How to Recall Email from Outlook?

Last Updated on September 8, 2023 by Amit Bansal

Recall Email in Outlook

One common issue that many email users encounter is accidentally sending an email before it’s complete or to the wrong recipient.

As frustrating as this can be, those who use Microsoft Outlook have access to a feature that allows them to recall or “Unsend” a sent email.

This “Unsend Email Outlook” feature gives users the ability to rectify the situation before the recipient sees the unintended message.

This article aims to guide Outlook users through the process of recalling an email and provide useful tips on effectively using this tool.

Recalling an email in Outlook is quite simple and can be done in a few steps.

However, it should be noted that this feature is only available for Outlook desktop clients and may not be available for some email providers.

Furthermore, users should be aware that recalling an email is most successful when it is done as soon as possible after the email has been sent.

The following paragraphs will delve into the detailed process of recalling an email in Outlook, providing a thorough understanding of the necessary steps.

Understanding Outlook’s Recall Feature

How Does Email Recall Work in Outlook?

Recalling an email in Outlook is a feature available to Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Exchange users.

The recall feature enables users to retrieve previously sent emails, either to delete them or replace them with a modified version.

To recall an email, follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook and go to the Sent Items folder.
  2. Double-click the sent message you want to recall opening it in a separate window.
  3. Go to the Message tab, click the Actions dropdown arrow, and select “Recall This Message” (source).

Once this is done, recipients who haven’t read the email will not be able to see the original message.

If you choose to replace the email, a new message will be sent in its place.

When Can You Recall an Email?

Email recall in Outlook is most effective when used shortly after sending the original email.

The longer you wait, the higher the chances are that the recipient has already opened the original email, making recall ineffective.

It’s essential to act quickly and follow the necessary steps to recall the email.

Limitations and Caveats

While Outlook’s recall feature can be convenient, it has some limitations that users should be aware of:

  • Recipients must also be using Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Exchange on the same email server as the sender for the recall feature to work.
  • The recall feature will not work for recipients who have not enabled the feature or use different email clients.
  • If a recipient has already read the email or moved it to another folder, the recall will not remove the original message.
  • The success of the recall can vary, and sometimes recipients might still receive a notification about the original email being recalled.

In conclusion, Outlook’s recall feature can be a helpful tool for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Exchange users, but it’s essential to be aware of its limitations and act quickly to maximize the chances of a successful recall.

Recalling a Sent Email in Outlook

Accessing the Sent Items Folder

To recall an email in Outlook, you’ll first need to access the Sent Items folder. This is where all of your sent emails are stored.

Once you’ve opened Outlook, locate the Sent Items folder in the left-hand side pane. Click on the folder to display its contents.

sent items

Selecting the Email to Recall

Next, find the email that you wish to recall. You can use the search bar at the top of the Sent Items folder to help you locate the email more quickly.

Once you’ve found the email, double-click on it to open it in a separate window.

This step is important, as selecting the email in the reading pane won’t allow you to recall it.

Navigating to the Actions Menu

Now that the email is open in a new window, navigate to the Message tab located at the top of the screen.

You’ll find the Move group in this tab. Click on the “Actions” dropdown to expand it, revealing additional options for managing the selected email.

recall-this-message

Choosing Recall Options

In the dropdown menu, look for the option titled “Recall This Message,” and click on it. A new window will pop up, presenting you with two recall options:

  • Delete unread copies of this message: This option removes the email from the recipient’s inbox if they haven’t read it yet.
  • Delete unread copies and replace them with a new message: This option not only removes the email from the recipient’s inbox if it hasn’t been read, but it also allows you to create a new message that will be sent to replace the original.
recall this message

Choose the option that best suits your needs and click “OK” to finalize the recall process.

Keep in mind that successful email recalls depend on factors such as the recipient’s Outlook settings and the email server used.

Recall Email on Outlook 365 Webmail in 2021

Microsoft 365 Webmail makes it easy to recall an email. In this section, we will discuss how to recall an email in Microsoft 365 Webmail.

How to Recall an Email in Microsoft 365 Webmail

To recall an email in Microsoft 365 Webmail, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Microsoft 365 account and go to your Sent Items folder.
  2. Find the email you want to recall and open it.
  3. Click the three dots in the top right corner of the email and select “Recall This Message.”
  4. Choose whether you want to delete unread copies of the email or delete the unread copies and replace them with a new message.
  5. Click “OK” to confirm.

Recall an Email in Exchange Server

If you are using Exchange Server, the process for recalling an email is a bit different. Here are the steps:

  1. Open your Outlook client and go to your Sent Items folder.
  2. Find the email you want to recall and open it.
  3. Click the “File” tab in the top menu and select “Resend or Recall.
  4. Choose whether you want to delete unread copies of the email or delete the unread copies and replace them with a new message.
  5. Click “OK” to confirm.

It is important to note that recalling an email is not foolproof. If the recipient has already opened the email, they will still be able to see it.

Additionally, if the email was filtered into a subfolder or moved to another folder, the recall will not work.

However, if you catch your mistake quickly enough, recalling an email can be a helpful tool in your arsenal.

Recall Options and Outcomes

When attempting to recall an email in Microsoft Outlook, there are several different recall options and outcomes that the sender can choose from.

These options result in different actions being taken on the sent message, and the sender will be informed of the success or failure of their recall attempt.

Delete Unread Copies of the Email

One option is to delete unread copies of the original message. This action removes any unread copies of the sent email from the recipient’s mailbox entirely.

If the recipients have already viewed the message, this recall option will not affect them, and the email in question will remain in their inboxes.

Requesting to delete unread copies of the message is useful in cases where the sender has accidentally emailed sensitive or incorrect information.

Replace the Original Message with a New Message

Another recall option is to replace the original message with a new message.

This allows the sender to make changes or corrections to the original email and have it automatically replaced the incorrect version in the recipient’s mailbox.

However, it is important to note that this option only works for recipients who have not read the sent email yet.

If the recipient has already read the original email, this option will have no effect on their copy.

Choosing “delete unread copies and replace with a new message” is beneficial in cases where the mistake is not sensitive, but a corrected version of the message is necessary for the recipient.

Tracking Recall Success or Failure

Outlook provides notifications to inform the sender about the success or failure of the recall attempt.

When initiating the recall process, the sender can choose to “tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient.”

This option will result in Outlook sending success or failure messages to the sender based on whether the recall was effective or not.

It is essential to enable this option when recalling an email to have clear visibility into the recall’s efficacy, and whether any follow-up actions are necessary.

In summary, Outlook offers an email recall functionality with options to delete unread copies of the sent email, replace the original message with a new one, and track the success or failure of the recall process.

These options help users correct errors in their sent messages or mitigate unintended information disclosure.

Tips and Best Practices for Recall

Act Quickly When Recalling Emails

When attempting to recall an email in Outlook, it’s essential to act quickly.

The sooner you try to recall the message, the higher the chances are of successfully recalling it before the recipient has a chance to read it.

Open your Sent Items folder, double-click the sent message you want to recall, and then go to the Message tab.

From there, select the Actions dropdown arrow, and choose Recall This Message.

Consider Alternative Options to Recall

Although recalling an email can be useful, it’s not always successful.

Therefore, it’s important to consider alternative options to manage email mistakes. Some possible alternatives include:

  • Sending an apology: If the error is minor or a recall isn’t possible, consider sending a brief follow-up email acknowledging the mistake and providing the correct information.
  • Resending the email: If the original email contained some value, you can resend the email with the necessary corrections and a note indicating the changes made.

Be Mindful of Email Etiquette

Practicing proper email etiquette can help minimize the need for recalling messages. Keep the following tips in mind when composing an email:

  • Double-check the recipient list: Make sure you send the email to the correct recipients to avoid sharing sensitive information with the wrong individuals.
  • Proofread your content: Thoroughly proofread your email for errors in spelling, grammar, or information before hitting the send button.
  • Use clear and concise language: Ensure that your message is easy to understand and appropriately formatted with headings, bullets, and tables if needed.

By following these best practices for email recall, you can work more effectively with your email client and reduce the chances of needing to recall messages in the future.

Related Outlook Features and Alternatives

Outlook offers several useful features and alternatives to help users manage their emails effectively.

This section explains some of the options such as delaying email delivery, using message resend and recall, and managing rules and alerts.

Delaying Email Delivery

Outlook allows users to delay the delivery of emails by setting a deferred delivery by a specific number of minutes.

This can be helpful when you want to review the email once more before sending it. To use this feature:

  • Compose a new email or reply to an existing one.
  • Click on the “Options” tab in the email window.
  • In the “More Options” group, click “Delay Delivery“.
Delay Delivery
  • Check the box next to “Do not deliver before” and set the desired date and time for delivery.
  • Click “Close” and then send the email as usual. The email will be held in the Outbox folder until the specified time.
Delivery Options

Using Message Resend and Recall

Outlook’s Message Resend and Recall feature allows users to recall an email or replace it with a new version.

This can be useful when the message was sent to the wrong recipient, contains incorrect information, or was sent in error.

To recall an email:

  1. Select the “Sent Items” folder.
  2. Open the sent message you want to recall in a new window.
  3. Select “File” >> “Info”.
  4. Choose “Message Resend and Recall” >> “Recall This Message…”, and pick an option such as “Delete unread copies of this message.”

It is important to remember that recall success depends on several factors, like the recipient’s email settings and whether they have already read the email.

Managing Rules and Alerts

Outlook users can create and manage rules and alerts to automate tasks such as categorizing emails, moving them to specific folders, or sending notifications for specific events.

To create a rule:

  1. Click on the “Home” tab and select “Rules” >> “Manage Rules & Alerts.”
  2. In the “Rules and Alerts” dialog, click “New Rule.”
  3. Choose a template or start with a blank rule, and follow the prompts to specify conditions, actions, and exceptions.

These three features, along with other Outlook tools, provide a robust email management platform for users to optimize their communication experience.

How to pull back an email in Outlook

Outlook provides a built-in feature that recalls an email or replaces a message. Here is the step-by-step guide.

  • Open Outlook >> Go to send
  • Select your mail and double-click the message you want to recall.
  • Go to the Message tab >> select the Actions tab >> click Recall this message.
How to pull back an email in outlook
  • Recall This Message pop-up dialog box appears. There are two options –

# Delete unread copies of this message

# Delete unread copies and replace them with a new message

recall the message

Recall message in Outlook confirmation or message recall failure, to get to update you must click the checkbox in the above snapshot.

  • Click Ok
  • If you opt for “delete unread copies and replace with a new mail” Outlook allows you to edit the mail you already send and click the send button.
  • Wait for some time you will get the confirmation whether Microsoft Outlook takes back emails or not.

The action of recalling attempt, Outlook may notify the recipient of this action.

Key Reasons Why Outlook Recall May Fail?

Sounds unfavorable, but it’s true!

In most attempts to recall a message in Outlook fails there are times when Outlook Recall may provide a “Recall Success” message.

  • If you try to attempt the delete and replace options, the message need not be required to be opened by the recipient if it’s opened the attempt to recall fails.
  • If the recipient has not opened the original message and opens the recall message first, the original message is deleted. Outlook informs the recipient that you deleted the message from their mailbox.
  • Outlook on a mobile device and attempt to recall a message, the process will likely fail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Recall an Email Sent from Outlook to Gmail?

Yes, you can recall an email sent from Microsoft Outlook to a Gmail recipient.

However, success in recalling the email depends on the recipient’s email client and settings.

If the recipient has not yet read your message and their email client supports the recall feature, it is possible to recall the message.

Keep in mind that recalling an email sent from Outlook to Gmail might not always be successful.

Is Email Recall Available on Mac and Mobile Devices?

Email recall in Microsoft Outlook is primarily available on the Windows desktop version of the application.

Though there is a version of Outlook for Mac, it does not currently support the email recall feature.

As for mobile devices, the recall feature is not natively available on the Outlook mobile app for iOS or Android.

To recall an email from your mobile device, you would need to access the desktop version of Outlook.

Can I Recall an Email Sent to a Public Folder?

Recalling an email sent to a Public Folder in Microsoft Outlook is possible, but the process might be more complicated than recalling a regular email.

Public Folders are designed for group communication and collaboration.

To recall an email sent to a Public Folder, follow these steps:

  1. Open the email you want to recall in the Sent Items folder.
  2. Go to the Message tab, select the Actions dropdown arrow, and choose “Recall This Message”.

However, keep in mind that the recall’s success will depend on the individual settings of the recipients within the Public Folder.

If the message has already been read by any recipient, the recall attempt will fail.

Additionally, if any user has set up a specific rule preventing recall, it can also affect the recall outcome.

Overall, while the recall feature is designed to work within Outlook, it is essential to remember that its success depends on various factors, including the recipient’s email client, settings, and whether the email has been read or not.

Amit Bansal

Hello, my name is Amit Kumar Bansal, and I am the founder of MailSmartly.com. Through this blog, I focus on Microsoft Outlook, offering insightful and informative content. Additionally, I produce educational videos on YouTube to further enhance the understanding of my audience. visit my YouTube Channel

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