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How To Recall An Email In Outlook?

Have you ever sent an email that you immediately regretted? Whether it was an accidental mistake, a hasty response, or a message containing sensitive information. You’re not alone! The “Recall” feature in Microsoft Outlook is a lifesaver in these situations, allowing you to retract or replace an email before it reaches the recipient’s inbox.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, emails are a primary mode of communication. While emails offer convenience and efficiency, they can also lead to embarrassing or regrettable situations if sent hastily or without proper consideration.

The ability to recall an email can be great in professional and personal settings. Imagine sending an email with an incorrect attachment, a typo-ridden message, or a sensitive detail you wish you could take back. With the “Recall” feature, you can regain control and rectify the situation before it’s too late.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of email recall, explaining the process step-by-step, addressing common concerns, and exploring alternative solutions. Whether you’re a seasoned Outlook user or a novice emailer, this guide will empower you to navigate the complexities of email communication with confidence and ease. If you want to Create Group Mail in Outlook to check the article.

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What Does It Mean to Recall an Email?

In the realm of email communication, recalling an email refers to the act of attempting to retrieve an email that you have already sent. The primary objective of recalling an email is to prevent the recipient from seeing the original message. This feature proves particularly useful in situations where you have sent an email with an error, inappropriate content, or sensitive information.

When you initiate the recall process, Outlook sends a request to the recipient’s email server, attempting to delete or replace the original message before they have a chance to open it. The success of the recall depends on various factors, including the recipient’s email client, whether they have already opened the message, and the speed of the email servers involved.

When To Recall An Email In Outlook

  • To Correct Errors: If you accidentally send an email with typos, grammatical mistakes, or incorrect information, recalling it can help you rectify the situation before the recipient notices the errors.
  • To Prevent Misunderstandings: If you realize that an email could be misconstrued or cause confusion, recalling it can give you a chance to rephrase or clarify the message.
  • To Protect Sensitive Information: If you inadvertently disclose sensitive or confidential information in an email, recalling it can help prevent unauthorized access or unintended exposure.
  • To Maintain Professionalism: If you send an email in haste or with inappropriate content, recalling it can demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to maintaining a positive communication environment.

To Address Inappropriate Behavior: If you realize that an email contains offensive, discriminatory, or harassing language, recalling it can help mitigate the situation and prevent further harm.

How to Recall an Email in Outlook Without the Recipient Knowing

The success of recalling an email depends on several factors, including the recipient’s email client and whether they have already opened the message. However, there are steps you can take to increase the chances of successful recall:

  • Act quickly: The sooner you initiate the recall process, the higher the likelihood of success.
  • Recall from Sent Items: Open Outlook and locate the email in your Sent Items folder.
  • Access Recall Options: Double-click the email to open it in a new window. Click the “File” tab, then select “Info.” In the “Message Resend and Recall” section, click “Recall This Message.”
  • Choose Recall Method: Select either “Delete unread copies of this message” to simply remove the email from the recipients’ inboxes or “Delete unread copies and replace with a new message” to replace the original message with a revised one.
  • Notification Preference: Check the box “Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient” if you want to receive status updates.
  • Confirm Recall: Click “OK” to initiate the recall process.

Steps to Recall Email in Outlook

Here’s a step-by-step guide to recalling an email in Outlook:

  • Locate the “Sent Items” folder in the navigation pane of Outlook.Open Send items on outlook
  • Find the email you want to recall and either click on it once or double-click to open it in a new window.Double click to open the mail in outlook
  • In the new window, click the “File” tab and then select “Info.”go to file and info
  • Click “Message Resend and Recall” and then select “Recall This Message.”Click in Recall this message
  • Choose “Delete unread copies of this message” to remove the email.Delete unread copies of this message in outlook
  • Check the box “Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient” for status updates.
  • Click “OK” to initiate the recall process.

Can You Replace An Email In Outlook?

Yes, Outlook allows you to replace an email with a new one. When recalling an email, you can choose the option to delete unread copies and replace them with a new message. This option allows you to rewrite the email with the correct information or a more appropriate tone.

How to recall and replace an email in Outlook

Initial steps are to Recall and replace an email in outlook.

  • Go to the sent Items folder, find the email you wish to Recall and replace.
  • Make sure of the message that you want to recall and double-click to open it in a separate window.
  • In the “Actions” group, click “Recall This Message.”
  • Select the “Delete unread copies and replace with a new message” option. Click “OK.”
  • Make the necessary changes to the email. Click on “Send.”

Reasons to Recalling an Email in Outlook Doesn’t Always Work

While the “Recall” feature in Outlook offers a safety net for regrettable emails, there are certain circumstances that can hinder its success. Understanding these limitations can help you manage expectations and prevent unnecessary frustration.

  • Recipient’s Reading Habits: If the recipient has already opened and read the email, recalling it may not remove the message from their inbox. Once the email is read, it becomes a part of the recipient’s email history, and Outlook’s recall request may not be able to override this.
  • Recipient’s Email Client Compatibility: Not all email clients support the recall feature. If the recipient’s email client is outdated or incompatible, it may not be able to process Outlook’s recall request, resulting in the email remaining in the recipient’s inbox.
  • Email Server Delays: Occasionally, delays or disruptions in email server communication can prevent the recall request from reaching the recipient’s server before they open the email. These delays can be caused by network congestion, server maintenance, or technical glitches.
  • Recipient’s Email Rules: Some users have email rules set up to automatically move incoming emails to specific folders. If the recipient has a rule that moves the email before Outlook’s recall request arrives, the recall process may fail.
  • Mobile App Usage: Recalling an email sent from Outlook to a recipient who primarily uses a mobile email app is less likely to be successful. Mobile email apps may not always sync with the recipient’s desktop email client, and the recall request may not be processed in time.
  • Encryption or Azure Information Protection: Emails protected by encryption or Azure Information Protection cannot be recalled using the standard Outlook recall feature. These protections prevent unauthorized access to the email content, and recalling them would require specific administrative actions.

Alternatives to Recalling a Message

If recalling an email is not feasible, consider these alternatives:

  1. Contact the Recipient: If the recipient has not yet seen the email, reach out to them directly and explain the situation. Apologize for any inconvenience and request that they disregard the original message.
  2. Send a Clarifying Email: If the email contains inaccurate or incomplete information, send a follow-up email to clarify the details. Acknowledge the error and provide the correct information.
  3. Ignore the Mistake: If the error is minor and unlikely to cause significant harm, consider simply ignoring it. Recipients may not even notice the mistake.

Delay Sending Email

To avoid sending an email in haste and potentially regretting it, consider using Outlook’s delayed delivery feature. This feature allows you to schedule an email to be sent at a later time, giving you a chance to review and refine it before it reaches the recipient.

Delay a Single Message in Outlook

To delay sending a single message in Outlook:

  1. Complete your email and ready it for sending.
  2. Click the “Options” tab in the New Message window.
  3. In the “Delivery” section, click “Delay Delivery.” Select the desired date and time for the email to be sent.
  4. Click “Send” to schedule the delayed delivery.

Delay Sending a Group of Messages

To delay sending a group of messages in Outlook:

  1. In the Sent Items folder, select the messages you want to delay.
  2. Click the “Rules” tab and then select “Create Rule.”
  3. In the “Rule Wizard” window, select “Apply rule to messages I send” and click “Next.”
  4. In the next window, select “Defer delivery by a specified number of minutes” and set the desired delay time.
  5. Click “Next” and then “Finish” to create the delay rule.

Send an Apology

If you accidentally sent an email containing an error or inappropriate content, sending an apology email can help mitigate the situation. Acknowledge the mistake, express regret, and provide any necessary corrections.

Tips to Avoid Recalling an Email in Outlook

To minimize the need to recall emails, consider these tips:

  1. Proofread Carefully: Before sending an email, read it thoroughly to ensure there are no errors or typos.
  2. Avoid Emotional Responses: Avoid sending emails when you are upset or agitated. Take time to calm down before composing a message.
  3. Consider Sensitive Information: Be mindful of the information you include in emails. Avoid sharing sensitive or confidential data unnecessarily.
  4. Use a Delay Timer: Utilize Outlook’s delayed delivery feature to give yourself a buffer before the email is sent.
  5. Seek Feedback: Ask a colleague or friend to review an important email before sending it to ensure it is clear and appropriate.

Recall An Email In Outlook – FAQs

1. Can I retrieve an email sent to any recipient?

Ans: By using Outlook’s retrieval feature we can send email to any recipient. But, we have to fulfill certain conditions for a successful retrieval. The retrieval process is possible when both the sender and recipient are within the same organization or domain.

2. Will the recipient be notified if I attempt to retrieve an email?

Ans: It all Depends on the recipient’s Outlook email settings. They may receive a notification when you attempt to retrieve an email. If the email has already been read, the retrieval process fails. The recipient will be made aware of your attempt to recall the message.

3. What happens if the email has already been forwarded to another?

Ans: In the event that the recipient has forwarded your email to another individual person to your retrieval attempt, the recall will not succeed. The forward copies of the email will persist in the recipients’ respective mailboxes.

4. Can I retrieve an email if I am using Outlook Web Access (OWA)?

Ans: You can recall an email by utilizing Outlook Web Access (OWA), the web-based version of Outlook. The retrieval process mirrors that of the desktop version of Outlook.

5. Are there any limitations to email retrieval in Outlook?

Ans: Yes, certain limitations exist when it comes to email retrieval in Outlook. The effectiveness of the retrieval process is contingent upon various factors, including the recipient’s email settings, the email client employed, and whether the email has been read or forwarded.

6. Does deleting an email Unsend it?

Ans: Deleting an email from your Sent Items folder does not remove it from the recipients’ inboxes. To prevent the recipient from seeing the email, you must use the “Recall This Message” feature.

7. How to Recall an Email in Outlook on iPhone?

Ans: Recalling an email from Outlook on iPhone is not directly possible. The recall feature is currently only available in the desktop version of Outlook.

8. How to Recall an Email in Outlook to Gmail?

Ans: Recalling an email sent from Outlook to Gmail is not directly possible using the standard Outlook recall feature. This is because Gmail and Outlook utilize different protocols for handling email messages, making it challenging for Outlook to directly intercept and delete an email from a Gmail inbox.

9. How to Recall an Email in Outlook 365?

Ans: Recalling an email in Outlook 365 follows the same steps as in Outlook 2016 and earlier versions. The process remains consistent across different Outlook versions.


Microsoft Outlook is a very popular email client. Several big, medium and small companies use this application as the main tool for their employees to manage their emails.

We are human and we make mistakes sometimes. We are talking about sending the wrong email or missing crucial attachments. If only there could be a way to recall an email and save your face from embarrassment.

Outlook has an excellent feature where you can recall an email provided this action fulfills some conditions.

In this guide, we saw how to recall an email in outlook. We also saw the basic requirements for the recall action to work. After that, we saw some reasons why recalling an email might not work.

In the end, we finished off the guide with a couple of useful tips to save yourself or avoid recall altogether.

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