Outlook Email Recall – How to Recall a Message in Outlook

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This days, many Email platforms and file sharing services like “Outlook” have set up a special tool among their features which is the Recall feature. Meaning you can get back your error filled email you’ve sent before the recipient sees it. If you have mistakenly sent an incomplete message. Maybe you forgot to attach a file or sent an email to the wrong person. You can get back the message from the receiver’s inbox before he/she reads it. Gone are those days when we have to take time to apologies to the recipient we’ve sent wrong message to. On the Microsoft Outlook, this special feature that helps in getting back your mistakenly sent message is named Recall email. And this can be done in two different ways, they are;

Outlook Email Recall - How to Recall a Message in Outlook
  • Delete unread message
  • Delete unread message and replace with a new message

When this actions or steps of recalling your message is successfully done. Then the receiver will no longer see it in their inbox.

The Recall email mail or message feature is only available on the Outlook Microsoft Exchange Email Accounts and for Office 365 users. The following versions of Outlook supports this special feature of Recalling email; Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2019.

Gmail, another email platform which also provides a similar feature to the Recall email feature of Microsoft outlook. Though it is named differently from that of outlook. It has an option of Undo Send that pops out immediately after sending any email on it’s platform.

Steps On How To Recall / Retrieve a Message On Outllook

To retrieve an error message sent accidentally, here are the processes to follow;

  • Tap on your Sent Items folder.
  • Double click on the email you want to recall or retrieve so as to open it I a separate window. The Recall feature is not available for a message shown in the Reading pane.
  • Beneath the Message tab, in the Move folder, click Actions and then Recall this Message.
  • Next will be a pop-up message of Delete Unread Copies of this Message: This action will remove the email from the recipient’s inbox.
  • Or if you want to make a replacement message. Then click the Delete Unread Copies and Replace with a New Message: This action will replace the original sent message with a newly edited one.
  • If you want notification about the success or failure of the recalled message then all you need to do is to click Tell me if Recall Succeeds or Fails for each Recipient option.
  • If you choose to replace the message with a newly edited one. Then it will display your original message on a separate window where you can now edit it as you want, when done, click Send


  • If the Recall feature is not available on your account. Then definitely you don’t have an Exchange account, or you have a disabled feature done by your Exchange administrator.
  • If the original email was sent to more than one person. Then recalling of the message would be done to everyone. It cannot recall a sent email to selected sets of people. 
  • Only an uread email on the recipient’s inbox can be recalled. Perform the processes on how to recall a message as fast as possible before the recipient reads it.

Outlook Recall requirements and Limitations

These are the conditions that must be met before this Recall feature can work;

  • You and your recipient should be users of the Office 365 or Microsoft Exchange account
  • The recall feature is available for Windows users and not available in Otlook for Mac and Outlook on the web.
  • The Original email should be in the receiver’s Inbox and should remain Unread. Email already read by the receiver or under a rule, spam filter, or an add-in, cannot be recalled.
  • An Email under Azure Information Protection cannot be recalled.

If requirements are met. Then a good chance that an accidentally sent email will be saved from being read.

Why Recalling an Email on Outlook Fails?

  • Office 365 or Microsoft Exchange should be used by the sender and receiver.
  • Works only for Windows and Outlook email users.
  • Does not work for Mobile apps
  • The Email must be in the receiver’s inbox
  • The Email must remain unread
  • Recalling might fail for public and shared folders.
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