconds to delete the message. As long as your email hasn’t been read, it can be pulled back.
The downside? It works by converting your email text to a picture file. You can have Criptext delete that picture file and any attachments. However, your recipients will get a blank email, which is still awkward, but possibly less so than whatever you sent. The free version also plugs an ad for Criptext at the end of each email.
unSend.it is similar to Criptext. People will get blank messages from you, but you can use it with most email services. Be careful, though: unSend.it is so new that it doesn’t yet have some pretty basic features, such as Bcc and attachments.
Virtru avoids the whole blank-email deal by holding onto your message until the recipient confirms their identity before they can read it. The problem? It’s not free.
The last option is to think twice before you send emails. That avoids all the downsides. Just sayin’.