Microsoft 365 Outlook: How to recall a sent email

Can you recall a sent email in Microsoft Outlook? The answer is yes, but only when certain preconditions are met. Essentially, message recall is only accessible when both the sender and receiver have an Office 365 or Microsoft Exchange email account in the same company.

Note: You can only replace and recall messages using the Outlook client, which is the fully installed version, not the version viewed via Office 365 on the web. Follow through and see how you can recall a sent email in Outlook, we will discuss potential solutions as well as some of the reasons why you may want to consider recalling some emails. Follow the step-by-step process below to see how you can recall a sent email.

How to recall a sent email in Microsoft 365 Outlook:

  1. Firstly, Open Outlook.
  2. Now click on “Sent Items”, located in the folder pane.
  3. After that click on “Action”.
  4. Now click on click “Recall This Message”.
  5. Finally, click “OK” after selecting the necessary choices.

We’ve also created an awesome YouTube video that walks you through the steps given above. Watch it here:

You will receive notification email messages for each recipient if you choose the “Tell me if recall success succeeds or fails” option. However other than that the rest is quite straightforward and you’ll have the ability to recall incorrect mail of mail that really shouldn’t be sent to anyone. Of course, there are a few prerequisites to this, the mail needs to be unread and the client needs to be using the Outlook mail client. The feature will not work if either of those is not met. Another option probably more commonly used is the delete and resend feature. Where if you select the “Delete unread copies and replace with a new message”, the email can be replaced with an updated copy. For instance grammar errors, an incorrect sequence of points on a list, or a wrong document. 

Note that sending a recall message does not completely remove your previous email. The receiver may need to open the recall message first in order for the original message to vanish. This is why you should make the recall message’s title “URGENT” or something similar to that so that it gets opened before the first mail copy. Continue reading for a more detailed explanation. According to Microsoft, the receiver may be alerted when recalled messages are removed from their inbox in some instances. Keep in mind that even if an email is recalled, the receiver may still be aware that a faulty or inappropriate message was sent to them, even if they are unable to read it.

Why it may not work when you recall a sent email in Outlook

While it may appear to be a straightforward task, I mean sending an email, we do this on a daily basis, how hard could it be? However, you always need to keep remembering that an email is not always as simple as it appears. With such a technological achievement in today’s internet, the speed at which content can be delivered has outpaced traditional results, there is a very clear chance that the erroneous email is already in someone’s inbox, causing a whole host of problems. Attempts to recall an email will be hampered by a number of variables. Here are a few things that might sabotage your efforts or cause difficulties.

Why email recall may not work for you in Outlook

Messages have been opened

You won’t be able to remember your original email if it is opened by a recipient. The second recall message can still be received and read, but the original remains in the recipient’s Outlook mailbox. One of the reasons you should act immediately is because of this.

Other folders are redirected

Your recall will fail if your initial message activated a filter and was redirected to a specified folder by Outlook. Only emails that are still in the inbox are affected by the recall option. The initial message will not go away if it is left somewhere else.

Folders that are open to the public

The recall will fail if someone reads your mail in a public folder.

Other email programs

Outlook is compatible with the recall function. The recall will not function if you send an email to someone who uses Gmail, for example.

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Alternate solutions for how to recall a sent email in Microsoft 365 Outlook

As mentioned before, email recall in Outlook is not as effective or won’t cover all the base points you may assume it will cover, you may get infuriated by the fact that you can’t control these uncontrollable factors or have no effective approach to mitigate these shortcomings. However, if you are trying to attempt a recall and it won’t come through, you may want to consider the following steps:

Compose an apology email

This is arguably the easiest remedy to the problem, other than double-checking to verify your emails are delivered to the proper individuals. If you mistakenly sent an email to the wrong recipient or set of recipients and it wasn’t too embarrassing, you may save time and effort by admitting your error and apologizing. An honest apology is typically warmly received, and it may even help to develop confidence among the recipients. Then you may all go your separate ways.

Delay sending emails in Outlook to prevent having to recall a sent email

Delay sending your emails so they don’t get out right away. If you’re frequently responding to emails, sending sensitive information back and forth, or just making mistakes, you should consider postponing your emails. Following these easy procedures, you can simply set this up for all of your Outlook emails:

How to delay mail sending in Outlook (step-by-step):

  • In Outlook’s upper-left corner, click File.
  • Scroll down to Manage Rules & Alerts and click it.
  • On your screen, the Rules and Alerts window will appear. Choose New Rule from the drop-down menu.
  • There will be another pop-up window. Select Apply Rule to Messages I Send from the drop-down menu. This may be found in the Start From a Blank Rule section. To continue, use the Next button.
  • Don’t bother about the other criteria on the list, and click Next to proceed. A confirmation screen will display after that. To confirm, select Yes.
  • Choose the Defer Delivery option. By using the option for a specific number of minutes. Select the Number of links from the drop-down menu. A pop-up screen will display, asking you to select your chosen length. Enter the desired time (120 minutes is the maximum) and then click the OK button. After you’ve gone over everything, click Next.
  • Select the appropriate exceptions choices if you have any. Then, to proceed, click the Next button.
  • Give your rule a name and, if it’s accessible, choose the Turn On This Rule checkbox. Finally, press the Finish key.

How to recall a sent email in Microsoft 365 Outlook (step-by-step)

  • Firstly, Open Outlook.
  • Now click on “Sent Items”, located in the folder pane.

Look locate the email you wish to recall in your Sent Items folder, which should be near the top of the list. Before proceeding to the next step, you must double-click on this email to completely open it.

  • After that click on “Actions”.
  • Now click on click “Recall This Message”.
  • Finally, click “OK” after selecting the necessary choices.

That’s it for this Blog! Thank you for taking time out to read our content, please feel free to email our team about how it went if you followed the steps or if you need more help with the questions we answered in this Blog.

Saajid Gangat

Saajid Gangat has been a researcher and content writer at Business Tech Planet since 2021. Saajid is a tech-savvy writer with expertise in web and graphic design and has extensive knowledge of Microsoft 365, Adobe, Shopify, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and more! You can connect with Saajid on Linkedin.

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