How to recall unread messages in Outlook

We’ve all had that “oops” moment when you send an email out to someone (or a group of people), and you immediately see a typo that you need to correct. Outlook allows you to recall email messages that you sent out, provided that the emails haven’t yet been read.

Here’s a sample email that I created and sent to Sandra Mahan:

test-outlook-email-to-recall-20161003-1

To recall this message, I need to go out to the Sent folder and call up the email:

test-outlook-email-in-sent-folder-20161003-2

To start the recall, go to the Ribbon Bar and select Message > Actions > Recall This Message:

outlook-recall-message-option-20161003-3

You have the option to delete (or replace) this email if people have not yet read it. In this example, I want to delete the email. I also want to get a report back as to whether each email was deleted or read:

outlook-message-recall-options-20161003-4

In this case, Sandra hadn’t read the email, so it was deleted from her inbox before she could read it:

outlook-recall-message-confirmation-20161003-5

If Sandra had already read the email, the response would have told me it was unable to delete the email.

You can’t count on this to erase all evidence of an email that you sent, as some people will read it right away. But it’s a good way to minimize the effects of incorrect information going out.

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