Outlook: How to Recall a Sent Message

Have you ever clicked send on a message and then remembered that you forgot to attach that important file, or realized you put the wrong time down for a meeting? Outlook allows you the option of recalling a sent message. Here’s how:


For Outlook 2003:

1. Go to the Sent Items folder.

2. Find the message you want recalled and double-click it.

3. Go to the Actions menu and select Recall This Message.

4. To recall the message:

Select Delete unread copies of this message.
(Note: the recipient needs to have Outlook opened for the message to be deleted)

To replace the message:

Select Delete unread copies and replace with a new message, click OK, and type your new message.

To be notified about the success of the recall or replacement:

Check the Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient check box.

5. Click OK.

UPDATE: How To Recall a Sent Message in Outlook 2007:

1. Click on Sent Items.

2. Find the message you want recalled and double-click it to open.

3. Go to the Ribbon.

4. In the Actions section, click Other Actions and select Recall This Message.

5. Select Delete unread copies of this message.

6. To be notified about the success of the recall, check the Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient checkbox.

7. Click OK.

 

About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • oabo

    Thank you, please note that if the mail is read before you recall it will send a “failure to recall” email.

  • Vincenia

    I have tried to recall a message without success even the recipient open to Outlook (Note: the recipient needs to have Outlook opened for the message to be deleted).

    When the recipient clicks to recall message, the original email is still be opened to read. Why?

  • http://www.4chan.org Anon

    Thanks :) just saved me embarrassment of not putting the subject into an email

  • Alice

    No action on my toolbar. Only More Actions?
    Unable to recall msg

    • Anonymous

      No action on my toolbar either. No recall either. Mine is a Year 2006. Please help.

    • Sehradinesh

      Don’t just open it in preview of the main window. Double click the message, it will open in a new window. Now you will see the required options.

  • Frieda

    GREAT THANKS!!!

  • Brian

    Many thanks quick and straight to the point

  • Marian Matei

    Thanks! Very usefull!

  • john

    This recall function only works when using MS Exchange email account. It does not work with other popular email providers such as hotmail, yahoo, gmail, etc…

  • Dave

    This entry made me look like a hero – thanks for those responsible.

    CEO calls in a big panic – I google, land on this entry, and shout out these instructions in the speakerphone.

    Sweet.

  • Randal Oulton

    It should be noted that this only works in very limited circumstances:

    – It will not work on email sent outside your organization;
    – It only works in internal systems and for those using Microsoft Outlook in that internal system;
    – On the recipient’s install of Outlook, in Tracking Options, Process requests and responses on arrival must be selected.
    – the original message must be unread.

    And, even if it is successful, the recipient gets informed that you deleted the message from his or her mailbox, perhaps making them even more curious than they would have been otherwise.

    More information: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA010917601033.aspx (link valid as of March 2008)

    • Tech007

      NOTE:
      – Outlook needs to be open for this to be processed.
      – If a user is quick enough they can get to the email and read it!!!!

      We’ve just had an instance where someone recalled  a message however the recipient was able to read the message. This is because Outlook was not quick enough in recalling the message. The user thought he was going mad when he’d lookes at an attachment and the email had disappeared.

      Looking at the Exchange server logs the email had been recalled many hours before due to USA / UK time zone.

      It’s not 100% perfect…….

    • Tech007

      NOTE:
      – Outlook needs to be open for this to be processed.
      – If a user is quick enough they can get to the email and read it!!!!

      We’ve just had an instance where someone recalled  a message however the recipient was able to read the message. This is because Outlook was not quick enough in recalling the message. The user thought he was going mad when he’d lookes at an attachment and the email had disappeared.

      Looking at the Exchange server logs the email had been recalled many hours before due to USA / UK time zone.

      It’s not 100% perfect…….

  • Raven

    That was helpful.

    Thanks.

  • neil

    we have outlook 2007. Sent a message to 5 internal people – got back 2 successful, 2 failed, the other, zip, nada, nothing:-(( Any idea why not? We’d like to get it back – her mother died and we accidentally inculded her in the flower-note. No big deal, but it’s frustrating. She’s on the same server as us, same version as us, and no-way has she opened it up yet, but even if she had, we would have gotten the “failed” message. Didn’t do the replace option at first, but when we tried that route, still nothing from her email

    • Bandit

      Perhaps her Outlook has to be running in order for the Request to process. If she’s out of the office with the computer off, there is no client app running to process your recall request. I don’t get the impression that the recall is done at the server level.

  • Wafaa

    Thanks, that was very helpfull for me.

  • Anonymous

    Recall will only be success full if:

    The recipient uses Outlook and Outlook is running
    The recipient’s mailbox must be open for the recall to success

    Message Recall will not be successful if:
    The recipient is not using Outlook
    The recipient is not logged on to the mail service provider
    The message has been read

  • Anonymous

    Solution: Think and re-read before you send.

  • Anonymous

    i lost my IDpassword

  • Owais

    Thanks…Very usefull

  • Anonymous

    Simply Fantastic. No words to explain about this

  • Anonymous

    I think it works, but it sent a message to the recipient that I wanted to recall the email, then it asked the recipient for authorization for me to take it back.

    Still it is a good idea, if I do not mind telling the recipient and asking permission. :-)

    • Anonymous

      It may work to a degree but is really not all that effective. It sends a message to the recipeint basically asking them if its OK to recall the message. So naturally in most cases people will immediatley read the message in question. The sender ends up raising the profile of the message they wish to retract.

  • Anonymous

    Where is the actions menu? (I can’t find it)

  • Anonymous

    Where is the actions menu? I can’t find it

  • Anonymous

    Where is the actions menu?

  • Anonymous

    Where is the actions menu?

  • Anonymous

    where is the actions menu? what is the Ribbon?

    • http://www.spahire.com/ Russ

      Tom555, come on mate…. look across the top of your outlook… file, edit, view, insert, format, tools, ACTIONS, help…. Mate, I am hopless on a computer and I found that… then you post this five times… you dont want to look like the one before “actions”…. take it easy tiger

      • Anonymous

        I have none of this on my computer either. No Actions: No Recall.

  • Anonymous

    YEAH BUT IF THEY READ THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE FIRST. IT AIN’T GONNA WORK! SO DON’T COUNT ON THIS FEATURE TO SAVE YOU. IT’S ESSENTIALLY
    A SAFETY NET MADE OF TISSUE PAPER!!!

  • Danielle McKnight

    Thanks so much! This was EXTREMELY helpful!

    • tufail

      Does’nt work

  • ziha

    thank you very much…your explanation is short, clear, simple & easy to follow….

  • Venkat G

    hi friends
    i want to recall the sent mail, even he/she has already read that mail. is it possbile to recall the read mails.

    thanks
    venkat

  • dani

    Wow – amazing!! Thank you thank you thank you!!

  • Dubbleb

    I know what some folks are talking about when they say that the “Recall This Message” doesn’t show up in their version of Outlook. I thought the same thing until I realized that it was because I was viewing my message in the Preview fashion. If you locate your sent message as everyone has already described in “Sent Items” and Double Click on the message to fully open it, you should then see “Other Actions” on the Actions tool bar. This is where you should find the option to Recall your message – if it hasn’t already been opend that is. Good luck.

  • Thomson Andreak

    if you go to actions and select recall and replace unread message, rather than just a recall, the reader does not get prompted with a message asking if ok to retract the message. Thereby your message gets replaced accurately and the profile of the message isn’t raised to make them curious!!
    This doesn’t work for non-outlook users tho, i.e. dont use this for someone who has a gmail account as they will just get the new improved message, a recall message….and the originall wrong message – v. embarrassing!

    • Brumario

      Thanks for this info. These details are really interesting. But I still have one doubt, are the notifications about the replacement really effective? and is there a possible way to verify if my recepients use Outlook?

  • Ragoos3

    easy to understand..great

  • C Bbanda

    Thanks for the solution it really works…..only because it work with immediate recall so was wondering if there was a possibility of recalling a mail sent an hour or two ago.
    Thanks
    Charles Bbanda

  • Mandar

    Cool Man ;) Thanks

  • Drchadnru17845

    Hai how to get action on toolbar, please help

  • Srikanth_04u

    very help fuul thanks

  • rahul

    thanks that was to the point.

  • Abhidarshi Verma

    thank you.

  • Prue

    Hi All,
    how do i setup tracking on a existing outlook account?

  • Kjcofran

    I cannot see any emails I have sent in the sent column

  • Bjgroves2002

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    Outlook: How to Recall a Sent Message
    Contributed by shamanstears October 7, 2006
    Tagged: Microsoft Outlook
    Have you ever clicked send on a message and then remembered that you forgot to attach that important file, or realized you put the wrong time down for a meeting? Outlook allows you the option of recalling a sent message. Here’s how:

    For Outlook 2003:

    1. Go to the Sent Items folder.

    2. Find the message you want recalled and double-click it.

    3. Go to the Actions menu and select Recall This Message.

    4. To recall the message:

    Select Delete unread copies of this message.
    (Note: the recipient needs to have Outlook opened for the message to be deleted)

    To replace the message:

    Select Delete unread copies and replace with a new message, click OK, and type your new message.

    To be notified about the success of the recall or replacement:

    Check the Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient check box.

    5. Click OK.

    UPDATE: How To Recall a Sent Message in Outlook 2007:

    1. Click on Sent Items.

    2. Find the message you want recalled and double-click it to open.

    3. Go to the Ribbon.

    4. In the Actions section, click Other Actions and select Recall This Message.

    5. Select Delete unread copies of this message.

    6. To be notified about the success of the recall, check the Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient checkbox.

    7. Click OK.
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    Anonymous 4 years ago

    :!: N.B. This works only within an organization or company. You cannot recall e-mail that you’ve sent to an outside, i.e., internet e-mail address.
    Flag 2 people liked this. Like ReplyReply Anonymous 3 years ago

    That’s very true. It doesn’t work well with universities either (except I guess if maybe they are using Exchange server).
    Flag Like ReplyReply oabo 2 years ago

    Thank you, please note that if the mail is read before you recall it will send a “failure to recall” email.
    Flag 1 person liked this. Like ReplyReply Vincenia 2 years ago

    I have tried to recall a message without success even the recipient open to Outlook (Note: the recipient needs to have Outlook opened for the message to be deleted).

    When the recipient clicks to recall message, the original email is still be opened to read. Why?

    Flag Like ReplyReply Anon 2 years ago

    Thanks :) just saved me embarrassment of not putting the subject into an email
    Flag Like ReplyReply Alice 2 years ago

    No action on my toolbar. Only More Actions?
    Unable to recall msg
    Flag 5 people liked this. Like ReplyReply kb2nd 9 months ago in reply to Alice

    No action on my toolbar either. No recall either. Mine is a Year 2006. Please help.
    Flag 4 people liked this. Like ReplyReply Sehradinesh 1 month ago in reply to Alice

    Don’t just open it in preview of the main window. Double click the message, it will open in a new window. Now you will see the required options.
    Flag Like ReplyReply Frieda 2 years ago

    GREAT THANKS!!!
    Flag Like ReplyReply Brian 2 years ago

    Many thanks quick and straight to the point
    Flag Like ReplyReply Marian Matei 1 year ago

    Thanks! Very usefull!
    Flag Like ReplyReply john 1 year ago

    This recall function only works when using MS Exchange email account. It does not work with other popular email providers such as hotmail, yahoo, gmail, etc…
    Flag Like ReplyReply Dave 1 year ago

    This entry made me look like a hero – thanks for those responsible.

    CEO calls in a big panic – I google, land on this entry, and shout out these instructions in the speakerphone.

    Sweet.
    Flag 1 person liked this. Like ReplyReply Randal Oulton 1 year ago

    It should be noted that this only works in very limited circumstances:

    – It will not work on email sent outside your organization;
    – It only works in internal systems and for those using Microsoft Outlook in that internal system;
    – On the recipient’s install of Outlook, in Tracking Options, Process requests and responses on arrival must be selected.
    – the original message must be unread.

    And, even if it is successful, the recipient gets informed that you deleted the message from his or her mailbox, perhaps making them even more curious than they would have been otherwise.

    More information: http://office.microsoft.com/en… (link valid as of March 2008)

    Flag 2 people liked this. Like ReplyReply Raven 1 year ago

    That was helpful.

    Thanks.
    Flag Like ReplyReply neil 1 year ago

    we have outlook 2007. Sent a message to 5 internal people – got back 2 successful, 2 failed, the other, zip, nada, nothing:-(( Any idea why not? We’d like to get it back – her mother died and we accidentally inculded her in the flower-note. No big deal, but it’s frustrating. She’s on the same server as us, same version as us, and no-way has she opened it up yet, but even if she had, we would have gotten the “failed” message. Didn’t do the replace option at first, but when we tried that route, still nothing from her email
    Flag Like ReplyReply Bandit 1 year ago in reply to neil

    Perhaps her Outlook has to be running in order for the Request to process. If she’s out of the office with the computer off, there is no client app running to process your recall request. I don’t get the impression that the recall is done at the server level.
    Flag Like ReplyReply Wafaa 1 year ago

    Thanks, that was very helpfull for me.
    Flag Like ReplyReply o1ive 1 year ago

    Recall will only be success full if:

    The recipient uses Outlook and Outlook is running
    The recipient’s mailbox must be open for the recall to success

    Message Recall will not be successful if:
    The recipient is not using Outlook
    The recipient is not logged on to the mail service provider
    The message has been read
    Flag 2 people liked this. Like ReplyReply kittenparty 1 year ago

    Solution: Think and re-read before you send.
    Flag Like ReplyReply syedalhaj 1 year ago

    i lost my IDpassword

    Flag 1 person liked this. Like ReplyReply Owais 1 year ago

    Thanks…Very usefull
    Flag Like ReplyReply ramsmba 1 year ago

    Simply Fantastic. No words to explain about this
    Flag 1 person liked this. Like ReplyReply zatti 1 year ago

    I think it works, but it sent a message to the recipient that I wanted to recall the email, then it asked the recipient for authorization for me to take it back.

    Still it is a good idea, if I do not mind telling the recipient and asking permission. :-)
    Flag Like ReplyReply rickscr 1 year ago in reply to zatti

    It may work to a degree but is really not all that effective. It sends a message to the recipeint basically asking them if its OK to recall the message. So naturally in most cases people will immediatley read the message in question. The sender ends up raising the profile of the message they wish to retract.
    Flag Like ReplyReply Tom555 1 year ago

    Where is the actions menu? (I can’t find it)
    Flag Like ReplyReply Tom555 1 year ago

    Where is the actions menu? I can’t find it
    Flag Like ReplyReply Tom555 1 year ago

    Where is the actions menu?
    Flag Like ReplyReply Tom555 1 year ago

    Where is the actions menu?
    Flag Like ReplyReply Tom555 1 year ago

    where is the actions menu? what is the Ribbon?
    Flag Like ReplyReply Russ 12 months ago in reply to Tom555

    Tom555, come on mate…. look across the top of your outlook… file, edit, view, insert, format, tools, ACTIONS, help…. Mate, I am hopless on a computer and I found that… then you post this five times… you dont want to look like the one before “actions”…. take it easy tiger
    Flag 1 person liked this. Like ReplyReply kb2nd 9 months ago in reply to Russ

    I have none of this on my computer either. No Actions: No Recall.
    Flag 3 people liked this. Like ReplyReply bobarino 12 months ago

    YEAH BUT IF THEY READ THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE FIRST. IT AIN’T GONNA WORK! SO DON’T COUNT ON THIS FEATURE TO SAVE YOU. IT’S ESSENTIALLY
    A SAFETY NET MADE OF TISSUE PAPER!!!
    Flag 3 people liked this. Like ReplyReply Danielle McKnight 8 months ago

    Thanks so much! This was EXTREMELY helpful!
    Flag Like ReplyReply tufail 8 months ago in reply to Danielle McKnight

    Does’nt work
    Flag Like ReplyReply ziha 8 months ago

    thank you very much…your explanation is short, clear, simple & easy to follow….
    Flag Like ReplyReply Venkat G 7 months ago

    hi friends
    i want to recall the sent mail, even he/she has already read that mail. is it possbile to recall the read mails.

    thanks
    venkat
    Flag 1 person liked this. Like ReplyReply dani 7 months ago

    Wow – amazing!! Thank you thank you thank you!!
    Flag Like ReplyReply Dubbleb 7 months ago

    I know what some folks are talking about when they say that the “Recall This Message” doesn’t show up in their version of Outlook. I thought the same thing until I realized that it was because I was viewing my message in the Preview fashion. If you locate your sent message as everyone has already described in “Sent Items” and Double Click on the message to fully open it, you should then see “Other Actions” on the Actions tool bar. This is where you should find the option to Recall your message – if it hasn’t already been opend that is. Good luck.
    Flag Like ReplyReply Thomson Andreak 7 months ago

    if you go to actions and select recall and replace unread message, rather than just a recall, the reader does not get prompted with a message asking if ok to retract the message. Thereby your message gets replaced accurately and the profile of the message isn’t raised to make them curious!!
    This doesn’t work for non-outlook users tho, i.e. dont use this for someone who has a gmail account as they will just get the new improved message, a recall message….and the originall wrong message – v. embarrassing!
    Flag 2 people liked this. Like ReplyReply Brumario 4 months ago in reply to Thomson Andreak

    Thanks for this info. These details are really interesting. But I still have one doubt, are the notifications about the replacement really effective? and is there a possible way to verify if my recepients use Outlook?
    Flag Like ReplyReply Ragoos3 6 months ago

    easy to understand..great
    Flag Like ReplyReply C Bbanda 6 months ago

    Thanks for the solution it really works…..only because it work with immediate recall so was wondering if there was a possibility of recalling a mail sent an hour or two ago.
    Thanks
    Charles Bbanda
    Flag Like ReplyReply Mandar 6 months ago

    Cool Man ;) Thanks
    Flag Like ReplyReply Drchadnru17845 6 months ago

    Hai how to get action on toolbar, please help
    Flag Like ReplyReply Srikanth_04u 5 months ago

    very help fuul thanks
    Flag Like ReplyReply rahul 5 months ago

    thanks that was to the point.
    Flag Like ReplyReply Abhidarshi Verma 4 months ago

    thank you.
    Flag Like ReplyReply Prue 4 months ago

    Hi All,
    how do i setup tracking on a existing outlook account?
    Flag Like ReplyReply Kjcofran 4 months ago

    I cannot see any emails I have sent in the sent column

    Flag Like ReplyReply Bjroves2002 0 minutes ago

    get off your ass, and get outside

  • Johnkathen

    thanks….

  • Ashu

    In some cases as the raised point is some users are not getting action or anything menu when the sent mail is opened in full mode also…so please tell how to enable viewing the Action in that mail to proceed further

  • Fasilkhkk

    bad luck, its not working

  • HenrydeNorman

    (1) Really, how do you recall a message??, I’ve done everything but can’t find ‘Actions’ on the toobar, menu or mini-menu.

    (2) How do I delete the chain of address on a message that’s been sent around when I forward it?. It adds unnecessary text and people can see who I get my info from!!!.

    • alexandru

      what kind of outlook you have ? Atention you mast go on sent item end after you enter in action …!

  • Alexandru_steiner

    Thank’s it work…!

  • Suri

    very usefull

  • Senthamil

    Where I can see Ribbon? Please help. Im using Outlook 2007.

  • shabir

    what about outlook 2007

  • Yash

    How to call back an important email which has already been sent and read by a wrong recipient.

    TOP URGENT

  • I’m

    I am a lengthy time ago I read your blog and possesses lengthy been saying that you’re a fantastic author

  • Rohit

    1. Click on Sent Items.
    2. Double Click on the mail you wish to recall.
    3. Click Actions under Move pane
    4. Click Recall this Message.

    And you are done!

  • Murad

    Recall sent message succeeds if the email is unread, if it’s read you cannot recall it

  • name

    go into their my space now,

  • Immanuel

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for this article. I wasn’t sure if it was possible to recall sent messages anymore in Outlook and more important I did not know how to do it. But thanks to your article I was able to go down the right path. I am grateful that you have shared your time and knowledge with the rest of us who are looking to for answers to ‘sometimes’ puzzling questions/problems.

    In the spirit of helping people and improving our experience of the use of technology. kindly allow me to offer a small point of a typographical oversight I spotted while reading the above article. Step 3 read:

    3. Go to the Actions menu and select Recall This Message.

    It should read or say: . Go to the Other Actions menu and select Recall This Message.

    I hope this observation will help to not only improve the accuracy of the message, but also enhance your original intention, which is to help us save ourselves from the myriad of embarrassing situations resulting from being careless in properly composing our e-mails.

    Thanks!

    Immanuel

  • imtiaz alam

    Thank you, as per the help I am able to recall my sent mail.

  • galvis

    If you attempt to recall an email that was sent to another online mail site like AOL or Yahoo and it says “recall successfull” Was it actually sucessfull? How do you know whether or not the receiving person had outlook as well?

  • revuguru.com

    Undoubtedly insightful post – appreciate it!

  • patience Antonio

    How to recall a message sent to wromg recipient. When trying to recall, you get the feedback that the mail box is full. Will the messgae be recalled when the mail box is cleared or the mail will be deleted.

  • Cleo

    The fact that it only works with INTERNALLY (ie. not with recipients outside your company) cannot be stressed enough. I agree that this feature is pretty much useless in MOST situations.

  • Pruzzwal Nandi

    Thank you…..its very usefull for me…..:-)

  • ck

    Thanks. Simple & straight forward.

  • Suresh

    Dear All,
    It’s not working on outlook 2007, any one can you help me.

  • Faizan

    Thanks a lot

  • Unami Mosokomane

    I have sent a mail day before by mistake.i don’t want my Boss to read.it.i can’t recall it.But he reports to duty ealier than me.Will the recall help.
    I recalled but it state.” you have attempted to recall the email”

  • T Walsh

    If I recall the message and the receipient has not got Outlook open, will it recall the message when they open outlook, or will I have to try and recall it again when Outlook is opened.

    • Robert

      If I recall an e-mail, how long does it normally take for me to be notified in my Outlook In Box?

  • DVR

    Thanks your a big help…I will recommend this to my colleague.

  • vick

    can i delete sent mail.if i have deleted my sent copy?

  • AB

    Please help! I recalled a message today as I used the wrong subject heading – not a good start to my new job :-(
    I oft quite a few failure to recall messages but I know some of those weren’t at their desk to read the email that I accident sent. If I pressed recall and delete, does the email disappear from everyone’s inbox?