How to recall emails in the new Outlook [Web]
Outlook
Nov 30, 2023 11:00 AM

How to recall emails in the new Outlook [Web]

by HubSite 365 about Giuliano De Luca [MVP]

Microsoft MVPs, YouTube Creator youtube.com/giulianodeluca, International Speaker, Technical Architect

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Understanding Email Recall

Email recall is a feature that allows a sender to attempt to retrieve an email that has already been sent. This is particularly useful in situations where an email is sent to the wrong recipient, contains errors, or is sent prematurely. However, the effectiveness and availability of this feature depend on several factors:

  • Email Client: The ability to recall an email is primarily dependent on the email client and server being used. For instance, Microsoft Outlook offers a recall feature, but it's mostly effective within the same organization using Exchange Server.
  • Recipient's Action: If the recipient has already opened the email, the recall is less likely to be successful. In some clients, the recall feature only works if the email remains unopened by the recipient.
  • Time Frame: The sooner the recall request is made after sending the email, the higher the chances of it being successful. Delayed recall attempts are often unsuccessful.
  • Network Factors: The recall feature may also depend on network factors and server settings within an organization. In some cases, server rules might prevent the recall of emails.

In Outlook, when a recall attempt is made, the recipient might receive a notification about the attempt. If successful, the original email is deleted from the recipient’s inbox. If unsuccessful, the recipient may end up with both the original and a recall notification email.

It's important to note that email recall is not universally supported across all email clients and services. For example, popular web-based email services like Gmail and Outlook Web do not offer a traditional recall feature but provide options like "Undo Send" which serves a similar purpose within a very short time after sending the email.

Recalling Emails in New Outlook (Web Version)

Recalling an email in the new Outlook Web version is a useful feature, especially when you've sent an email by mistake or need to update the content. Unfortunately, as of my last update in April 2023, the recall feature is not available in the web version of Outlook. This functionality is currently limited to the desktop Outlook application.

However, there are some alternative strategies you can use in the web version:

  • Delay Sending: You can set up rules to delay the sending of your emails by a few minutes, giving you a window to cancel the send if you change your mind.
  • Attention to Detail: Double-checking the recipient's email address, the content, and attachments before hitting send is always a good practice.
  • Apology Email: If you have already sent an incorrect or premature email, a follow-up email to apologize and provide the correct information is advisable.

While these alternatives do not replace the convenience of a recall feature, they can help mitigate some risks associated with email communication in the web version of Outlook.

It's also worth noting that Microsoft continuously updates its software, so it's a good idea to keep an eye on future updates for any changes to this functionality.