How to Delay the Sending of Messages in Free Webmail Services

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Recently I wrote a post about how to add a delayed send function to Mozilla Thunderbird. I was inspired by GMX.com’s free webmail service which has this feature available. Today, I want to find out whether other webmail services offer this functionality, too.

GMX

The German GMX.com is the only free webmail service I know of that has integrated a delayed send feature into its system a long time ago.

To use it, go to Settings > Compose E-mail. In the Set a Sending Countdown section select Disable, 3 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, or 15 seconds.

GMX settings — Set a Sending Countdown

GMX settings — Set a Sending Countdown

Once you click Send, a timer will appear counting down from the set number of seconds to zero. Only then will your message be really sent out.

Google

It took Google up until June 2015 to integrate a delay send function into gmail.com. They still beat Microsoft, by the way…

To use it, go to Settings > General. In the Undo Send subsection tick the Enable Undo Send option and select 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds, or 30 seconds from the drop-down menu.

Gmail settings — Enable Undo Send

Gmail settings — Enable Undo Send

Once you click Send, Gmail will wait for the specified number of seconds before pushing the email out of your outbox. However, there will be no countdown with a clear cancel sending button as in GMX.

gmail-undo-button

Gmail — Undo sent message button

All you get is a quite invisible Undo link at the top of the page. I suggest setting the timer to at least 10 seconds, because you might not be able to find and click the link in a shorter time period.

Microsoft

Outlook.com and hotmail.com don’t offer a delayed send feature. This is interesting because their users have been requesting such a feature for many years.

Even more interestingly, Microsoft Outlook as a software package (not the webmail service) does offer this feature. Why is it a problem to add the same feature to outlook.com, that I will never understand.

As an answer.microsoft.com commenter succinctly put it:

You would think in the last few years they could add some simple features like a delay send. I guess by “Microsoft continuously listens to customer feedback and suggestions” they mean “Microsoft continuously listens to customer feedback and suggestions and promptly ignores them”.

Apple

Again, I find it fascinating that Apple doesn’t offer a simple delayed send feature for its many devices. Given their price ranges and market share, I would expect this as a basic feature.

Yahoo

Yahoo Mail also doesn’t offer a delayed send function.

Others

I read that an Indian free webmail called in.com does offer a delayed send but I didn’t create an account for myself to actually try it out.

To be honest, I am appalled that from the top tier free webmail service providers who own more than 90% of the market share, only Google’s Gmail offers a delayed send function. And even there, the user experience is, well, sub-par.

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