How to Recall Email in Outlook

Bringing back an e-mail in Outlook is something that many people wish that they could do. They may not realize that it is possible to recall an e-mail in Outlook if they take a few steps to make it happen. Truthfully, this is the kind of thing that can change someone’s life because they may need to recall an e-mail that they sent out of anger, or they might want to bring back a work e-mail that they inadvertently sent out without an attachment. Whatever the case may be, they need to know the steps for how to do so.

Locate the E-mail You Wish to Recall

Your first job is to locate the e-mail that you wish to recall. It is necessary for you to figure out where that e-mail is so you can bring it back to your inbox instead of risking it being opened by the recipient. It is necessary that you act quickly to recall the e-mail to minimize the risk that the recipient will have already opened it.

To start, look for the e-mail in your sent folder. It should still be at or near the top of the list if you just sent the e-mail. You will double-click on this e-mail to open it up fully before you can begin to recall it.


Look at the Message Tab

Once you have fully opened the e-mail that you wish to recall, you will next need to look for the “message” tab and click it open. You will need to set that message tab to the on position. The reason for this is because it is a necessary step to getting the e-mail recalled.

Upon opening the message tab, you will select the “move” section and then select the “more move actions” button from within that folder. This button is shown as an envelope with a letter in it.


Select the “Recall this Message” Button

A drop-down list will appear when you enter the “more move actions” button. From that drop-down list, you should see a button that reads: “Recall this message”. You will want to click that button as quickly as you can.

A Simplified Version

Some people use a simplified version of Microsoft Outlook that may look a little different than the more complex version that is commonly used today. If this is the case for you, then you need to look at taking the following actions to recall your message:

  • Select the Message tab
  • Click on the three dots that appear as an icon
  • Choose Actions
  • Select Recall This Message

This is a more straightforward way of getting your message recalled, and some may even say that it is a faster way to get the job done as well. You should certainly consider this if you happen to use the simplified version of Outlook. It might be a lot easier for you to get back messages that you never intended to send out in the first place.

An Alternative Consideration

Getting a message recalled shouldn’t take more than a minute or so to do. However, that may not be fast enough depending on how responsive someone is to their e-mail inbox. Besides that, it may also be possible that you don’t realize you need to recall a message until it has been hanging out there for some time. If that is the case, then you might need to look at alternative options for what to do.

You can follow up your original message by offering an apologetic message to follow the one that you already sent. This may help negate some of the damage done by the firstĀ  message. It is not an ideal place to be, but it is better than simply allowing the first message to continue hanging out in the air without any explanation. Most people understand that we all send messages that we did not truly intend from time to time. However, not offering an explanation only serves to make things worse in the long run.

Delay Your E-mails

Buying yourself a little extra time before your messages go out is another option that you ought to consider in this day and age. Giving yourself a small amount of built-in delay may make it easier to correct any issues that could come up with the messages that you send out. It will buy you some time before the recipient gets the e-mail at all, and that can allow you to correct any errors or even buy yourself some time to cool off before you move forward with sending your message.

How to Delay Your E-mails

It is necessary to set up an e-mail delay before you start sending e-mails out again. To do so, you will simply need to go through a process of steps within Outlook to make it happen. Here is what that process looks like in case you want to get your e-mails set up on a delay:

  • Select “File” in the upper-left corner of Outlook
  • Scroll down until you see “Manage Rules & Alerts”
  • A new window appears and you will select the “new rule” option
  • Select “apply rules to messages I send”
  • Select a delay timeframe that you would like to apply to all messages you send out.

This will help you get the built-in delay time that you require before sending out your next message. Keep in mind the fact that you will need to update your settings yet again if you want to take the delay off of other messages that you wish to send going forward. However, if you are simply looking to apply a delay to all of your messages going forward, you should be perfectly set by following these specific steps to get you where you need to go.

Does Recalling an E-mail Ever Fail?

Sadly, there is no fool-proof system for recalling an e-mail, and it cannot be 100% guaranteed to work every time. It is generally effective at recalling e-mails that you have already sent, but that may not always be the case.

Internet speeds in today’s world are blazing fast, and your e-mail may already appear in someone’s inbox before you have the chance to recall it. They may have even opened it and read it before you can get it back. You won’t know for sure if you recalled it in time or not unless details from that e-mail are mentioned at a later time. The best advice here is simply to act as quickly as possible to recall e-mails when you know that you need to.

Can You Recall an E-mail After an Hour?

There is no time limit on when you may recall an e-mail as long as it hasn’t yet been opened by the recipient. If they have already opened it then you won’t be able to recall it, and there won’t be any point in recalling it at that stage anyway. However, you might get lucky and have someone who hasn’t opened your e-mail within an hour of you sending it. You shouldn’t count on this though, and you should always try to recall your e-mail as soon as you realize that there is some issue with it.

Will the Recipient Know That a Message Was Recalled?

No, the recipient will not be informed that a message was recalled as long as they never opened the message to begin with. If the message was recalled, then it will simply not appear in their inbox at all. It will be as if you never sent the message in the first place. That is what most people are interested in when they attempt to recall a message, and the makers of Outlook (Microsoft) understand this fully. That is why the recipients won’t see the messages that you opted to recall from them.

Recall Messages as Necessary

There is nothing wrong with recalling messages when you need to. You should try to avoid sending out anything that you don’t stand by at a later date, and that may mean you need to recall messages from time to time. If that sounds like something that you need to do, then take the time today to get to work on it. You can save yourself a lot of grief and frustration by recalling messages that you no longer stand by or want to send. Think carefully about this, and then select which messages you will actually send out moving forward.