It’s the sort of small software tweak that we at Quartz would normally ignore—if it wasn’t one of the most life-saving software tweaks ever invented.
For well over half a decade, Gmail’s “undo send” feature, which works pretty much as advertised, has lived in obscurity in the “labs” section of email service’s settings, a place few everyday users ever venture. But in a blog post yesterday first spotted by VentureBeat, Google announced that it is formalizing the feature as an official part of Gmail, and shifting it to main settings panel. This puts it on par with other standard email features like signatures, out-of-office messages, and language settings.
The “undo send” feature works by delaying the sending of an email for a pre-set amount of time, between five and 30 seconds, after a user hits “send.” During that period, users can click a link to undo sending the email and fix just-noticed typos, insert forgotten attachments, or narrowly avoid the dreaded faux pas of the accidental ”reply all.”