How To Recall an Email in Hotmail or Outlook.com

Hotmail Undo Send

If you are using Outlook.com (Previously called Hotmail) there is a new option called ‘Undo Send’ in the desktop interface. If you have this option enabled and you act fast, you can unsend an email in Hotmail. Here’s how to recall an email in Hotmail:

Note that if you meet any of the three conditions below, you cannot recall an email in Hotmail:

  1. It has been more than 30 seconds since you sent that email.
  2. You have NOT enabled the ‘Undo Send’ option in Hotmail previously.
  3. You used a mobile device or an app (Cellphone or Tablet) to send that email.

Steps To Unsend an Email in Hotmail

The ‘undo send’ option is not enabled by default in Hotmail, and if you’ve already sent an email without this option enabled, it cannot be recalled. With the Hotmail’s Undo Send feature enabled, all your emails are held in the outbox for a specific number of seconds, giving you a leeway to change your mind.

Follow the steps below to enable undo send in Hotmail:

Step 1

Click on the gear icon (cog wheel) on the top-right corner and select ‘Options’ from the drop-down menu.

Unsend email in Hotmail - Step 1

Step 2

On the left-hand side under ‘Mail,’ click on the Undo Send option.

Unsend email in Hotmail - Step 2

Step 3

To enable it, select the radio button which says ‘Let me cancel messages I’ve sent for’ and then choose the desired cancellation period from the drop down menu – 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds and 30 seconds. It is the time within which an email can be recalled after being sent (best option is to keep it at 30 seconds). Click ‘Save’ at the top.

Unsend email in Hotmail - Step 3

Step 4

To check if it works, try composing a test email and send it. You’ll see the option to ‘Undo’ on the top right corner of the screen.
Click ‘Undo’ within your earlier chosen time frame (30 seconds).

Unsend email in Hotmail - Step 4

Step 5

Once you click undo, the email you composed earlier will pop back up on the screen so that you can make the required changes before sending it again or discard it altogether if you want. So, that is how you recall an email in Hotmail.

This option to unsend has only recently been added in Hotmail (aka Outlook.com) in December 2016.

To recall an email in Outlook, see How to Recall an Email in Outlook.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. I didn’t have the ‘Enable undo send’ option enabled & I want to recall an email. How can I recall it?

A. Unfortunately, you cannot recall it. You need to have the option enabled before you can recall an email in Hotmail.

Q. I sent an email from my Android/iPhone. Can I unsend it?

A. Unfortunately, this feature is not available when sending an email from mobile devices. You should be using the Web/Desktop interface of Outlook.com (Hotmail) for it to work.

Q. Can I recall an email I sent a few hours ago from my Hotmail account?

A. No, you can only recall an email if it has been less than 30 seconds since you sent it, and you had the option of ‘Undo Send’ enabled before sending it, and you are using the Web/Desktop interface of Hotmail (Outlook.com).


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About The Author

Author of this page is Amit Goenka who is a Cisco Certified Network Associate & a Microsoft Certified Professional.