Microsoft Outlook is a well-known email used by thousands of people for sending/receiving emails. This email client comes with a built-in feature called message recall/replace a message. The function of Recall an Email in Outlook is to retrieve a message that you sent to the recipients who haven’t opened it. This blog will depict the process to recall an email, why it becomes the need to recall Outlook emails as well as the results and delays that can occur during the recalling process. 

How to Recall an Email in Outlook – Easy Steps 

When you try to recall an email in Outlook, the recipient of the email will get notified by Microsoft Outlook. Here are step-by-step procedures to recall an email in the Outlook email client. 

Step1: Launch Outlook first.

Step2: Go to the sent items folder now.

Step3: Then, double-click the sent message you want to recall. (This will open in a separate window).

Step4: Click on the message tab and select the Actions dropdown arrow. Choose to recall this message then.

In the recall this message dialog box, select one from the two options provided.

  • In order to recall the message, delete unread copies of this message.
  • You need to delete unread copies and replace them with a new message – this will replace the message with a new one.

Note:- When the message is displayed in the reading pane, the option to recall a message becomes unavailable.  

Step5: Want to receive notifications of the results? Choose the Tell me if recall succeeds or fails option for each recipient and select Ok. 

Step6: In case you select Delete unread copies and replace with a new message, just modify the message and click send.

Step7: Outlook will send you a notification message concerning the success/failure of your attempt to recall or replace the email.

What are the Requirements to Recall an Email in Outlook?

There can be so many reasons to recall an email in the Outlook email program. A few of them are discussed below.

  • Both the sender and recipient of the email are using Outlook as their email client and have an exchange server mail account.
  • At times you go for a recall; the recipient’s mailbox is open.
  • The original message is found in the recipient’s inbox and it is unread.
  • The message was not under any process i.e. spam filter, rule, or add-in.

Results of Your Attempt to Recall Email in Outlook

The result of your attempt to recall email can vary depending on the recipient’s email client settings and several other factors. Below we are going to mention some of the possible results you can achieve after the Outlook recall attempt. 

  • When the recipient has already read the message, there is a chance that the recall will fail. Now, the original message or new message and notification of your attempt to recall are available to the recipient.
  • In case the recipient has not opened the original message, however, open the recall message first, the original message gets deleted. And Outlook informs the recipient that the message (from the mailbox) is deleted from the sender. 

The above results occur when the recipient moves both messages to the same folder. They either used a rule or have done it manually. 

In case the recipient has enabled automatically process requests & responses to meeting requests and polls under the tracking section, and if he/she has not read the original message then

  • Outlook deletes the original message and then informs the recipient that you deleted the message too. 

However, when the recall message is processed and the original message is marked as read, the recipient will get the notification that you want to delete the message. In this case, the original message remains in the inbox of the recipient. 

In another case, when the recipient moves the original message to another folder and the recall message goes to the inbox, the recall will fail whether the message has been read or not. The recipient will get notified that a recall attempt failed and he/she can access original as well as new email. 

Important – If you’re using Outlook on a mobile device, the process to recall can fail.  


When you send an incorrect email, it can be embarrassing. Recall an Email in Outlook feature here plays an essential role in saving you. However, scheduling or delaying messages to be sent can save you to some extent. You get enough time to check your email, review it and update information or correct errors if found any. 

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