You like others might have been in a situation whereby you needed to recall an email you’ve sent to your boss or a proposal you sent to a team lead or anyone in your organization due to bad wordings or you used some inappropriate terms that could land you in trouble over time.
Its definitely possible to take back the message if you’re using the Outlook email client because the application come with this feature that allows you to easily recall an email that might have been sent out earlier much like unsending a message in Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
The feature works by stopping the email recipient from seeing the message you’ve sent to them. Below is a short guide on how to easily get this done with little effort from your own end.
One thing you should note is the fact that Outlook for web won’t solve this problem as you’re required to have to use the desktop client app and another thing is that this feature only work if the recipient uses the Microsoft Exchange or has a Microsoft 365 account within the same organization so in short the recall won’t work if the recipient uses an email address from outside of the sender’s organization.
With that said, follow the short guide below to recall messages on Outlook email client easily.
How to easily recall Outlook emails
Step 1: First thing to do is open your Outlook email client and then look for Sent Items folder which should be right at the top of the lists. The next thing is to double-click on the particular message you want to unsend which gets opened fully.
Step 2: Click on the Message tab on the toolbar which makes it active and then navigate to the Move section and click on Move Action button which is a letter and an envelope
Step 3: Click the Recall This Message option on the drop-down list.
Step 4: Upon clicking the “Recall this message” link, there will be a pop-up window on the screen allowing you to pick one of these two options: Delete Unread Copies of This Message or Delete Unread Copies and Replace With a New Message. You’ll also see an option to have Outlook notify you if the process succeeds or fails.
Select your option(s) and click the OK button to continue.
If you deleted the message, congratulations! If you want to replace it, continue on to the next step below.
Step 5: When you click on the create a replacement option, the email client will let you do so in a second screen where you can go through your message. Outlook can also be used to recall old messages ad display a notification about its success or failure to do the recalling. Just click the Send button when you’re done with the revised message.
Note: If you send a recall message, it doesn’t exactly make your old email disappear. In order to have the original message disappear, the recipient may need to open the recall message first. This is why you should type “URGENT” or something similar in the recall message’s title so that it’s opened before the first offensive email. Continue on for a lengthier explanation. Microsoft also states that, in some cases, the recipient may be notified when recalled messages are deleted from their inbox. So, bear in mind that even when recalling an email, the recipient may still know that a botched or offensive message had been sent to them even if they can’t view it.
Sometimes the email recall feature doesn’t work
The process of recalling a message doesn’t guarantee a 100% success rate but at least its worth trying at first. Some of the reasons why the recall ight not work as you’d wish it should includes speedy internet because the time it will take the message to deliver to the recipient’s mailbox ight just be a matter of milliseconds. Below are situations that can complicate the process of recalling a message in Outlook client.
- Opened messages: If a recipient opens your email, you can’t recall it. The recipient can still get and read the second recall message, but the original stays in their Outlook inbox. So it might be a good idea to be calm before writing an email in the first place especially the type that can land you in trouble.
- Redirects to other folders: If your first message activated a filter and Outlook rerouted it to a specific folder, then your recall will fail. The recall option only affects emails that remain in the inbox. If the first message waits elsewhere, it won’t go away.
- Public folders: If anyone reads your first email lurking in a public folder, the recall fails.
- Other email clients: The recall function works with Outlook. If you send an email to someone who uses Gmail, for example, the recall won’t work.
With the above situations, if you’re very unfortunate that your email couldn’t be recalled successfully and 100% by Outlook, below are two things you can do to make up for the situation:
Option 1: Setback emails so that they take some periods before sending because in scenarios whereby you’re constantly sending and replying to email messages, there might be situations whereby you accidentally send unfiltered messages back to where it never belong.
In order to create the Setback, do the following:
- Select File at the upper-left corner of the Outlook email client for your desktop computer
- Scroll down until you find Manage Rules and Alerts
- On your screen will be the Rules and Alerts window pop up where you can select New Rule options.
- Then another pop up window will appear where you can “Apply Rules on Messages I send” which is listed beneath the “Start from a blank Rule option.” Next is to click Continue.
- Next thing to do is to go through the conditions list but you can skip that and click on Next to continue and then a confirmation screen appears on the screen which you can select Yes for confirmation.
- Click on the Defer Delivery By a Number of Minutes option and then choose a Number of Link.
- There will be another pop-up screen where you can choose your preferred duration or you can just input the number you want. Then click on Ok button and then click on Next
- In situations of an exception, you can click on the exception option and then click on the Next button to continue.
- Name your new Rule and then check the Turn on This Rule checkbox if it’s there and lastly, click on the Finish button.
Or just follow this simpler approach non-technical way which is sending an apologetic message to the recipient. If in the situation of an error message to the wrong person that won’t cause you any trouble, then you can just apologize and owning up to your errors and hope they forgive you.