Recall Email Outlook: Retrieve sent mail in Outlook


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A single click is enough to send an email by mistake without having finished writing it or having attached a file. Either for one reason or another, it is a problem that can be solved if you are a Microsoft Outlook user. In case you did not know that this email program offers a recall email outlook, we will tell you how it works and what requirements must be met to recover a message sent in Outlook.

Requirements for Recall Email Outlook

Email messages sent with Microsoft Outlook can be deleted from the recipient’s mailbox or replaced with a new email message if the following conditions are true:

  1. Both your email program and the recipient’s email program are connected to a Microsoft Exchange server.
  2. The message was sent using the Outlook desktop app or Microsoft 365 within the same organization.
  3. The recipient has not yet opened the message.

If all three conditions are met, nothing will prevent you recall an email on outlook.

Recall Email Outlook 2016, 2013 and 2010 mail

To recall an email sent with Microsoft Outlook 2016, 2013 or 2010, you must proceed as follows.

Step 1: Click on the “Sent Items” mail folder. You will find this folder in the mail directory on the left side of the Outlook window.

Step 2: Select the sent email you want to recover in Outlook and double-click to open it in a new window.

Step 3: Click on the “Actions” button and select the option “Retrieve this message or recall email outlook…”


If the “Retrieve this message …” option does not appear, it is likely because you are not using an Exchange account or the retrieval feature was disabled by the Exchange server administrator.

Step 4: Select one of the two message recovery options:

  • Delete the unread copy of this message
  • Replace the unread copy with a new message

Decide for yourself if you want to inform your recipients about the result of message retrieval.

If you want to inform the recipients of your message about the result of message retrieval, check the box “Communicate the retrieval result to each recipient.”

Confirm your selection by clicking “OK”.

Step 5: Make sure the recovery has been successful.

Outlook will always inform you by email about the result of the recovery. In case you have activated the function, the recipient of the message that has been retrieved will also be informed of this.

Failed recovery

The report on the recovery result will contain the following information: recipient, subject, time, and date of shipment, as well as the result of the recovery attempt.

Successful recovery

If you receive a report about the successful retrieval of a message, you can assume that the wrong message has been deleted and replaced by a follow-up message.

Ensures successful message retrieval

Whether an already sent email can be easily replaced by a new message depends not only on the requirements listed above but also on the recipient’s Outlook settings.

According to Outlook, the following scenarios can occur:

Scenario 1:

The “Automatically process requests and responses to meeting requests and polls” is enabled by default.

If the recipient has the “Automatically process requests and responses to meeting requests and polls” enabled, both the original message and the message to retrieve the mail is stored in the recipient’s inbox. The success of the recovery depends on whether the mail has been read or not.

  • If the recipient has not yet read the original message, it is replaced by the recovery message. The recipient is informed that the original message has been retrieved.
  • If the message is marked as read when the recovery message arrives, this feature fails and the message remains in the recipient’s mailbox. However, it will be reported that the issuer has attempted to perform this function.

Scenario 2:

The “Automatically process requests and responses to meeting requests and polls” is not activated.

If the recipient has not enabled this feature, both the original message and the recovery email message are stored in the recipient’s inbox. However, the success of this email recovery will depend on which email is opened first:

  • If the recipient opens the recovery message first, the original message is deleted and this function has been carried out successfully.
  • If the recipient opens the original email first, retrieval cannot be completed.

Scenario 3:

A rule was set on the recipient computer that moves the original message from the inbox to another folder.

If the recipient has set a rule that the original message and the retrieval message are stored in different folders. The retrieval is unsuccessful.

Scenario 4:

A rule has been defined that moves both the original and the recovery mail to another folder.

If both the original and the recovery messages are stored in the same folder. The success of the original message recovery will depend on which email is opened first.

  • In case the recipient opens the retrieval message first. The original message is deleted. And therefore the retrieval will have been successful.
  • If the recipient opens the original email first, the retrieval will have failed.

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