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How to Recall an Email in Outlook

Home > HowTos Updated by Robert on July 17, 2024 | Approved by Christian Cawley

Email blunders happen to the best of us. Whether it's a typo, an incorrect recipient, or sensitive information sent prematurely, recalling an email in Outlook can save you from embarrassment and potential issues. This comprehensive guide is about how to recall an email in Outlook. Plus, we offer valuable tips and insights to ensure you execute flawlessly.

What is Email Recall?

Recall an email is a feature in Microsoft Outlook that allows you to retract a message you sent before the recipient reads it. This function is especially handy for correcting mistakes or preventing sensitive information from reaching unintended parties.

Why It's Important

Mistakes happen, and the ability to recall an email can be a lifesaver. It prevents miscommunication, maintains professionalism, and keeps your information secure. Knowing how to retract an email in Outlook can enhance your management skills.

How to Recall an Email in Outlook

Pulling back an email in Outlook may differ slightly depending on your version. So choose whichever one corresponds to you.

For Web Version:

Method 1: From Recall Message Option

  1. Go to the "Sent Items" tab in Outlook.
  2. Open the email you want to recall in a new window by double-clicking.
  3. Click the (...) button in the top action bar. It's usually the last one.
  4. Select "Recall Message" from the dropdown menu.

  5. Click "OK" to confirm.

Method 2: Use the Undo Option

Do you suddenly have other thoughts or regrets after you click the 'Send' button and want to know how to unsend an Outlook email? Don't worry, it's simpler than you think. Just click "Undo" when it appears at the bottom of the page.

Tip: This method requires that you have previously set it up and that the maximum undo time is 10 seconds. If you haven't enabled it yet, follow the steps below to set it up.

  1. Click gear icon in the upper right corner of the page.
  2. Go to "Email > Compose and reply."
  3. Scroll down and locate the "Undo send" option.
  4. Drag the slider to set the time of take back email in Outlook.

For App Version:

  1. Open Outlook and switch to the "Sent Items" tab.
  2. Find the recall Email and double-click it.
  3. Toggle "Message" at the top.
  4. Click "Actions" and select "Recall This Message" from the menu.

  5. Select to delete the message or replace it with a new one according to your needs.
  6. Click "OK" to recall an email sent in Outlook.

Tip: If you've lost important emails saved on your computer, don't panic. Data recovery software can help you get them back. After scanning, search for ".msg" to locate your missing emails.

Act quickly if you realize a mistake. The sooner you initiate the recall process, the higher the chance of success.

Limitations of Email Recall

While recall an email in Outlook is useful, it's not foolproof. It only works if the recipient uses Outlook and hasn't read the email yet. Additionally, the recall's success can vary based on the recipient's email settings.

How to Avoid Retract Outlook Emails

  • 🔍 Save and Review Drafts
  • Before hitting send on important emails, save them as drafts and review them thoroughly. This simple step minimizes the chances of needing to recall an email in Outlook.
  • ⏰ Use Delayed Delivery
  • Outlook's delayed delivery feature lets you schedule emails to be sent later. This gives you extra time to review and cancel emails if needed.
  • 📑 Proofread Always
  • Always proofread your emails before sending them. Check for typos, incorrect recipients, and sensitive information that shouldn't be shared.
  • 📧 Utilize Email Templates
  • Use email templates for common messages. This reduces errors and saves you valuable time.


Recalling an email in Outlook is an invaluable skill for maintaining professionalism and ensuring clear communication. By mastering this feature, you can correct mistakes swiftly and efficiently. Remember to act quickly and implement prevention strategies to minimize the need for pullback in the first place.


    1. If the recipient has already opened the email, the recall will not be successful. In such cases, send a follow-up email to address the mistake.
    2. Email recall only works if the recipient is using Outlook. It will fail if the recipient is using another email client.
  • How do you pull back an email in Outlook? To do this, you must meet the following conditions:

    1. Both you and the recipient must be using Outlook.
    2. The recipient's mailbox must be on the same Exchange server.
    3. The email should remain unread in the recipient's inbox.
  • Unfortunately, pulling back an email in Outlook that the recipient has already read is impossible. The recall feature only works on unread emails.

  • If the recall works, the original email gets deleted from the recipient's inbox. However, they might get a notification that a message was recalled.

  • If the recall fails, the recipient will still have access to the original email, and they may receive a notification that the recall attempt was unsuccessful.

    1. Go to 'Sent Items' and open the email you attempted to recall.
    2. Check the 'Tracking' tab for updates on the recall status.
  • If the recall is unsuccessful, consider the following alternatives:

    1. Send a follow-up email with corrections or apologies.
    2. Use Outlook's "Delay Delivery" feature in the future to set a delay before your emails are sent, giving you a chance to review them.