Maybe you sent someone a mean email on the spot. Or, maybe you sent a work email but forgot to attach a document that your coworkers need. If you want to get it back, and you’re using Outlook, you’re in luck. That’s because Microsoft’s email client has a built-in way to handle this kind of problem: the ability to remember emails.
With an email recall, the person you sent an unfinished, angry, or otherwise bad email to won’t be able to see it. If you want to Recall an email in Outlook, follow the steps below. If you also want to know how to delay your emails in Outlook (to avoid accidentally sending out such emails in the future), scroll past the recall instructions to view a guide on how to do just that.
What Does it Mean to Recall an Email?
If you sent an incomplete message, forgot to link a file, or sent an email to the wrong person, you can try to get the message back from the recipient’s inbox before they read it. This tool is called “Recall email” in Microsoft Outlook, and there are two ways to use it:
- Delete the message from the recipient’s Inbox.
- Change the original message with a new one.
When a message is properly recalled, the recipients no longer see it in their inbox.
Only people with Microsoft Exchange email accounts or Office 365 can get their emails back. Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016, and Outlook 2019 are available.
Some other email clients have the same ability, but they may call it something else. For example, Gmail lets you “Unsend” a message. Google Gmail, unlike Microsoft Outlook, doesn’t delete a message. Instead, it delays sending it by a very short amount of time. See Unsend an email in Gmail if you want to learn more.
A Little About Outlook
Microsoft Outlook is a great email client that allows users to manage their emails quickly. It is better than other email apps like Gmail in a number of ways.
It has an easy-to-use interface, great email handling, and works well with Microsoft Office. So, it’s a great tool for getting work done while working from home.
On top of that, Outlook works well with Skype, Teams, and To-Do. Since it started in 2012, more than 400 million people have used it.
How to Recall an Email in Outlook?
It’s easy to ask for a message in Outlook to be recalled. Whether that request will complete properly is another matter, which we’ll cover in the next section.
To remember an email from Outlook:
- Go to the Sent Items area on the left side of Outlook.
- Find the message you want to remember and double-click it to open it in a new window.
- Click File in the top window.
- Click Resend or Cancel, and then click Cancel This Message.
- Click Delete unread copies of this message to remove the email from the recipient’s account completely. If you want to send a different email instead of the original, you can also choose “Delete unread copies and replace them with a new message.”
- Check if you want to. Tell me if each recipient’s memory works or doesn’t work. This will send you an email every time a recall is tried with the result. Once you get these, you’ll see a Tracking icon in the ribbon, which you can click to see a report of the results.
- When you’re finished, click OK to see the message again. This will then send a request to the email app of the recipient, asking it to delete the original email.
Requirements for Recalling a Sent Email in Outlook
To find an email you sent in Outlook, both you and the person you sent it to should have a Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Exchange account in the same company.
So you can’t remember a message you sent to Gmail, Yahoo, or any other email program. There is no way to remember an email in Outlook on the Web. Azure Information Protection makes it impossible to delete messages. You should also make a note that you cannot recall messages that have been read by your recipients.
How to See Your Sent Folder in Outlook?
Some Outlook users don’t have their sent emails saved by default in the Sent folder. You can’t get back an email that isn’t in the Sent box. In order to fix this, you’ll need to head to File > Options > Mail.
Next, make sure “Sent Mail” is chosen in the drop-down box under “Save Messages.” Now, a copy of every email you send will go to the Sent folder.
If you can’t find your Sent folder, you might need to click on one of the lines pointing down on the left side of the screen.
The faster you can remember the email, the more likely you are to be able to remove it from the recipient’s account. Good luck!
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How to Recall A Message in Gmail?
When it comes to Gmail, the process for recalling and the choices you have are much more limited. The only thing you can do is set a delay regarding the time it takes to send the email.
So, the email will stay in your outbox for a certain amount of time, giving you more time to look it over before you send it. When you hit send, a message will pop up in the bottom left area of the screen, along with a button to take back what you just did.
Follow the steps below to get this process up and running:
- Make sure your web browser is open to your Gmail account.
- In the top right corner, click on your user name.
- Choose click Settings
- Click See all settings.
- Go to “Undo Send”
- Choose Send undo period of 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds.
This means that you have up to 30 seconds after pressing send to change your mind and not send an email. If you don’t click the “Undo” button within that time, Gmail will send the email as normal.
Since there’s a delay before an email is sent, it’s not really a way to remember a message, but it can give you a few extra seconds to check over an email before it’s really sent.
How to Recall an Email in Outlook on iPhone?
If you have an iPhone and like to use MS Outlook on it, you can check your Outlook email while using the web browser on your iPhone. Here’s how it works:
- Open your iPhone’s online browser and go to outlook.com.
- Sign in to your Outlook account with the right username and password.
- Tap on the Sent Items folder and then open the email that you want to remember.
- Find the Message tab in the email window that’s already open.
- Tap “Recall this message” under the “Move” menu.
- You can now send a new email in place of the one you just sent or delete the email you haven’t read yet. Tap OK.
Why Recall Sometimes Doesn’t Work?
Even though it seems obvious, the return feature doesn’t always work perfectly. Due to how fast the internet is these days, the person you sent the email to may have already seen it. Here are a few things that could make it hard for you to remember an email. Here are just a few:
- Public folders: Emails in public folders can be read by anyone who has access. The recall will fail if someone opens it.
- Redirected to another folder: If the receiver has set up a rule that sends your email to another folder, then the recall will fail. This is why you should fix your mistake right away.
- Opened message: You won’t be able to recall the email if the receiver has already read it. The recipient will still be able to get and read the message, but the choice to recall only works for emails that haven’t been opened yet.
- Different email clients: The recall feature only works with Outlook, so if you use Gmail or another email app, you’re out of luck.
Now that you know how to remember an email in Outlook. You should begin to use this function. But you need to act quickly if you want to recall an email message because this feature won’t work if the receiver has already opened it.
Following the above steps will allow you to recall an email in Outlook, but the process is not a failsafe. If the recipient(s) has/have already read the email or if a filter has moved it to a different folder, you will be unable to unsend it. Our advice? Configure an automatic delay for outgoing Outlook emails to mitigate any potentially problematic messages.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How to Recall an Email in Outlook
Can you Recall an Already Sent Email?
You can take back a message right after you send it: In the bottom left corner, you’ll see “Message sent” and the choice to “Undo” or “View message.” Choose Undo.
Can you Recall an Email after an Hour?
You can always recall a text after one hour. You can recall an email as long as the receiver hasn’t opened it yet. But you should move quickly because the recall won’t work if the email has already been opened.
Does the Recipient Know if an Email is Recalled?
No, the recipient will never know that an email is recalled as long as the original message is never read. They will see the second email you sent instead of the first one you sent.
How Long Can You Recall an Email?
Outlook lets you remember an email for up to 120 minutes. But by then, most of the people you sent it to will have already read it. Once that happens, you can’t get the email back, delete it, or send a new one.
How do I Resend an Email in Outlook?
In Outlook for Windows, go to File > Info > Message Resend and Recall to resend an email. Right-click on the message in the Sent folder in macOS and choose “Resend.” Right-click the message in Outlook.com and choose Forward. Then, delete “Fw” from the subject line.
Does Outlook Recall Work?
If the person you sent the email to opens it before you can Recall it, the Recall won’t work. The receiver will still get the message that you asked it to be recalled, but since it is now a “read message,” it will stay in their inbox.
Why do Recalled Messages Fail?
Message Recall won’t work if: The person receiving the message doesn’t use Outlook. The person doesn’t have an account with the mail service company. The message no longer shows up in the Inbox.
How can I Recall an Email Quickly?
Move the slider in the right direction. It gives you up to 30 seconds after sending the wrong email to change your mind. If you click the “Undo” button, the email you were about to send will not go out.