Retrieving an email in Outlook

We all have our share of embarrassing email stories. Sending an email to the wrong person, forgetting to include an attachment, sending an abusive email in the heat of battle, and making stupid typos are just some of the many email mistakes we all want to undo as soon as we realize them. And the email recall is one way to correct those mistakes.

In this article, we will learn how to recall an email in Outlook. Let’s dive in:

Requirements for retrieving a sent email in Outlook

You and your recipient must have a Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Exchange email account in the same organization to retrieve an email sent in Outlook.

So you can’t remember a message sent to Gmail, Yahoo, or other email clients. Outlook on the web does not have the feature to retrieve an email.

Messages protected by Azure Information Protection cannot be revoked. Also note that you will no longer be able to retrieve messages opened by your recipients.

Read more: Create a mailing list in Outlook

How to Recall an Outlook Email

The following is a step-by-step process to revoke an email:

Step. 1

Open your Microsoft Outlook and go to the Sent Items to choose an email you want to recall.

Step. 2

In the ribbon area, you will see the Actions tab with an option: Recall this message.

If you have a simplified ribbon, you may not see the Actions tab there. If so, open a sent message you want to retrieve and click the three dots in the top right of the ribbon. You can find the Actions tab in the drop-down menu.

When you select the Actions tab, an option to invoke this message appears on the right.

Step. 3

When you click on the Recall This Message option, a new Outlook window will appear. You have two options to retrieve your message:

Delete unread copies of this messageDelete unread copies and replace with a new message

Choose the desired option. To find out if the recall succeeds or fails, check the box for the recall succeeds or fails.

Click the Ok button to recall the message.

Step. 4

You’ll get an on-screen confirmation to let you know you’ve recalled a message.

If the message has been successfully withdrawn, you will be notified.

Recall a message in Outlook on the web

Outlook on the web does not have a recall option for sent items. But you can unsend it within 10 seconds.

Here’s how to do it:

Step. 1

Click the gear icon in Outlook on the web and go to the View all Outlook settings menu.

Step 2

Go to the Compose and Reply section and scroll through the drop-down list to find the Undo Send tab. Set the cancellation period to 10 seconds.

At the moment you cannot have a cancellation period of more than 10 seconds.

Step. 3

Write and send an email in Outlook on the web. At the bottom of the email window, you will see the Send popup with an Undo option.

Click the Undo button to stop sending the message.

Alternatives to Retrieve a Sent Outlook Email

If you are unable to use the recall feature in Outlook, there are some alternatives to recover a sent Outlook message:

1. Sent an honest apology email

Making a mistake is only human. So if you’ve sent an embarrassing email, you always have the option to send an apology email.

If you write an honest email, chances are the recipient will ignore your wrong email.

2. Delay Your Outlook Emails Sending

Several factors determine the fate of a recall request. So many times the email recall fails.

A safe alternative is to delay sending your Outlook emails. This gives you enough time to review your email later to make sure everything is correct.

Here’s how to delay the delivery of your emails in Outlook:

Step. 1

Click on the three dots in the right corner of your ribbon and hover over Rules. Click the Manage Rules and Alerts tab.

Step. 2

Click the New Rule tab in the Rules and Alerts pop-up window. A new Rules Wizard window opens. Select the Apply rule to messages I send tab and click the Next button.

Step. 3

Now the Rules Wizard will ask which condition(s) you want to check?

Check nothing and click next. A confirmation screen will appear stating that this rule will be applied to every message you send. Click Yes.

Step. 4

A new Rules Wizard window opens, asking you what you want to do with the message. Check the box to defer delivery and edit the rule description to select the minutes you want to defer your emails.

Step. 5

Click the Next button and a new window will open where you can make an exception to this rule. Uncheck each box and click the Next button.

In the new Rules Wizard window, you can give this rule a name. Click the Finish button. And apply the rule.

If you send an email now, Outlook will delay delivery by 5 minutes. The email will remain in Outbox during this time, and you can make any changes to the email and resend it.

Why is my email call not working?

Here are a few possible reasons why your email reminder isn’t working:

You and the recipient do not have a Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Exchange email account in the same organizationYour recipient has already opened the messageThe message is being forwarded to another folder by the recipient or because of an Outlook rule

Is recovering an email in different versions of Outlook the same?

Yes, calling up an email in different versions of Outlook is the same. However, for Outlook 2007, some options have slightly different names.

Does the recipient know if you remember an email in Microsoft Outlook?

Yes, the recipient will know if you remember an email in Outlook.

How long does it take for a recall to succeed in Outlook?

It can take a few seconds to a few minutes to see if a recall succeeds in Outlook.

Is there a deadline for recovering emails in Outlook?

No, there is no deadline for recovering emails in Outlook. For a recall attempt in Outlook to be successful, the recipient must not open the email.


Now that you know how to retrieve an email in Outlook. You should start using this feature. But you must act quickly to retrieve your email, as this feature will not work if the recipient opens the message.

While you’re at it, you should also learn how to retrieve an email in Gmail.

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