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How to Recall an Email in Outlook

Recalling an email in Microsoft Outlook is a feature that allows the sender of an email to attempt to retract and delete a message that has been sent to one or more recipients. This can be useful in situations where the sender has made an error, such as sending an email to the wrong person, including incorrect information, or sending a message with offensive content. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on How to Recall an Email in Outlook.

When you send a recall message, it doesn't automatically delete the original email. To make the original email disappear, the recipient must open the recall message first. To ensure this happens, you can include "URGENT" or something similar in the title of the recall message. It's important to note that even if you recall the email, the recipient may still be notified that a message was deleted from their inbox. So, keep in mind that the recipient may still be aware that a problematic message was sent, even if they can't see it.

Recall an email in Outlook

Follow the below steps to recall an email in Outlook:

Step 1: Using the menu on the left side, select Sent Items to see your sent emails.

Step 2: Find the Outlook message you want to recall and double-click it. This will open the email in a new window.

Step 3: Ensure you have the Message tab selected in the email window. Select the Three dots on the right side of the toolbar, hover over Actions, and then select Recall this message.

Step 4: If you don't see the three dots, select Move from the toolbar, then choose Actions and Recall this message.

Step 5: A pop-up window appears on your screen. Here, you have two options:

  • Delete Unread Copies of This Message

  • Delete Unread Copies and Replace With a New Message.

Select your option(s) and click the OK button to continue.

Step 6: If you choose to create a replacement, Outlook opens a second screen so you can revise the message.

As you compose a new email, Outlook recalls your old message and displays a notification (if you selected that option). Just click the Send button when you’re done with the revised message.

What to do if you can't recall an email in Outlook

Once you send a message in Outlook and the recipient has opened it, you cannot recall it. But you can give yourself more time to think by delaying the sending of your emails. This is useful if you often send private information or make mistakes.

To do this, you can set up Outlook to delay or schedule your emails, which can be done by following these simple instructions:

Step 1: Select File in the upper-left corner of Outlook.

Step 2: Scroll down a bit and click Manage Rules & Alerts.

Step 3: The Rules and Alerts window will pop up on your screen. From here, select the New Rule option.

Step 4: Another pop-up window will appear. Here, click Apply Rule on Messages I Send. You’ll notice that this is listed underneath Start From a Blank Rule. Hit the Next button to continue.

Step 5: Don’t worry about anything else on the conditions list and click Next to continue. After this, a confirmation screen will appear. Select Yes to confirm.

Step 6: Select the Defer Delivery By a Number of Minutes option.

Choose the A Number of link. You’ll see a pop-up screen appear and you'll be asked to choose your preferred duration. Input the number you want (120 minutes is as far as you can go) and then click the OK button. Once you’ve gone through all that, click Next.

Step 7: If you have any exceptions, select the exception options you want. Then, click the Next button to continue.

Step 8: Give your rule a name, and check the Turn On This Rule checkbox if it’s available. Finally, hit the Finish button.


It's important to note that the success of the recall depends on several factors, such as whether the recipient has already read the email or if they have any rules or filters set up that prevent the recall from working properly. Additionally, even if the recall is successful, the recipient may still be notified that a message was deleted from their inbox, which could potentially cause further issues. Overall, while recalling an email can be a helpful tool, it's not a guaranteed solution to undoing a mistake, and it's always best to double-check emails before sending them in the first place.



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