How To Unsend An Email In Outlook

Productivity Software

Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling in your stomach after realizing you sent an email with a mistake or to the wrong recipient? We’ve all been there! Fortunately, Microsoft Outlook provides a feature that allows you to unsend an email and save yourself from potential embarrassment or miscommunication. In this article, I will guide you through the steps of how to unsend an email in Outlook, and share some personal insights and commentary along the way.

Step 1: Enable the Outlook Recall Feature

Before diving into the process of unsending an email, it’s important to ensure that the Recall feature is enabled in your Outlook settings. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook and go to the File tab.
  2. Select Options from the dropdown menu.
  3. In the Outlook Options window, click on Mail on the left-hand side.
  4. Scroll down to the Send messages section and check the box that says Enable Undo Send.
  5. Click on OK to save the changes.

Enabling this feature will allow you to recall emails within a specified time frame after sending them.

Step 2: Recall an Email

Now that you have enabled the Recall feature, let’s move on to the steps of actually unsending an email:

  1. Go to the Sent Items folder in Outlook.
  2. Double-click on the email you want to recall to open it.
  3. In the top ribbon, you will see a tab called Message. Click on it.
  4. In the Move section of the ribbon, click on the dropdown arrow next to Actions.
  5. Select Recall This Message from the dropdown menu.
  6. A Recall This Message window will pop up, giving you two options:
    • Delete unread copies of this message: This option will delete the email from the recipient’s inbox if it has not been opened.
    • Delete unread copies and replace with a new message: This option allows you to replace the original email with a new one.
  7. Select the desired option and click on OK to recall the email.

It’s important to note that the success of recalling an email largely depends on the recipient’s email system and their actions. If they have already read or moved the email to a different folder, the recall may not be successful.

My Personal Experience and Tips

I have personally found the Recall feature in Outlook to be a real lifesaver. It has helped me rectify silly mistakes and prevent potential misunderstandings on numerous occasions. However, it’s essential to act quickly and recall the email as soon as you notice the error. The longer you wait, the higher the chances that the recipient has already seen the email.

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Double-check your email before hitting the send button. Prevention is always better than cure.
  • If you frequently send time-sensitive emails, consider reducing the recall window in the Outlook settings to increase the chances of successfully unsending them.
  • If recalling an email is not an option or doesn’t work, you can always follow up with a polite apology or clarification email to the recipient.


Sending an email with an error or to the wrong person can be a source of anxiety and stress. Thankfully, Outlook’s Recall feature provides a handy solution to undo such mistakes. By enabling the Undo Send setting and following the steps outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of successfully unsending an email and maintaining a professional image. Remember, it’s important to act swiftly, double-check your emails, and be prepared to follow up if needed. Happy emailing!