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How to Unsend an Email in Microsoft Outlook

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

Imagine this scenario. You just finished up a meeting with your coworker Claire, and it didn’t go well. You are writing an email using Gmail to another coworker expressing your frustration with Claire and her lack of intelligence, and you hit the send button. As you watch your email being sent, you realize you copied in the entire company. Beads of sweat swiftly pool on your brow and your heart begins palpitating. You are overwrought with worry about sharing your thoughts with everyone in the office, including Claire. Now what do you do?

Having the ability to un-send an email is undoubtedly one of the best advancements in digital mailing. And like several other email clients, Microsoft Outlook offers this through its recall feature.

Message recall allows you to retrieve a message you’ve already sent from the recipients’ mailbox if they haven’t already opened the email yet. It’s perfect for when you’ve accidentally spelled someone’s name wrong or forgot to attach your attachment.

Unfortunately, it isn’t the most user-friendly. To recall an email in Outlook, both the sender and the recipient need to be Outlook email client users on an Exchange server, along with several other restrictions. So if you aren’t both using Outlook, the feature isn’t functional.

If these conditions apply to you, a workaround is to enter your settings and adjust the delay time on your email, so that Outlook performs a several-second pause before sending an email that you might want to reconsider.

For those who can use recall for an Outlook message, here’s how to do it.

  1. Click on the “Sent Items” folder in your inbox’s left sidebar

  2. Select the message you plan to recall

  3. Click the “Message” at the top of your message window

  4. Choose “Actions” from the dropdown

  5. Click “Recall This Message.”

  6. A window will appear with recall options. Select “Delete unread copies of this message” or “Delete unread copies and replace with a new message.”

  7. Hit “OK.”

  8. If you opted to “replace with a new message,” compose your new message before clicking “Send.”


This article is brought to you by eVantage Technology.

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