How To Undo Digital Mistakes In The Workplace

Mistakes happen. It’s a well-known fact.

Too hasty in sending out that email or text message?  Accidentally close that browser tab?  Made changes to your registry?

The moment it happens, two simple words pop into mind: Uh. Oh.

But what you may not know is that (for most digital mistakes), both big and small, there’s a fix to undo them.

For those heart-in-your-stomach moments, we scrounged up a few tips and their sources to help you CTRL + Z the “uh-oh” moments in your life. Check out solutions for the most basic and advanced screw ups below.

Undo A Sent Email

Did you send an email and then realized that you’ve disclosed information you shouldn’t have? Or  wrote that email in anger?  In either case, one thing is clear—you want that email back. Luckily, it is possible to undo it and get it back.

To undo sent messages in Gmail, you can simply hit the Undo Send button, which you can enable via your Gmail settings. The feature delays the actual sending of the email for up to 30 seconds. So you have a small window to change your mind.

Hotmail users unfortunately don’t have anything developed by Microsoft to undo the action. However, it is possible for users with a Microsoft Exchange Server account.

Thunderbird users have no native feature for this. But the Send Later add-on, will let you send your email later by putting the email in the Outbox and letting it sit there a few moments before being sent out.

Undo A Deleted Email

Or, if instead of accidentally sending an email, you delete  it and need the information it contained later on, you can undo that, as well.

Microsoft allows you to be a little reckless and saves any deleted messages or items within your Deleted folder. In Outlook (web version), you can set it up so that you can recover messages directly. In, go to Options> Advanced privacy settings > Deleted messages.  Turn the Let me recover deleted messages option on.

The next time it happens you can simply go into the folder or click on the “Recover Deleted Email” option at the bottom of your email.

If you’re using Gmail, you can easily recall deleted emails by searching your Trash folder and moving the message back to you Inbox folder.

Deleted emails in Thunderbird, fortunately, aren’t gone when you hit the delete button. They won’t be deleted unless the Deleted file folder is compacted. Deleted emails are usually copied to the trash folder, after which you can either CTRL + Z or go into the Trash folder itself to retrieve it.

Undo A Closed Tab

If you have more than 5-10 tabs open when performing research, it’s easy to close the wrong tab. A simple tip: you can reopen it by using CTRL + Shift + T or by right clicking and selecting:

  • Reopen closed tab in Chrome and Internet Explorer
  • Undo close tab in Firefox
  • Reopen last closed tab in Opera

Undo A Webpage Loading

With links and ads lurking  everywhere on web pages, clicking on a link you didn’t mean to will happen.  And waiting for it to load just so you can close it is such a waste of time. To instantly stop downloading the current page, just hit the ESC button.

Undo File Deletions (And Copying)

Realizing you copied or deleted a file by mistake is perhaps one of the most common accidents there is. But don’t worry. Don’t forget– if you can copy and paste, you can also undo!

To fix an accidental file deletion or a copy, you can simply use the Undo options in File Explorer (aka Windows Explorer) or hit CTRL + Z.

To customize the Ribbon, click on the down arrow  (pictured to the right of the Undo and Redo arrows highlighted above). From there you can get both Undo and Redo commands on the Ribbon for easy  access.

Undo A Windows Update

While it’s a good thing to have your system updated regularly, sometimes those  updates can cause problems you didn’t anticipate.  You can uninstall the Windows update if needed, but you’ll need to know which one it is:

  1. Go to Windows Control Panel> Programs > Programs and Features.
  2. Click on View installed updates
  3. Click on the update you want to remove and click Uninstall.

Undo Windows System Changes

Though you shouldn’t fiddle around with the registry and your system, accidents do happen when cleaning out your computer. But if you do and realize that something went wrong, you can use and create restore points on your computer and back and restore sections of your Windows registry. It’s a bit of a process, but it is doable. Check out the links for full tutorials.

Note: If you upgraded to Windows 10 just recently and change your mind, you have 30 days to roll back your system to Windows 7 and 8.1.

Undo A Text Message

With smartphone texting, there’s always a chance you send your text to the wrong person or accidentally touch the send button. If that’s ever happened to you, you’ll be happy to know there’s a solution for even that.

The most popular one today is TigerText. It’s an HIPPA compliant texting app for healthcare workers, so you can bet that it’s rock solid for controlling text, sharing data, and sending messages with co-workers, team leaders, and friends.

More importantly, it has a Message Recall feature, which can recall your texts before or after being read.  It has both paid and free accounts available for Android and iOS.

Undo Google Doc Revisions

It’s common to work with a team via Google Docs these days. And there will be times when your revisions to a document aren’t approved.

In some cases, the simple undo button will work, but what if you made a ton of revisions? Google Docs allows you to revert to different versions of your document, spreadsheet, or presentation.

In Google Docs,

  1. Go to File> See Revision History or CTRL+ Alt + Shift + G. You’ll see a listing of major revisions that were done
  2. Click on the version you want to restore
  3. Click on Restore this revision

Next time you make a mistake, take a deep breath. Not all is lost. There may be a solution to undo it and save the day. Did we miss any? Let us know what you do to fix those digital mistakes that make your heart stop.