How to recall an email in Microsoft Outlook

We have all been there at least once. You have used Outlook to send an email you should not have and you need to get it back. While TV dramas and Hollywood would have you believe this means you need to hack into a user’s PC or webmail to delete the email, Microsoft’s Outlook actually just lets you take everything back from the safety of your own desk and computer.

It might sound overly complex, but do not worry, recalling a message in Outlook is incredibly simple – no matter which version you’re running.

However, please note that message recall does not work if:

  • You are sending a message outside your organization.
  • You are not using a Microsoft Exchange Server to handle your emails in Outlook.
  • The recipient is using Cached Exchange Mode and is working offline.
  • The original message is moved from the recipient’s inbox (such as via custom Outlook rules).
  • The message has been marked as read.

How to recall a message in Outlook

  1. Step 1

    In Outlook, navigate to the Mail pane and click Sent Items.
  2. Step 2

    Find the message you’d like to recall.
  3. Step 3

    Open the message and click on the Actions ribbon or menu option (depending on which version of Outlook you’re running).
  4. Step 4

    Click Recall this message.
  5. Step 5

    You can also enable Delete unread copies of this message to remove a message entirely or Delete unread copies and replace with a new message to replace the message.
  6. Step 6

    Check the Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient if you need clarification of the recall’s success
  7. Step 7

    If you checked the Delete unread copies and replace with a new message option, click OK and begin to enter your new message and send it.

If you can not see the message recall option in Outlook

Sometimes you won’t be able to perform a message recall. However, if you think you should be able to, here is one simple way to check if your account is eligible.

On a Windows PC:

  1. Step 1

    Click File | Account Settings.
  2. Step 2

    Click Account Settings again and navigate to the Email tab.
  3. Step 3

    Look for your account and the Type column.
  4. microsoft_outlook_account_settings_windows

    It needs to say Microsoft Exchange for message recall to be an option.

On a Mac:

  1. Step 1

    Click Outlook in the menu bar and then Preferences.
  2. Step 2

    Click Accounts.
  3. Step 3

    Find your account in the list and select it
  4. microsoft_outlook_email_type

    If eligible, the account overview will say Exchange Account under the account name.

If everything is correct and your account is an Exchange account, and yet you still can’t recall messages, your network administrator may have blocked such privileges.

Just upgraded to Windows 10? Here’s everything you need to turn yourself into a pro in minutes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.