All You Need to Know about Recalling and Unsending Emails in Outlook 2023

| Updated on March 1, 2024

Have you ever had to face the embarrassment of sending an email to the wrong address? Me neither but what should we do if we ever face something like that, asking for a friend. We have all been there. Sending emails to the wrong recipient is not a blunder as it is pretty common in the modern world where time is money. 

Nowadays, Outlook users have surfaced on the internet lately stating that they are in dire need of a solution when it comes to this issue. If you are also browsing the internet to learn how to unsend an email in Outlook, sit back and relax as you have come to the right place. 

Today’s blog will shed light on some simple ways that can help users to fix this mistake and for those who ponder on the question “can you unsend an email in Outlook?” on various search engines. 

Let us get to know how to recall an email in Outlook without breaking a sweat. 

Simple steps on how to recall an email in Outlook

  • Open the application of Outlook and click on the “sent items” folder that is available on the left sidebar of your inbox, to begin with. 
  • From there, you will need to select the message that you plan to recall to proceed further.
  • In the next window, click on the “message” option available at the top corner of your window. 
  • Now, you will need to select the option of “actions” from the drop-down menu.
  • For the next step, you will need to click on the option that says “recall this message”. Doing so will open a window with the recall options on your screen. From the given options, select “delete unread copies of this message” or the option that says “delete unread copies and replace with a new message”.
recall this message option fields for Outlook
  • Click on the ok button after you have selected the option and if you have selected the “replace with a new message” option, simply compose a new message and click on send to finish. 

These simple steps can help users to recall a message on Outlook with relative ease. 


Even if you move forward with sending a recall message, it still won’t make the old email disappear. To make the original message disappear, one may have to make sure that the recipient opens the recall message first. This is why one should always type urgent or something similar to that in the subject so to make sure that the recipient opens it up before the first offensive email.

This should be common knowledge since it has also been stated by Microsoft that in certain cases, the recipient may get notified if any recalled messages are deleted from their inbox. Before using this feature, one should keep in mind when recalling an email, the recipient may still have knowledge about the botched or offensive message that was sent to them even if they are unable to view it. 

Even though the solution on how to recall an email in Outlook web or app, it doesn’t always work.

Let us get to know why. 

Why does email recall doesn’t always work?

Recalling an email in Outlook seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? But things do not always work out the way users think. High-speed internet is pretty common unless you are living in a dead zone, which makes it evident that the email sent by you is already waiting in the inbox of someone, leading to further issues. 

There are a few different factors that may fail your attempts at canceling a sent email in Outlook. Here are some of the factors that may make the process more complicated. 

  • When messages are opened

If the original message has been opened by the recipient, you will be unable to recall the message. The recipient will be able to read and receive the second recall message but the original message will not disappear from the inbox of their Outlook account. This is one of the main reasons why one should act quickly. 

  • If the message gets redirected to other folders

If a filter was activated in Outlook due to your first message and the message was rerouted to a specific folder, then you won’t be able to recall the message. This is because the recall feature only affects the emails that are inside the inbox. In case the first message goes in some other folder, the recall will fail.

  • Public folders

In case your message was read by someone from a public folder, the recall will fail. The same goes for other email clients such as if the recall function works with Outlook, and if you email to someone who is a Gmail user, the recall function won’t work. 

One should always keep in mind that the recall feature in Outlook email 365 isn’t exactly foolproof. This can also end up in a user getting frustrated over factors that they can’t control. In case recalling the email is of no use to you, you can take a look at the alternatives that are mentioned below;

Top alternatives to recalling an email in Outlook


Start by typing out an email for an apology. Apart from double-checking to make sure that the emails are sent to the right people, this is the simplest solution that one can take to. In case you have accidentally transferred an email to the wrong address and the email didn’t contain anything vulgar or scandalous, the best way to deal with it is by apologizing. 

An honest apology is always held in high regard and may even build trust with the recipients. 


You can try to delay your emails so they aren’t sent instantly. In case you have been constantly replying to emails, sharing sensitive information back and forth, you are bound to slip up at some point, which is why delaying your emails is a better idea. The steps mentioned below can help users to set this up on Outlook with relative ease.

  • Begin by opening the application of Outlook and clicking on the file option that is available at the top left corner of your screen. 
  • From there, you will need to scroll down a bit to select themanage rules and alerts” option.
  • In the next window, the rules and alerts tab will appear on your screen and from there you will need to select the “new rule” option.
rules wizard in Outlook
  • For the next step, another window will pop up again, where you will need to click on the “Apply rule on messages I send” option. This option is just below the “start from a blank rule” option and hit the next button to proceed further. 
  • You need not worry about anything else that is given on the conditions list and click on next to continue and once you have done that, a confirmation message will pop up on your screen where you will need to click on yes to confirm. 
  • To move forward, select the “defer delivery by a number of minutes” option. In the same step, choose the “several” link, and doing so will make a pop-up appear on your screen asking you to choose the duration of your choice. You can enter the number of your choice, with 120 minutes being as far as you can go and once you are done with this, click on next. 
  • In case you see any exceptions, click on the exceptions if you want and then click on next to continue. 
  • Finish the process by giving your rule a name and tick the checkbox for “turn on this rule” in case it is available. 

These simple steps can help users on how to take back an email in Outlook if the recall feature is of no help. This can also help in answering the popular question that goes like “How to recall an email in Outlook Mac?” with relative ease. 


Outlook is one of the most popular services offered by Microsoft and it certainly lives up to the name and hype as tons of professional users access and manage their email accounts for various chores. 

It is pretty common for users to send information or data to the wrong email address. The steps mentioned above can be used to fix this issue with relative ease, although the best way to make things right if the recall feature is not working is by saying sorry to the recipient. 

We hope that this blog has everything that you were hoping to get your hands on.

Up until next time!

Manpreet Kaur Sandhu

Editor and Copyreader

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