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Recalling Email Messages in Outlook 2007

How many times have you sent out an email only to realize you forgot to include the attachment, or really shouldn’t have sent a response to the entire company? If you are using Outlook in an Exchange environment you can attempt to recall the message.

The best solution to this problem is to implement a delay before messages are sent out, but even in that scenario you still might let one slip through, so this is the second line of defense.

To recall the message, go to your Sent Items folder and then open the message you shouldn’t have sent.

 

On the Ribbon in the Actions group click on the “Other Actions” button and choose Recall This Message from the menu.

 

You’ll get a confirmation screen where you can decide to just delete the unread copies or replace with a new message. Since you are in a hurry the best bet is to just delete.

The critical checkbox below will let you find out if the recall succeeds or fails for each person you emailed. This way you can send a followup message to the people that already opened your first email, and maybe mitigate the damage a bit.

This doesn’t work flawlessly, but if you catch it in time you might be able to save some face.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/3/07

Comments (14)

  1. JMke

    This will only work if the other person clicks on the “recall” message, if he opens the original mail you stand no chance of recalling it. It’s designed to work best with Exchange, if you are using POP it’s not so useful, best to keep using http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/microsoft-office/use-outlook-rules-to-prevent-oh-no-after-sending-emails/ :)

  2. Murray Mintz

    There are flaws in Outlook’s mail recall system.
    First, it only works if the person you are e-mailing is on a Microsoft Exchange Server.
    Secondly, it leaves tracks behind. It informs the e-mail recipient that a message was removed.
    There is a much better way to stop an email from being delivered after you have hit the send button. It’s a web service called YankBack and it gives you a chance to stop an email mid-delivery. So if you said something you might regret later, forgot to say something additional, or just forgot to attach, you just click on an icon in your systemtray and you’re taken to YankBack, where you can delete the email before it’s delivered. It’s based on a timer queue system, so you determine how long the delay period is. I delay mine 2 minutes which is plenty of time to get yank it back. It’s saved my rump a number of times and it costs about $25 per year. It’s like having an insurance policy against making fatal email mistakes.

  3. Justin

    i’ve gotten about 20 or more recall notification failure messages, since i checked the box to notify if it fails or not. i have no idea how to stop the notification messages. any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated.

  4. Leah

    We have Outlook 2007 and even interoffice emails (we also use exchange) do not recall. Is there a fix for this problem???? What a bummer!!!

  5. smd

    I received an email, read it, and it disappeared. If sender recalled it, can I retrieve it?

  6. atif

    I have sent a message to a number of users, after sending I realized that i shouldnt sent this message to a specific user. How I can recall the message from this perticular user using outlook’s mail recovery?

  7. Bbanda Charles Edwin

    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

  8. liz

    need to re call message but I don’t appear to have other actions thingy. as you can see not good with computers!!!!!!!!! so need help. thanks

  9. Melanie

    is there a way to recall an emaill when you are at home and using explorer to log on to your outlook account

  10. Jan

    There is no other action in my Outlook 2007. How can I add it?

  11. Jon

    Jan, Go to your sent items box, find the email that you sent and open it. At the top of the email header, other actions option is there next to the create rule. Scroll down to recall. Recall messages hardly ever work…

  12. Sandip

    Hello,

    Thank you very much for your tips.

    But I have one question? I am the manager of the company.My associate’s are working all day addressing this clients emails and documents.If I have to keep the accountability of all emails that are processed or pending.How shall I do by one go!. Also I have to separate communication emails with attachment emails and place in different folders.?

    Please help me with this.

  13. Rehan Iqbal

    this is very very good option thaks outlook!

  14. Ken

    One note: If you are responding to a meeting notice, you don’t seem to have the “other actions” thingy and so can’t recall.

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