Avoid embarrassing mistakes: How to recall an email in Outlook

Arif Bacchus

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recall an email in outlook

One of the most embarrassing things in life is replying to an email, and realizing you’ve replied to all, or sent out something to the recipient that wasn’t meant to see. Luckily, you can actually recall an email you sent in Outlook.

With the Outlook app as part of Microsoft/Office 365, you can easily recall an email — granted that you’re using a Microsoft Exchange account and the feature has been enabled by your IT department.

In this guide, we’ll show you how you avoid mistakes and recall emails in Outlook.

Recall an email in Outlook

The first step in recalling an email in Outlook is to head to the Sent Items part of the Outlook App. After that, you can double-click the message that you want to recall. Then, you need to navigate to the Message tab in the open window with the message.

You can then head to the fourth group of options in the top menu bar under Move, and choose Recall this Message. 

After following the steps above, a new window with the recall message option should appear. From there, you’ll have two options, both of which will require you to press OK afterward. You can either delete the unread copy of the message on the server, or you can replace it with a new message.

The recipient might have already viewed the message, so deleting the unread copy might not always work. You can, however, select the option to receive a report on if the recall was successful.

Speed is of the essence here, and you should always recall right as you realize your mistake. If all else fails, that’s where the second option comes in, allowing you to write an apology message so that the original (error) email does not get opened.

Other ways to avoid having to recall messages

Recalling messages might not always work, but there are some ways you can avoid getting into the situation. First off, you should always slow down and double-check where your emails are heading.

You also can even have these troubles by setting up an Outlook rule to delay emails. This ensures that your messages sent through Outlook will be delayed by a certain number of minutes, giving you a short period of time to recall messages if something were to go wrong.

Updated November 15, 2022.