Have you ever started writing an email to a colleague, and before you were ready to send it, you wound up accidentally hitting “send” somehow? As soon as it happened, you probably muttered some expletive, maybe pounded a fist on your desk, and then hastily sent a follow-up email to correct the error. Don’t worry—everybody’s been there.

But did you know that there’s a way to recall a sent message in Microsoft Outlook if it’s been sent within your Microsoft Exchange Server? Say, “So long!” to office-embarrassment with this handy little trick! When you recall a sent message, Outlook will try to stop the delivery if it hasn’t arrive yet, or will replace the accidental email with a corrected one if it has, in fact, been delivered.

Remember: you can only recall a sent message within your organization.

Recall a Sent Message

If you just want to recall the message without sending another email to replace it, follow these steps:

  • Go to your Sent Items and open the email you want to recall. You need to actually open the email by double-clicking on it so that it appears in a new window, not just view it in the preview on the right-hand side.

Recall a Sent Message

  • Click the ‘Message’ tab next to ‘File,’ and then click ‘Actions’ in the ‘Move’ group. A drop-down will appear, and then click ‘Recall This Message…’

Recall a Sent Message

Note: if your email window is not fully expanded, you may not see ‘Actions,” and instead may see:Recall a Sent Message.

If your email window is really small, you may even only see:

Recall a Sent Message.

The full options will become available if you stretch the window out or maximize it completely.

  • Select ‘Delete unread copies of this message’ and then click ‘OK.’ If you leave ‘Tell me if recalled succeeds or fails for each recipient,’ checked, it will send you a notification for every recipient that you emailed. If you sent the message to many people, you may not want all those notifications.

Recall a Sent Message

Recall a Sent Message and Replace It

In the email I sent to Anne, I meant to attach an invoice. If I had written “Please see the attached invoice,” or something to that effect, I would have triggered the attachment reminder, which would’ve prevented the whole problem in the first place! But since I was being casual, I didn’t, and now I’m in this pickle. Now that I’m recalling the email, I want to replace it with a corrected email—not forgetting to attach the invoice this time!

Follow the same steps as before:

  1. Open the message you want to recall and replace from the ‘Sent Items’
  2. Click the ‘Message’ tab and then click ‘Actions’ in the move group, and select ‘Recall This Message’

This is where things change.

  • Click ‘Delete unread copies and replace with a new message,’ then click ‘OK’

Recall a Sent Message

  • A new message window will appear, already addressed to your intended recipient, and with your previous email message. From here, you can re-enter the subject line, make any necessary changes to the email’s content, and add or remove any attachments. Once the email is correct, you can send it.

Recall a Sent Message

If you have more questions about troubleshooting Microsoft Outlook, reach out to us on Facebook and let us know! We’re happy to help!

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