How to Backdate an Email in Gmail? A Step-by-step Guide

HOW TO BACKDATE AN EMAIL IN GMAIL – In this article, we’ll explore methods for sending emails with past dates, a topic that occasionally arises when deadlines are missed or specific date references are needed in communication.

We’ll discuss adjusting your computer’s clock for a simple approach and setting up an SMTP server for more control, along with the caveats associated with these methods.

How to backdate an Email in Gmail so it appears to have been sent on a previous date?

To send an email with a past date, you can adjust your computer’s clock to the desired time before composing the email.

Some older email programs, such as Outlook Express, will use this local date and time when sending the email to the server.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Right-click on the clock on your desktop if you’re using a Windows computer.
  • Choose the “Adjust date/time” option.
  • Modify the date to your preferred time and confirm the changes.
  • Compose and send your email with the adjusted date.

What are the reasons why this method did not work?

This method may not be foolproof because the email’s metadata will retain the accurate date. There are a few reasons why this approach might fail:

  • Your email provider might replace the time and date with the correct ones.
  • Relay servers along the email’s path will disregard the computer’s timestamp and rely on their own server time.
  • The metadata from your email server will indicate when it received your email, not when you initially composed and sent it.
  • The recipient’s email server will still record the accurate receipt time before delivering it to the recipient.

Alternative way to backdate an Email in Gmail

Using an SMTP Server:

For greater date control, set up an SMTP server. You can use free programs or a compatible Windows version’s built-in SMTP server.

This method enables you to personalize the email’s date and time. However, be aware that email metadata may still disclose the actual date, and email providers, relay servers, and the recipient’s email server can override your adjustments.

Backdating emails should be done with caution, considering the potential for true date exposure in metadata.


In summary, to send an email with a past date, you can manipulate your computer’s clock settings before composing the email, though this method is not foolproof as email metadata often reveals the accurate date.

Another approach is to set up an SMTP server, providing more date customization options, but it’s important to exercise caution as metadata can still reveal the actual date, and email providers and servers along the path can override your adjustments.

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