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How to Recall an Email in Outlook: Step-By-Step (2023)

How to Recall an Email in Outlook

It is completely normal and expected that you, like everyone else, have an embarrassing story with a specific email. Sending an email to the wrong person, sending a message without the attachment, or making silly typing mistakes, are situations that might make you wish you know how to recall an email in Outlook.

The good news is that you do not have to worry anymore. We will show you how to recall an email fast and conveniently.

What Does It Mean to Recall and Replace a Message?

To recall a message means that you are taking the right steps to prevent the message from reaching the recipient’s inbox. If the recall succeeds, you will forbid the email to end up in the inbox of the wrong person and prevent an eventual confidential email message from being read. The recall process differs depending on the email service provider.

Requirements for Recalling a Sent Email in Outlook

The first important thing to recall a sent message in Outlook is that you and your recipient should have a Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Exchange email account in the same organization.

Moreover, the message must be clean of any spam filter. 

Limitations for Recalling a Sent Email in Outlook

Unfortunately, you can not recall an email message sent to Gmail, Yahoo, or other providers. Keep in mind that you can not recall an email that is already seen by the recipient.

You cannot recall messages protected by Azure Information Protection (AIP).

Also, you cannot recall an email in Outlook for Mac or a web-based version of Outlook.

Related: The Best Email Signature Fonts

An Easy Guide to Recall an Email in Outlook

Open Outlook > select “Sent Items” > click “Message” > “Actions” > select “Recall Message”.

To confirm a recalled message, select “Tell me if recall succeeds or fails” for each recipient check box.

You and the recipient should use Microsoft Outlook and Exchange server email for this process to be successful.

Step-By-Step Process: How to Recall an Email in Outlook

Step 1: Choose the email in Outlook to recall the message

Go to Microsoft Outlook and choose an email to recall from the Sent Items folder. Double-click to open it.

Choose the email in Outlook to recall the message

Step 2: Recall the message

Now, click “Recall This Message” in the Action tab.

Recall the message

If you have a simple ribbon, open the message you want to recall, click on the three dots of the ribbon, and you will find the drop down list.

Recall message

Step 3: Delete unread copies and create a new message

Once you click on the option “Recall This Message”, you will see a new Outlook pop-up window. You can recall a message by choosing one of these two options:

  1. Delete unread copies of this message
  2. Delete unread copies and replace them with a new message

If you want to know if the recall succeeded or failed, check the box to see that.

Delete unread copies and create a new message

Step 4: Confirm recalled messages

You will get a recall notification if the message is recalled successfully.

Confirm recalled messages

Possible Results When You Recall Outlook Emails

Depending on the recipient’s email client setting, if the original message has been read or not, there can be different results.

  • If the recipient has already opened the message, the recall fails. Both the original message and the new message are available in the recipient’s inbox.
  • If the recipient opens the recall message first and has not opened the original message yet, the original message is deleted. But the recipient will know that you deleted the message from the items folder. These results also appear if the recipient moves both the original message and the new message in the same folder.
  • If the option “Automatically process requests and responses to meeting requests and polls”, under Tracking is enabled, and the recipient hasn’t read the original message, Outlook deletes the original message, and the recipient is notified about that.
  • Remember, if the original message is marked as read when the recall message process requests happen, the recipient is informed that you want to delete a message. The original message stays in the recipient’s inbox.
  • If the recall message and the original message are located in separate folders, the recipient receives a message stating, “Recall attempt failed”. In the recipient’s inbox, you can find the original message and the new message. If you send a message to a public folder and recall the original message to replace it with a new one, one of the following happens:
  • The recall succeeds if the recipient did not read the original message. The new message is the only one that remains. You will get a notification stating the recall message succeeded.
  • If the recipient marked the original message as read, they are notified that the recall failed, and only the recall message is removed.

Read more: How to Delete a Gmail Account


Outlook is a very powerful tool if you know how to use its features efficiently. With the possibility to recall email messages, Outlook can be a lifesaver.

This quick step-by-step guide on how to recall an email in Outlook is useful, but this feature has its limitations. Remember you and the recipient must be in the same organization. 

To avoid costly mistakes, check your messages prior to clicking send.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you recall an email in Outlook without the recipient knowing it?

If the recipient does not open the message, they will never know that message has been deleted.

How long does it take to recall a message

The recall message process takes two minutes, and it will be successful if the recipient uses the Outlook client.


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