How to Recall an Email in Outlook

How To Recall an Email in Outlook

How to Recall an Email in Outlook 2016, 2013 & 2010

What do you do if you spot an embarrassing typo in your email, forget to add certain important details or if you accidentally send an email to someone other than its intended recipient? If you use Microsoft Outlook for email, there is still hope. Microsoft Outlook allows users to retract sent emails, provided the following three conditions are met:

  • You act quickly.
  • You and the recipients are using Outlook with an Exchange account on the same server. To know if you are using an Exchange account, click on the ‘File’ tab, select ‘Account Settings’ and then click the ‘Account Settings’ button. In the ‘Email’ tab, you will see the type of account you are using under the column ‘Type.’
  • The recall option will not work if the email has been sent to a different exchange server, such as to a Yahoo or a Gmail email address or an email address outside your organization.

The ‘Outlook Message Recall’ feature lets you retrieve sent email from the mailboxes of recipients who haven’t opened the email as yet.

How to Recall an Email in Outlook 2013 & 2016

Step One: Navigate to the ‘Sent Items’ folder.

Step Two: Double-click on the message you want to recall. Opening the message in the ‘Reading Pane’ will not allow you to recall it.

Step Three: Click on the ‘Message’ tab in the ribbon.

How to Recall an Email in Outlook 2013 2016

Step Four: Click on the ‘Actions’ menu to expand it. You will see an option that says ‘Recall this Message.’ If you are unable to see this message, it means that you do not have an Exchange account.

Recall Options box

Step Five: If you want to delete the message entirely, select the ‘Delete unread copies of this message’ option in the pop-up. If you’d like to send a new message in its place, select the ‘Delete unread copies and replace with a new message’ option.

You can also check the box that says ‘Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient’ if you want to know if your recall attempt was successful. Outlook will send you an email to indicate whether or not the email was recalled.

Step Six: Click on ‘OK.’ This will send a request to the recipient’s email client, asking it to delete the original email. If you chose the ‘Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient’ option, you will also see a ‘Tracking icon’ in the ribbon.

Click on it to see a summary of the results.You will see a message in the email you tried to recall, with the status just below the recipients. As the recipients check their inbox, this message will update.

Step Seven: If you would like to send a replacement message, compose the email and then hit ‘Send.’



How to Recall an Email in Outlook 2010

Step One: Open the ‘Sent Items’ folder in Outlook.

Step Two: Double-click on the message you want to recall. Opening the message in the reading pane will not allow you to recall it. The email will open in a new window.

How to Recall an Email in Outlook 2010

Step Three: In the ‘Message’ tab, locate the ‘Actions’ drop down menu. You will see an option that says ‘Recall this Message.’ If you are unable to see this message, it means that you do not have an Exchange account.

Step Four: If you want to delete the message entirely, click on the ‘Delete unread copies of this message’ option from the ‘Actions’ drop-down menu. If you’d like to send a new message in its place, select ‘Delete unread copies and replace with a new message’ option.

You can also check the ‘Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient’ option if you’d like to track the success of the recall.

Step Five: Click on ‘OK.’ This will send a request to the recipient’s email client, asking it to delete the original email.

Step Six: If you would like to send a replacement message, compose the email and then hit ‘Send.’



Note:

  • The recipient will still receive a notification in Outlook informing them that you have deleted a message from their inbox.
  • The recalling attempt will work in the background if the recipient’s Outlook account is configured to ‘Automatically process meeting requests and responses to meeting requests and polls.’

Scenarios in which the recall attempt will fail

  • If the recipient’s mailbox is configured to automatically move incoming email into specific folders, the recall option will not work.
  • If the recipient is not using the Outlook desktop program to retrieve their emails, the undo send option will not work. (For example, if they are using an app or a mobile device or the browser interface)
  • If the recipient opens the original message first, the recall will fail, even if both of you are on the same exchange server.
  • If you sent an email to someone who is not on the same exchange server as you, the email cannot be recalled.

To recall an email in Hotmail, see How To Recall an Email in Hotmail.


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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.