Everyone has had those moments when you accidentally send an email with a mistake in it (often an embarrassing mistake), or when you send the email to the wrong person. After you’re done cringing at the memory, we have some good news for you. If you use Outlook to manage your emails, there’s an easy way to recall those mistaken messages and replace them with something far more appropriate. Here’s what to do.
Steps to recall Outlook emails (2016)
Head over to your Sent Items folder, and look for the email you want to recall — it should be at the top of the list. Double-click to fully open the email.
Check the top of the window and make sure that you are in the Message tab. Then look for the dropdown menu that says “Actions.” It should be next to the Rules and Move Email options in your taskbar.
In Actions, you should see an option to “Recall This Message.” You need an Exchange account for this option to be available. Also note that certain administrator decisions may block this option, depending on your organization.
This will bring up a new recall window that allows you to choose between simply deleting the unread copies of the message, or replacing the copy with a new message that contains proper information. You also get an option to receive a report on whether the recall succeeds or fails, on a recipient-by-recipient basis. Make the appropriate selections based on your situation, and then select OK.
If you are creating a replacement message, Outlook will now take you to a new compose message screen. Just select Send whenever you are ready to start the recall process.
Note that if you send a recall message, it doesn’t exactly make your old email disappear. We’ll talk a little more about this is the section below, but in order to have the original message disappear, the recipient may have to open the recall message first. This is why it may be a good idea to put “URGENT” or something similar in the title of your recall message to make sure it gets opened before the other email.