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How to Recall an Email in Outlook

Recalling an email in Outlook is a simple task that can save you from embarrassing or regrettable situations. Whether you accidentally hit that send button too soon or realized you made a mistake in the content, Outlook provides an option to recall and even replace your message. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to recall an email in Outlook, ensuring your communication stays on point.

How to Recall an Email in Outlook

To initiate the email recall process, you’ll need to have the desktop Outlook client installed on your computer. If you don’t have it yet, it’s worth considering as one of the best email clients available for download. Once you have the client ready, follow these steps:

Step 1: Launch the Outlook desktop app and click on the Home tab.

Step 2: On the left side menu, select Sent items to see a list of your sent emails.

Sent items tab in Outlook.

Step 3: Double-click on the Outlook message you want to recall. This will open the email in a new window.

Step 4: Ensure that the Message tab is selected within the email window. Click on the Three dots on the right side of the toolbar, then hover over Actions, and finally choose Recall this message.

Recall this message option in Outlook.

Step 5: If you don’t see the three dots, select Move from the toolbar first, then choose Actions, and recall this message.

Recalling a message option in Outlook with expanded toolbar.

Step 6: A pop-up window will appear on your screen. Here, you have two options: Delete unread copies of this message or Delete unread copies and replace with a new message. You can also choose to receive a notification from Outlook regarding the recall process. Make your selections and click the OK button to proceed. If you want to delete the message, congratulations! Otherwise, let’s move on.

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Step 7: If you choose to create a replacement, Outlook will open a new screen for you to revise the message. While you compose the new email, Outlook will handle recalling the old message in the background. You may also receive a notification if you opted for it. Once you’re satisfied with the revised message, simply click the Send button.

It’s important to note that when you send a recall message, the original email doesn’t magically disappear. In order to ensure the recipient sees the recall message before the original one, consider adding a clear indicator like URGENT in the recall message’s subject line. However, keep in mind that in some cases, the recipient may still be notified when the recalled messages are deleted from their inbox. So, even if the original email is recalled, the recipient might still be aware of the botched or offensive message.

What to Do If You Can’t Recall an Email in Outlook

If the recipient has already opened your message in Outlook, the recall feature won’t work. However, there’s another option to give yourself more time to reconsider a message before it sends.

Outlook allows you to delay your emails so they don’t send immediately. This can be useful if you frequently reply to emails, exchange sensitive information, or have a tendency to make mistakes. To set up email delay in Outlook, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Open Outlook and select File in the upper-left corner.

Step 2: Scroll down and click on Manage rules & alerts.

Rules option in the Outlook email client.

Step 3: The Rules and alerts window will appear. Choose the New rule option.

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Step 4: Another window will pop up. Click on Apply rule on messages I send, listed under Start from a blank rule. Click Next to continue.

Applying a rule to a message in Outlook.

Step 5: Skip the conditions list and click Next. Confirm your decision when prompted.

Step 6: Select the Defer delivery by a number of minutes option. Choose a number that suits your needs and click OK. The maximum delay you can set is 120 minutes. Click Next.

Delayed delivery option in Outlook.

Step 7: Customize any exceptions if necessary and click Next to continue.

Step 8: Give your rule a name. If available, check the Turn on this rule checkbox. Finally, click Finish.

By following these steps, you can delay the delivery of your emails, giving you a window of time to review and make any necessary changes before they are sent.

FAQs about Recalling Outlook Messages

Why doesn’t recalling an email in Outlook always work?

Recalling an email in Outlook may not always work as expected due to various factors. Internet speeds and the time it takes for an email to reach the recipient’s inbox can influence the success of the recall. Additionally, different email clients and filters can interfere with the recall process.

Can you recall an email after an hour?

Ideally, you should recall an email as soon as possible, preferably before the recipient opens it. While it’s technically possible to recall an email after one hour, there’s no guarantee of success once the message has been accessed.

Does the recipient know if an email is recalled in Outlook?

In some cases, Outlook may notify the recipient that an email has been recalled from their inbox. However, the effectiveness of this notification can vary depending on the recipient’s email client and settings.

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Remember that recalling opened messages in Outlook can be challenging. If the recipient has already viewed your original email or if it has been redirected to a specific folder, the recall process may fail. Additionally, the recall function only works between Outlook users, and it may not work if the recipient is using a different email client.

Recalling Outlook messages is a valuable feature that can help you maintain control over your communication. If you want to explore even more powerful features in Outlook, check out our roundup of seven hidden features you probably didn’t know about. Additionally, we have three tips to help you keep your Outlook inbox organized, including strategies for automatically sorting your emails into specific folders.

This article is brought to you by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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