Such Innovation

Google’s at it again.  They’ve added a feature to GMail to allow you to recall an email before it’s been sent.  But really, it’s not recalling the email, all Google is doing is holding the delivery of the email for a pre-determined timeframe.  The time of your potential regret.

I’m not a fan of webmail, never have been.  It’s related to my distrust of the cloud, but also, it also means limited functionality.  This delayed mail feature has existed forever in desktop mail applications.  You see, back when the Internet was an expensive option, people didn’t stay connected all the time.  Users were limited in minutes or they had to call long distance, or they had to use their phones for talking to people.

Email applications operated as such:  you would connect to your internet provider, download all your mail, disconnect, read and reply to all your email, then reconnect and send your replies.  So all email applications provided a way to store your emails in an Outbox for later sending.  You can use this functionality to save yourself from sender’s regret.

To enable the Outbox queue in Windows Live mail, go to Options>Send and uncheck “Send messages immediately”


In Outlook, the option is under Options>Advanced>Send and Receive


I didn’t see any way to accomplish this using the Mail app in Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.  Progress!

So, if you defer your messages in the Outbox, when do they get sent and how do you control when they get sent?  In Windows Live Mail, this is defined in Options>General.  Your Outbox messages will be sent when new messages are checked (10 minutes in this case).  Uncheck that option to make WLM wait until you click Send/Receive to explicitly send your messages.


Outlook gives you much more control over when and how messages get sent.  This is under the Send/Receive Groups, which is accessed by clicking the Send/Receive button shown in the last screenshot.


Things haven’t always gotten better, and new features aren’t always new and groundbreaking.

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