How to Revoke Your Emails in Gmail

There are times when you would like to revoke your mails after their purpose is complete. For instance, when you are sending a financial statement to an agent or project work to a colleague. Gmail, as such does not provide option to revoke messages, but there are few other ways we can achieve this:

#. Recalling a Mail

Gmail has an undo feature which lets you recall your sent mail instantly. You can find this feature under Gmail settings. Best suited for times when you notice a typo or forget to attach a file.

gmail undo send

Unfortunately, you can recall a mail till 30 seconds of sending it. However, we can used other technique (mentioned below) to erase the contents long after sending.

#. Revoking Access to an Attachment

The simplest way to manage access to your attachments is to use them with Google Drive. Once uploaded in Drive, you can email the shareable link with the view or edit permissions that you can revoke anytime.

#. Revoking Mail Contents

Self-destructing mails sounds a good idea. But can we have temporary mails on a platform built for preserving information? The answer lies with third party extensions. There are two popular extensions to create self-destructing mails:

1) Fade.li – This simple extension is the Snapchat for emails.

It shows your message for only a few seconds before it fades away. The way it works is by converting your text into a gif image that disappearers after a while. This image is downloaded temporarily from the fade.li’s servers and then destroyed after viewing. So, there is no way to view the message again.

You can even use the self-destructing functionality without installing the extension. Just append “.fade.li” at the end of an email address and it will do the rest. Try sending a mail to your_email_address@gmail.com.fade.li and see how it works out.

2) Dmail – From the makers of Delicious, this nifty extension lets you create mails that can be revoked any time. Extension creates a ‘Revoke’ button for your sent emails or lets you decide forefront on when to expire its content. Its working is quite similar to sharing Google Docs files. The recipients receive a link which contains your actual message. You control the sharing rights of the link, which in turn controls the contents of the mail.

Specify revoke duration

However, Dmail does not do something revolutionary. You can have same functionality by writing the contents on a document and sharing it temporarily on Google Docs. Dmail just makes control management easier.

The good thing about both of these extensions is that they are not required at receiver’s end. Also, they work for other mail services like yahoo.com too. Both of them uses 256-bit encryption algorithm end-to-end but somewhere your mail contents are getting accessed by their servers. Fade.li specifies their limit as 50 mails per day whereas there is no information about Dmail.

Note: Revoking mails by the above extensions will not erase your message. The email will remain in the recipient’s inbox, only with no message content. Be careful with that subject line.

Related: Formatting Gmail Replies

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Filed under Gmail Tricks. Posted by Abhishek and last updated on August 8, 2015.

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