How to Recall an Outlook Email

Undoing or recalling an email (also known as a message) in Outlook is simple. The desktop app has a useful feature that lets you recall and change a message you didn’t mean to send or want to rephrase. It’s not super obvious, but we’re here to assist you in learning how to recall an email in Outlook.

Outlook How to Recall An Email
Outlook How to Recall An Email

Know that you can’t recall a message in the online version of Outlook; it only works in the desktop app. Also, the recall feature only functions when both you and the recipient have a Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft 365 account within the same organization. It won’t work if the recipient’s email is from outside your organization.

In this guide, we will be taking you on an adventure on how to easily recall an email on Outlook, the requirements for recalling Outlook emails, and how to replace it, as well.

What does it mean when you Recall an Email?

Recalling an email simply means trying to stop the message from getting to people or its intended recipient. Recalling lets you keep important or secret information from the wrong people or fix mistakes before they cause problems. It as well gives you the chance to correct any errors or mistakes you must have made in the email before they lead to negative or regrettable consequences.

Recalling an email is like having a safety net that allows you to take back a message and avoid unintended issues or problems.

Requirements for Recalling an Email in Outlook

There are some things you need to consider and be careful about when recalling an Outlook email message:

  • Both you and your receiver must use Outlook as the email client and also have an Exchange server account.
  • The receiver’s mailbox is open when you attempt to process a recall.
  • The original message is in the receiver’s inbox and is unread.
  • The message was not changed or affected by any other actions, like a rule, spam filter, or add-in.

Without meeting these requirements, your recall will fail.

How to Recall an Outlook Email

The following is an easy step-by-step process on how to recall an email on Outlook:

  • Step 1: Open Microsoft Outlook and go to the “Sent Items” folder where you can find the email you want to take back.
  • Step 2: Look at the top part of the screen, where you’ll see different options. Click on “Actions” and then choose “Recall This Message.” If your screen looks a bit different, don’t worry. Just open the email you want to recall, click on the three dots at the top right, and find “Actions” from the list that appears.
  • Step 3: After you click “Recall This Message,” a new window will pop up with two choices: either “Delete unread copies of this message” or “Delete unread copies and replace them with a new message.” Pick the one you want. If you want to know if the recall worked, check the box that says so. Finally, click “OK” to finish recalling the email
  • Step 4: Once you’re done, you’ll get a message confirming that the recall happened. If it was successful, you’ll see a notification saying so.

Recalling an Email in Outlook on the Web 

Outlook on the web has no recall option for sent messages, but you can as well undo or unsend a message within 10 seconds

Here is a simple way to do just that:

  • Step 1. Click on the cog icon in the top right of Outlook on the web and choose “View All Outlook Settings.”
  • Step 2. Go to the “Compose and Reply” section. Scroll down until you see “Undo send” and set it to 10 seconds. Remember, you can’t go beyond 10 seconds.
  • Step 3. Compose an email and click “Send.” A “Sending” window will appear at the bottom. If you change your mind within 10 seconds, click “Undo” to stop the email from being sent.

How do I know if a Recalled Message was Successful?

After you try to recall a message in Outlook, you could find out if it worked or not by following these steps:

  1. Check your Inbox for a message called “Message Recall Report” from Office 365.
  2. Open the report by clicking on the link labeled “View Message Recall Report.” It will open in your web browser.
  3. Look at the report to see the recall status. You’ll find the number of messages that were recalled, pending recalls, and messages that couldn’t be recalled. The report will also give details about each recall attempt.

Alternatives to Recalling a Message

Since it’s hard to predict if messages can be remembered or not due to different reasons, you can use these tricks to help you out:

Delay Sending the Email

If you often send important information, recalling a message might be tough if you make a mistake. To avoid this, you can set up your Outlook email to wait for a specific amount of time before actually sending the message. This gives you a chance to retrieve the message from your Outbox and fix any errors before it’s sent.

You have two Choices for doing this

  • Create a rule in Outlook to add a delay between clicking the Send button and the message being sent. You can apply this delay to all outgoing messages or only to specific ones that meet certain conditions, like being sent from a particular account.
  • Delay the delivery of a specific email you’re currently writing, so it won’t be sent right away.

Send an Apology

If you accidentally sent an email that doesn’t have sensitive info and isn’t too inappropriate, the easiest thing to do is send a quick apology note. Just admit the mistake, say sorry genuinely, and address any concerns raised in the email. After all, everyone makes mistakes sometimes.

That’s how you can unsend emails in Outlook. Just remember that the recall feature isn’t perfect, and its success depends on many things, like what the recipient does, server settings, and email app compatibility. So, be careful, check your emails thoroughly, and consider other ways to avoid relying on the sometimes-uncertain recall process.



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