Can I Stop or ‘Un-send’ an Email I Sent by Mistake?

I wrote an email from my Yahoo email account and sent it to the wrong email address in Europe. Is it any way I can retrieve the email I sent to the wrong email address and delete it before the wrong recipient can read my email?


There are a couple of exceptions (one of which isn’t really an exception at all), but the answer you need to keep in mind and always remember is simply no.

Once email has been sent, it has been sent. It cannot be “unsent”.

I’ll describe why that is and what those so-called “exceptions” are all about.

Read moreCan I Stop or ‘Un-send’ an Email I Sent by Mistake?

Can I Tell If Email I Sent Has Been Read by the Recipient?

I sent an email to a friend and he claims never to have gotten it. I don’t believe him; things he’s said led me to believe that he did get it and that he did read it. Is there a way I can tell for sure?

I’m amazed at the number of questions I get that boil down to people not trusting each other. Not that there isn’t cause, I suppose, with spam, phishing, and viruses running all over the place. But this seems like the simplest case of all – was your email read or not?

The answer to your question is no, there is no way to tell for sure that your email has been delivered or has been read.

I always get a lot of pushback on that.

Read moreCan I Tell If Email I Sent Has Been Read by the Recipient?

How Do I View the List of BCC’ed Recipients on an Email I’ve Received?

I want to find the list of “undisclosed recipients” of the email I’ve received. Is there a way?


“Undisclosed recipients” is often placed in the “To:” line by email programs when the message being sent has no entries in the “To:” or “Cc:” lines. The sender has used the “Bcc:” feature of email to send the email to one or more people without revealing who they are.

So, how do you find out who they are?

Read moreHow Do I View the List of BCC’ed Recipients on an Email I’ve Received?

Why Does My IP Address Have a Bad Reputation? And What Do I Do?

I found on Cisco’s Talos blog that my email reputation is “poor.” Apparently my IP address has been sending lots of email. But I haven’t! I have several computing devices: macOS 10.13.4, Windows 8.1 fully updated running Avast Free with weekly scans and a recent boot-time scan; MalwareBytes free with recent full “threat scan.” My wife uses a Chromebook (up-to-date). I use an iPad 2 and an iPhone 7 (both running iOS 11). Sometimes I use older iPhones (a 4S and a 5S). I have no IoT devices other than the router, a Pepwave Surf SOHO MK3. Pepwave says their routers are not affected by VPNFilter. I use a VPN most of the time on my portable devices, even at home. But not the Windows machine. Sometimes my Windows machine slows down, then recovers. My Windows hard drive often runs and runs. Other times, it times out, as expected. My ISP is TimeWarnerCable. I’m surprised they haven’t contacted me. Is there something I can to do detect outgoing traffic (including, but not restricted to, spam)?

I think it’s very unlikely you are sending spam. Possible, sure, but based on your description, you seem to have things well in hand.

It’s important to realize that you are not necessarily your IP address.

It’s also important not to read too much into anyone’s reputation report.

Read moreWhy Does My IP Address Have a Bad Reputation? And What Do I Do?

How Does Blocking Pictures in an Email Protect My Privacy?


In Windows Mail, I received an email from a known vendor (not spam) with all the pictures withheld. At the top (below the header) there was a message which read:

“Some pictures have been blocked to help prevent the sender from identifying your computer. Click here to download pictures.”

My question is: How can a sender identify my computer by me receiving pictures? And of course, how great is the risk?

“Identifying your computer” in that informational message is somewhat vague, as it’s not exactly what can happen. But the concept is still important.

And in fact, if you’ve ever seen ads or services that claim “we can tell you if your email has been read” – images are how they do it, and it’s also why they can never be 100% reliable.

Read moreHow Does Blocking Pictures in an Email Protect My Privacy?

Can My Company See My Personal Email?

I recently started to work at a small company – about fifteen people with no internal HR or IT department and I was requested to use my personal email account for work because my work email account was not yet ready. Although I’ve only sent work related emails on my personal account thus far (it’s been two days) and I intend to refrain from personal correspondence on my personal account (yep, quite ironic) until I switch to the office mail, I still have some concerns about privacy…

The questioner here goes on to ask some very specific questions that I’ll get to in a moment. These are really good questions, and I’m sorry to say that they’re all completely unanswerable in a very general sense.

But I do want to take them one at a time, and explain a little why you’ll be hearing me say “maybe” a lot.

Read moreCan My Company See My Personal Email?

How can newsletter senders tell that I haven’t opened a newsletter?


I am sure that I read in one of your newsletter emails that people don’t know if we read emails that we send them. I don’t know who reads my emails that I send on. So can you please explain this email that I received today? I just copied the body of the email, and yes, I guess I had subscribed at some point, but I haven’t had much in the way of emails from them in a long long time. Here is the email content:

Dear Reader,

We’ve noticed you haven’t been reading our emails lately.

Maybe you’re getting too many emails in your inbox. Maybe the information we’re sending isn’t useful to you anymore.

Whatever the reason, we don’t want to send you anything you don’t want.

If you’d like to unsubscribe, please do so now.

Or, if we’re wrong and you want to keep your current subscription, just let us know.

Please choose from one of the following options:

Keep me subscribed

Unsubscribe me

How did they know I hadn’t been reading?

There’s perhaps a too-subtle turn of phrase that I use when talking about email tracking that probably leads to your confusion.

I didn’t say they “can’t” tell if you’ve opened the mail – what I said was they “can’t reliably” tell.

That’s a pretty important difference.

Read moreHow can newsletter senders tell that I haven’t opened a newsletter?

How can I prove that I didn’t send a particular email?

A guy received an email apparently from my email address (a Yahoo account), but I’ve never sent such a mail. Now, I received a letter from the attorney of this guy accusing me of harassing his client. The  email in question was sent in April of last year. What can I do to help clarify this misunderstanding?

As it turns out, making email that looks like it came from you is really easy. Spammers actually use “From” spoofing all the time to do this.

Surprisingly, proving that it was not from you might be a little harder.

Read moreHow can I prove that I didn’t send a particular email?

Why is email I’m sending being received by someone I’m not sending to?

Hi, Leo. My business sends periodic email invitations out to our patrons that sign our guest registry with just their name and email address. Somehow, there is someone that’s getting the email, but he is not in my contact list. And he’s getting pretty upset. Now, I can’t blame him. I’ve triple-checked my contacts and his name is not there. Today, I sent an invitation and manually typed the names. As always, I asked that if people want to be removed, they just reply with “remove” in the subject line. I got an email from this person to be removed. I’m beside myself on what to do. Any suggestions?

To be honest, this is a really tough one. I run into this all the time. On the various email lists that I manage, I’ll end up getting a bounce message for an email that’s not on my list.

And while I have some ideas as to why, there’s little I can do.

Read moreWhy is email I’m sending being received by someone I’m not sending to?

How Do I Detect Web Beacons in Email?

Hi, Leo, I’m following up on an entry that you wrote about blocking images from being downloaded when opening web email. I’ve since tried to find more information about those hidden web beacons (or web bugs) that can track an email recipient if the images are not blocked. Going a step further, would you kindly be able to explain how to detect the URL of the aforementioned web beacons/bugs from an email’s source code?

Most of the beacons and bugs aren’t hidden at all. Email senders can tell from any image in an email (even a logo) if a message was opened and if so, from where.

Read moreHow Do I Detect Web Beacons in Email?