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  • Dmail: Gmail You Can Take Back (Kind Of)
Technology Articles > Software > Communications > Dmail: Gmail You Can Take Back (Kind Of)

We’ve all done it -- composed an email, clicked Send, only to think “Oh geez, I wish I hadn’t sent that.” But it’s too late. Once you click Send, it’s off to its recipient, never to be taken back. It’s too bad there isn’t a way to delete that sent email.

What about an email with sensitive information -- shouldn’t there be a way to ensure that email is deleted forever? Welcome Dmail to the tech world! It’s like a self-destruct button, and its mission is to solve these problems and give you more control over your Gmail messages.

Control Like No Other

The minds behind Delicious, social bookmarking service, along with Science, Inc., a tech investment firm, brought this genius idea to the world, the same companies that invested in HomeHero, Dollar Shave Club, DogVacay, and Hello Society.

Just install the Google Chrome browser extension and enjoy revoking emails at any time -- a far cry from Gmail’s 30 second maximum option to undo sent mail. Once it’s installed, you’ll see the option to toggle Dmail on and off right there on the Compose Mail screen. Next to that is a button to select when you want the email to be destroyed -- choose from an hour, a day, a week, or never. Don’t worry -- you can still destroy an email after it’s sent if you choose “never,” just by clicking “Revoke Email” on the message in your Sent Mail folder. It simply removes access to the email from any and all recipients.

Dmail Not Required For Recipients

The neat part is your recipients don’t need to have Dmail on their end to read your secure messages. Instead of seeing the email if they don’t have the Dmail extension, they’ll see a message that reads, “This secure message was sent using Dmail. To view this message, simply click the button below.” They click on the “View Message” button, and are redirected to a web page that shows them your email, and gives them the option to install the Dmail extension. If they have the extension, the email will appear in their Gmail Inbox.

In terms of revoked emails, those with the Dmail extension will get a message that says, “this message has been destroyed and is no longer available.” If they don’t have Dmail, they’ll click the “view message” button as described above, and see the message detailing its unavailability in their web browser.


Encryption is done using a standard 256-bit encryption algorithm. According to Eric Kuhn of Dmail, a sent email is encrypted directly on the sender’s machine, and an encrypted copy of that email is then sent along to a Dmail datastore. The recipient receives the datastore location of the email, along with the encryption key enabling them to view it. He adds that it is only the sender and the recipient who can read the email. Gmail and Dmail do not receive the decryption key and the encrypted message.

In the future, the company hopes to expand beyond just Gmail. In fact, a Dmail iOS app will be launching in August, followed by an Android version. Then you’ll be able to destroy emails on your smartphone. What’s more, they hope to add additional features, like the ability to revoke access to files, or allow a one-time access.