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How to recall an Outlook Sent Email

Did you ever click send only to regret it later? We’ve all been there. Wishing we could undo the send. This article will show you how to send an Outlook email back or defer sending it in Gmail.

Image Credit: Luis Louro/ Shutterstock

We’ve all been there. Sending an email and then regretting it moments later. It doesn’t matter if it was sent in the wrong time, to the wrong person or contains an embarrassing typo. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could remember an email? You can, provided you have the right circumstances.

Outlook for desktop allows you to undo an email by acting quickly. We will show you how to retrieve an Outlook email, describe the requirements, and suggest alternative ways.

Outlook: How do I recall a message?

It is easy to request a recall via Outlook messages. We’ll discuss in the next section whether or not that request will be granted.

To recall an Outlook email

  1. From the left-hand pane of Outlook, navigate to the Sent Item folder.
  2. To open the message you want to remember, double-click it.
  3. Click File from the top menu.
  4. Click Resend or Recall > This Message.
  5. To delete all unread copies of the message , click. You can also choose to delete unread copies and send a new email instead.
  6. You can also check Let me know if the recall succeeded or failed for each recipient. This will send you an email detailing the results of each recall attempt. These will be sent to you via email.
  7. To recall the message, click OK after you are done. This will send an email request to the address of the recipient, asking them to delete the original email.

What are the requirements to recall an email in Outlook?

Recalling an email is only possible if you and the recipient have a Microsoft Exchange account or Microsoft 365 account on a single server or organization.

Check out the type of your email account .

  1. Click File in Outlook.
  2. Click Account Setting > Account Settings.
  3. The Email tab shows the Type table which indicates what type account you are using.

This limitation means that recalling emails sent to an account outside of your organization, such as a Gmail, Yahoo, or other email service, won’t work. Because once an email leaves your internal server, it is out of your control. Recall requests are not governed by any one rule. In fact, they will not be processed.


It doesn’t guarantee recall success even if you and the recipient are both on the Exchange server.

The recipient must first open the recall request, before opening the original message. The original message will be retained in the recipient’s inbox if they have read the original message before they request recall. They will still be able to receive the recall request. However, they can inform them that you wish to delete the original message. It is their decision whether or not to proceed with the recall.

If the recipient has Automatically Process Meeting Requests and Responses to Meeting Requests and Pollsenabled, the recall will take place in the background. Your original email will then be deleted. You can find this setting in File > Option > Mail > Tracking. This only applies if your original email has not been opened by the recipient. This setting will not apply to recipients who have already opened your email.


The recall request will also fail if the recipient has a policy that moves your original email to another folder. The recall will not work if the email was sent to a public mailbox and the recall request is received by an individual other than the intended recipient.

RELATED: Microsoft Mail Vs. Microsoft Outlook: Which Windows 10 email app is right for you?

Recall requests cannot be processed if recipients are viewing their email outside of Outlook desktop, such as through the Outlook web application or on their mobile devices.

These conditions are essential for successful email recall.

  • You must not give the recipient any rules that would modify or move your email.


You can see that there are very specific requirements to ensure your email recall is successful. You will have the best chance of recalling the email address. However, the process is not foolproof. It is best to use it as a last resort.


You can do this by setting a rule in Outlook that delays the sending of your messages. This doesn’t technically recall an email but gives you a window to cancel it.

This is how to create a rule like this:

  1. Navigate to the Filetab.
  2. Select Manage Rules & Alerts.
  3. Click New Rule in the Email Rulestab.
  4. Select Use the rule to send messages.
  5. You can choose any conditions that you wish. You can choose to ignore the rule or send it to a specific person.
  6. Click Next.
  7. You can choose any action you wish. You must verify delay delivery by a few minutes .
  8. Click in the lower pane to select the number to specify how long you want to delay sending, between 1 and 120.
  9. To set exceptions or give your rule a name, click Next.
  10. When done, click Finish.


Gmail: How to delay sending an email

You use Gmail and would like a similar feature. You are in luck. Here are some ways to delay sending Gmail messages:

  1. Navigate to your email inbox, and click the icon in the upper right.
  2. Click To view all settings
  3. Navigate to the Send section from the Generaltab.
  4. You can use the dropdown to select a time period (up to 30 seconds), for which you wish to delay email transmission. This will give you a time limit to retract.
  5. Next, send a message and click Undo at the bottom-left.

RELATED: Unsending an Email

Outlook Email Recall is Not the Answer

It’s easy to rescind an Outlook email, as you can see. It is dependent on many factors as to whether or not the recall will succeed. You shouldn’t trust recall in an age where everyone can access their email from any location at any time.

If you are sending an error-prone email, it is worth looking into other options to delay your emails. This will ensure that your email doesn’t go out instantly, and you won’t be embarrassed by a mistake.




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