How to Recall or Unsend a Message in Outlook

Sent out the wrong TPS reports? If you’re using Outlook 2003-2013 on an Exchange server you might be able to retrieve the email before your work team sees it.

Even with an undo setting enabled, sometimes emails get through that we wish we could take back. Or maybe the email was sent out, but a recent update rendered it invalid. With Outlook on an Exchange server, you can pull the email back and even replace it with an updated one. The feature is called message Recall, and it’s been around since Outlook 2003.

Recall only works if:

  • You are using an Exchange account.
  • The recipient is using an Exchange account.
  • The recipient has not yet read the message.

Note that even if the recipient hasn’t read the message, they will still receive a notification in Outlook saying that you deleted an email from their inbox.

To get started, open the Sent Items folder in Outlook and then double-click on the email that you want to recall. This will open up the email in its own window.

outlook sent items folder

With the email in question now in a separate window, you can now perform the recall. Click the Actions dropdown menu and select Recall This Message.

actions recall this message

Now you have a few different options for the recall. You can completely delete the message or replace it with a new one. And, you can ask Outlook for confirmation if a recall was successful for each person you sent the email to.

recall options

After performing the recall, you’ll see a message appear in the email window just below the recipients. This message will update as recipients check their inboxes, and Outlook will update you if you asked for recall confirmation in the previous step.

outlook 2013 sent email

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avinash

    August 7, 2014 at 1:50 am

    Can we do mail recall using VBA?

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