How To Recall An Email In Outlook

Productivity Software

As a frequent user of Outlook for both personal and professional purposes, I understand the sinking feeling that comes with sending an email too soon or to the wrong recipient. It happens to the best of us, but fortunately, Outlook provides a handy feature that allows you to recall an email. In this article, I will guide you through the steps of recalling an email in Outlook and share some personal experiences along the way.

Recalling an Email in Outlook: A Lifesaver

Recalling an email in Outlook is a lifesaver when you realize you’ve made a mistake or need to update the content before it reaches the recipient’s inbox. This feature can help you avoid any embarrassment or potential misunderstandings that may arise from an ill-timed or incorrect email.

Step 1: Open the “Sent Items” Folder

To start the recall process, open Outlook and navigate to the “Sent Items” folder. This folder contains all the emails you have sent.

Step 2: Double-Click on the Email to Be Recalled

Locate the email you want to recall and double-click on it to open it in a new window. Make sure you do this quickly, as the email should be recalled as soon as possible to have the highest chance of success.

Now, here comes the tricky part. Once the email is open, navigate to the “Message” tab at the top of the Outlook window.

Step 3: Access the “Actions” Menu

Under the “Message” tab, you will find the “Actions” menu. Click on it to reveal a dropdown list of options.

Step 4: Select “Recall This Message”

In the “Actions” menu, you will see the option to “Recall This Message.” Click on it to initiate the recall process.

Step 5: Choose Recall Options

After selecting “Recall This Message,” a new window will appear with two recall options:

  • Delete Unread Copies of This Message
  • Delete Unread Copies and Replace with a New Message

Choose the option that suits your needs. If you simply want to delete the email, select the first option. If you wish to replace it with an updated version, select the second option.

Keep in mind that the success of the recall depends on several factors, such as the recipient’s email client and their settings. If the recipient has already opened or read the email, the recall may not be successful.

Personal Experience: Learning the Hard Way

I vividly remember an incident where I accidentally sent an email to my entire team instead of a specific colleague to discuss a sensitive matter. Panic immediately set in as I realized my mistake, and I desperately wanted to undo it.

Following the steps outlined above, I quickly recalled the email and hoped for the best. Luckily, most of my team hadn’t opened their email client yet, and the recall was successful. I promptly sent a follow-up email apologizing for the confusion and explaining the situation. The recall feature saved me from a potentially awkward encounter and allowed me to rectify my mistake promptly.


Recalling an email in Outlook can be a lifesaver when you find yourself in an email mishap. By following a few simple steps, you can undo the sending of a message, whether it’s due to an error or the need for an urgent update. However, it is essential to remember that the success of a recall depends on various factors beyond your control. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to double-check your emails before hitting the send button. Remember, we’re all human, and mistakes happen, but with Outlook, you have a chance to correct them.