How to Recall an Email in Outlook?

How to Recall an Email in Outlook

Even seasoned professionals can make errors and blunders while sending emails. However, if you are using Microsoft Outlook, you can recall your sent message. It allows you to recall messages sent up to two hours earlier. With its unique feature, you can delete or replace the wrong message with a new one.

This article will teach you how to retract an email in outlook sent in error or to the wrong recipient. You will also learn about the requirements needed to retrieve an email and its limitations.

How to Recall an Email in Outlook

Recalling an email allows you to either unsend an outlook email or delete it from your inbox. Once you have recalled your email, the recipient will not see it in their messages.

Here are steps to recall an email using Outlook:

Step 1) First, select the ‘sent’ folder on the left taskbar.

Recall an Email in Outlook

Step 2) Double-click on the email message you want to recall. It should be at the top or close, depending on when you sent it.

Step 3) Click on the message tab and then click on action.

Recall an Email in Outlook
Tap on the action menu

Step 4) Tap on the Recall This Message tab

Recall an Email in Outlook

Note: If you have the simplified version, select the ‘File’ option, then click on ‘Info. ’Select the ‘Message resend and recall’ option.

Step 5) After selecting the “Recall this message” option, you have choices as shown below.

1. Select the option Delete unread copies of this message.

2. Then, Check “Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient,” then press “ok” button.

Recall an Email in Outlook

Rules for unsending an Outlook email

The outlook recall message in outlook is simple, but the following factors determine the success of the recall attempt.

  • The message should be unread.
  • The email should be in the recipient’s inbox.
  • The recipient should not have any software protecting their inbox, as this will hinder the outlook message recall.
  • You and the recipient should have the same Exchange Server email account. So, if you try to unsend a message to a Gmail, Yahoo account- it will not work
  • The recipient uses the web version of Outlook.
  • The recipient’s mailbox must be open to recall the email. The recipient should have their Outlook connection active and be logged in.

Why Sometimes Recall Email in Outlook Doesn’t Work?

Here are some reasons the message recall in Outlook may fail:

  • The email was in public folders that have been accessed.
  • Email redirects to other folders. Some Outlook emails automatically reshuffle emails to different folders.
  • The sent message has already been read. If the recipient has opened your message before you can retract it, then it won’t be recalled.
  • Different email servers. It is not adequate that you both use Outlook; you both should be on the same server. Example: Email sent from Company A outlook exchange server to Company B outlook exchange server cannot be recalled. As they both use different email servers.

How to tell if an Outlook email recall is successful

When the outlook message recall is successful, you will receive a “message recall success’ text just before the subject of the email. However, if it does not go through, you will receive a ‘recall failed’ message.

In case you forget to check the “tell me if the recall succeeds or fails for each recipient” option, you could track the email using these simple steps:

How to Tell if an Outlook Email Recall

Step 1) First, open the ‘sent’ folder.

How to Tell if an Outlook Email Recall

Step 2) Select the email you have recalled.

How to Tell if an Outlook Email Recall

Select the email you want to recall

Step 3) Click on the tracking feature to monitor the success or failure of the process

How to Tell if an Outlook Email Recall

Step 4) You will see a screen that shows whether the recall was successful or not

How to Tell if an Outlook Email Recall

Alternatives to retracting an outlook email

If you emailed in error, you can either recall the message or apologize. The delay option can help you avoid such a mistake in the future. Here is how to create a delay in outlook.

Step 1) Go to the info menu and select Rules and Alerts.

Manage Rules and Alerts Menu

Manage rules and alerts menu

Step 2) Under email rules, select the new rule, then the new template. ‘Tap on the applicable rule on messages I send ’option

Step 3) Click next and select the conditions you want to apply. If none of the conditions apply, select next

Rules wizard

Rules wizard

Step 4) Click next and confirm whether you want the rule to apply to every message you send.

Rules wizard

Rules wizard

Step 5) After clicking yes, the rule wizard pops up, and you can select defer delivery by a number of minutes.

Alternatives to Retracting an Outlook Email

Step 6) Set the number of minutes to delay the emails. In our case, we have selected 5 minute delay. Click Finish.

Alternatives to Retracting an Outlook Email

input the number of minutes to defer your email

Step 7) Give your rule a name. Click on the finish menu, and your rule is set.

Alternatives to Retracting an Outlook Email

Complete your rule

How to Turn on the Undo feature on Mac

However, none of the versions of Outlook allow you to recall emails sent in Outlook for Mac. You have no choice but to do damage control if you have already sent the email.

Here are steps to Turn on Undo feature On Mac:

Step 1) Go to Settings at the top of the mailbox

Step 2) Then, select View all settings

Step 3) In the settings window, click on Mail then Compose and Reply

Step 4) Under Undo, you can set how long Outlook will wait before sending your email.

Step 5) Click Save button.

Step 6) You can test undo feature by sending a test email message.

Once you send a new email you will see an undo option. If you click it, it will automatically send the email to Unsent Mail.

Troubleshooting – Outlook Retract Email

Here are steps on how to recall an email in Outlook without a Tab:

Navigate to “file,’ then select “account settings.”

  1. Go to the ‘email column’ and search for the “type options.”
  2. Ensure that it reads ‘Microsoft Exchange/Office 365.’

To recall the email sent on the app, use the recall option.

  1. Navigate to the sent folder and double-click on the message you want to be recalled.
  2. You will see a message tab; select “actions,” then “recall the email.”
  3. If you have enabled all those options, then the recall option should be available.

Here, are reasons for recalling an email:

  • Professional Mistake: Sometimes, you may send an email without attaching the necessary documents that your boss urgently needs.
  • Emotional email: In the heat of the moment, you may draft an angry message and hit send before you come to your senses. If you find yourself in this situation, the Outlook recalling a message feature can help prevent that disaster.
  • Sent the message to the wrong person: You may have sent your application letter to your boss instead of the new company you are applying to or accidentally sent sensitive information to someone below the clearance level. In this case, you will want to recall the email before the recipient sees it.

Final Thoughts:

Recalling an email can be nerve-wracking, especially if you are not sure if it will work. Although the recall feature is great, it is not always guaranteed to work. You should therefore read through your emails carefully. However, delaying the email before sending is a safer alternative.