How to Recall an Email in Outlook After Sending

We’ve probably all been there. Hitting send on an email that, moments later, we then regret. Whether it went to the wrong person, sent in a moment of rage, or just containing an embarrassing typo, wouldn’t it be great if emails could be recalled? Well, under the right circumstances, they can be.

Providing you’re using Outlook with an Exchange account, you might be able to retract your email. But you need to be quick and you need to hope some factors are on your side. We’ll explore how to recall an email, the requirements that need to be met, along with some alternative approaches.

Please head into the comments section afterwards to share your own stories of email recall and any tips you can share on the topic.

How to Recall a Message in Outlook

It’s very easy to try and recall a message in Outlook. First, navigate to your Sent Items folder and then open the message that you want to recall. From the ribbon, ensure that the Message tab is selected. Then, in the Move group, click Actions (which may have collapsed into an icon, depending on your window size). From the dropdown that appears, select Recall This Message….


A new window will open, which will let you select how you want to handle the recall. You can Delete unread copies of this message to remove the email from the recipient’s inbox entirely. Alternatively, you can Delete unread copies and replace with a new message if you want to send a different email in place of the original.


You can also choose to tick Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient. This will send you an email that’ll let you know the result of every recall attempt. Once you receive these, you’ll then see a Tracking icon in the ribbon which can be clicked to give a summary of the results.

When complete, click OK to recall the message. This will then send a request to the recipient’s address, asking the email client to delete the original email.