Undo Send: How to Recall an Email in Outlook

Undo Send: How to Recall an Email in Outlook

Have you ever sent an email and immediately regretted it? Maybe you wrote an angry response to a colleague or accidentally hit “reply all” and shared sensitive information with the wrong people. Whatever the reason, we’ve all been there.

Luckily, Microsoft Outlook has a handy feature that allows you to recall an email and undo any embarrassing or regrettable mistakes. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of recalling a email in Outlook, as well as some tips and strategies to help you avoid email mishaps in the future.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is for anyone who uses Microsoft Outlook to send and receive emails. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started with email, the tips and strategies we’ll cover here are designed to help you avoid common email errors and make the most of the Undo Send feature.

What is the Undo Send feature in Outlook?

The Undo Send feature in Outlook allows you to recall a sent email if you realize you made a mistake before the recipient has opened or downloaded the message. This can be a lifesaver if you accidentally hit “send” too soon, misspelled a recipient’s name or email address, or included incorrect information in your message.

When you use Undo Send, Outlook will put your email in a “pending” state for a few seconds, allowing you to make any last-minute changes or cancel the send altogether. If you decide to recall the email, Outlook will delete it from your recipient’s inbox as if it never existed.

How to Recall an Email in Outlook: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you know what the Undo Send feature is, let’s walk through the steps of how to recall an email in Outlook. These instructions are based on Outlook for Windows; if you’re using a different version of Outlook or a different email client altogether, the steps may vary slightly.

Step 1: Open Outlook and go to your Sent Items folder.

Step 2: Select the email you want to recall by clicking on it once. This will highlight the email and open it in a preview pane on the right side of your screen.

Step 3: At the top of the preview pane, click on the “Actions” drop-down menu.

Step 4: Select “Recall This Message” from the drop-down menu. If you don’t see this option, it may be because your email has already been opened or downloaded by the recipient, or because your organization has disabled the feature.

Step 5: Choose whether you want to recall the email and replace it with a new one, or simply delete it altogether. If you choose to replace the email, you’ll be taken to a new message window where you can make any necessary edits before resending.

Step 6: Click “OK” to confirm your selection. If you’re replacing the email, make any necessary changes to the message and click “Send” when you’re ready.

Step 7: Wait for Outlook to confirm whether the recall was successful or not. If the recall was successful, you’ll see a notification in your inbox telling you that the email has been deleted or replaced.

Tips and Strategies for Making the Most of Undo Send in Outlook

The Undo Send feature is a powerful tool, but it’s not foolproof. Here are some tips and strategies to help you make the most of this feature and avoid common email mistakes:

1. Set a longer recall time: By default, Outlook gives you 5 seconds to recall a message before it’s sent. This may not be enough time if you’re prone to making mistakes or have a lot of emails to send. To change the recall time, go to File > Options > Mail > Undo Send and select a longer timeframe (up to 60 seconds).

2. Use a signature to double-check your emails: You can create a signature in Outlook that includes a checklist of things to look for before sending an email. This can help you catch any errors or mistakes before hitting “send.” To create a signature, go to File > Options > Mail > Signatures.

3. Enable automatic spell check: Outlook has a built-in spell checker that can help you catch misspelled words and other errors. To turn on automatic spell check, go to File > Options > Mail > Spelling and Autocorrect.

4. Double-check email addresses: One of the most common email mistakes is sending a message to the wrong person or group. Before sending any email, double-check the recipient’s email address to make sure it’s correct.

5. Avoid sending sensitive information over email: Even if you recall an email, there’s no guarantee that it won’t be read by the recipient or intercepted by a third party. Whenever possible, avoid sending sensitive information over email and use other secure methods (such as a secure file-sharing service or an encrypted messaging app) instead.

Tools and Resources for Managing Email in Outlook

In addition to the Undo Send feature, there are many other tools and resources you can use to manage your email in Outlook. Here are a few recommendations:

1. Boomerang for Outlook: Boomerang is a third-party app that adds several features to Outlook, including the ability to schedule emails for later, set reminders for follow-up emails, and pause incoming emails. Boomerang offers a free trial and paid plans starting at $4.99/month.

2. Quick Parts: Quick Parts is a built-in feature of Outlook that allows you to save frequently-used text and graphics (such as email signatures or boilerplate responses) for quick and easy access. To access Quick Parts, go to the Insert tab and select “Quick Parts.”

3. Outlook Mobile App: If you frequently check your email on-the-go, the Outlook mobile app is a must-have. The app allows you to access your inbox, calendar, and contacts from your smartphone or tablet, and offers several features (such as swipe gestures and quick replies) to help you manage your email more efficiently.


Email is an essential part of modern communication, but it can also be a source of stress and anxiety. By using the Undo Send feature in Outlook and following the tips and strategies we’ve outlined in this guide, you can avoid common email mistakes and make the most of your time and energy. Remember, the key to successful email management is not just about sending messages, but also about building strong relationships and communicating effectively with your colleagues, clients, and partners.

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