Unsend Email In Outlook: The Complete Guide

Published by John on Last Updated On :

how to unsend emails in Outlook

Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling after hitting the “Send” button too soon in an email? With Microsoft Outlook’s recall and Unsend feature, you might just be able to save yourself from embarrassment or critical mistakes. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of How to Unsend Emails in Outlook versions, including Outlook 365 and Outlook 2019, while also revealing how you can prevent future slip-ups by delaying sent messages.


When to Unsend an Email?

Unsending an email becomes necessary when you realize you’ve forgotten to attach a file, sent it to the wrong recipient, or spotted spelling or grammar errors. However, there are specific conditions for using the Unsend feature. 

  • Both the sender and recipient must have a Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Exchange email account within the same organization and use Outlook as their email client. 
  • Additionally, the email must remain unopened by the recipient and unaffected by spam filters or add-ins.

 Also Read: How to Change Outlook Inbox View

Important Points to Keep in Mind

  1. Recalling a message can be achieved by going to your Sent Items, selecting the email, and navigating to Actions > Recall This Message. Note that this option is only available in the desktop version of Outlook (not web-based) and requires an Exchange account or permission from your organization. 
  2. If the recipient has not opened the message, you can either delete it from their mailbox or replace it with an updated version. 
  3. However, recall won’t work if the recipient has already accessed or filtered the email, doesn’t use the same Exchange or Outlook, or is outside your organization. 
  4. Also, recall is not possible if your email account uses POP or MAPI protocols.

Now, that you know the key points, let’s proceed further to find out How to Unsend an Email in Outlook versions.


Steps to Enable the Unsend Feature in Outlook (Windows)

  1. Click on the three-dot icon near your profile picture and select “Settings.”
  2. Click on “View all Outlook settings” at the bottom of the quick settings menu.
  3. Go to the “Compose and reply” tab under “Email” on the sidebar.
  4. Scroll down to the “Undo send” section and adjust the slider to set your preferred number of seconds (up to 10 seconds).
  5. Save your settings and test the Unsend feature by sending a test email. 
  6. Click “Undo” in the bottom-left corner when the “Sending” notification appears to Unsend the email within the specified time.

So, this is How to Unsend an Email Outlook running on Windows. 

 Also Read: How to Encrypt Email in Outlook

Steps to Enable the Unsend Feature in Outlook (Mac)

MacOS allows up to 20 seconds to Unsend an Email in Outlook. Here’s how to configure the “Undo Send” feature:

  1. Open Outlook, click on “Outlook” in the menu bar, and select “Preferences.”
  2. Navigate to “Composing” in the “Email” section.
  3. Use the plus icon to set the “Undo Send” period according to your preference.
  4. To Unsend an email, click “Undo” on the “Sending…” pop-up within the specified time frame.


Recalling Emails in Outlook Desktop App

Outlook for Windows offers a recall feature that allows you to retrieve and edit an email for up to 120 minutes after sending it. To successfully recall an email in Outlook, ensure the following:

  1. Use a Microsoft 365 or Outlook.com account.
  2. Be on the same Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Exchange server as the recipient.
  3. Belonging to the same organization as the recipient.
  4. Open the recall request on their Outlook desktop client.
  5. Keep in mind that the recipient’s email account should not have any forwarding, modifying, or transferring rules set up. Unfortunately, you cannot recall emails sent to third-party email clients like Gmail or Yahoo Mail.


Unsending Emails Sent to the Wrong Person

If you accidentally sent an email to the wrong person, follow these steps to Unsend Email Outlook outbox which is sent to the wrong person:

  1. Launch the Outlook app and open the Sent Items folder.
  2. Double-click on the email you want to recall to open it in a new window.
  3. Select “File” on the menu bar, then click on “Info” on the sidebar.
  4. Scroll down to “Message Resend and Recall” and open the “Resend or Recall” drop-down menu.
  5. Choose “Recall This Message” and select “Delete unread copies of this message.”
  6. Optionally, select the checkbox to receive notifications about the recall’s success or failure for each recipient.
  7. Click “OK” to recall the email. If the recipient uses Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft 365 and belongs to the same organization, the email will be deleted from their inbox.
  8. Use the “Delete unread copies and replace with a new message” option if you need to edit and resend the email. Microsoft will replace the original email with your edited version in the recipient’s mailbox.


Checking the Status of a Recall

You can verify the success of your email recall by following these steps:

  1. Click on the Sent Items folder in Outlook.
  2. Locate the recalled message, and if you opted for notifications, you’ll see “Recall Success” or “Recall Failure” in the subject line.
  3. Click on the “Tracking” button at the top of the message to view the recall status. If successful, it will display “Succeeded” for each recipient; otherwise, it will show “Failed.”


Creating a Delay for Future Emails

To avoid rushed email sending and allow time for edits, you can set a delay in sending messages by creating a rule in Outlook:

  • Click on the “File” tab at the top of Outlook.
  • Choose “Manage Rules & Alerts” from the middle panel.
  • Click “New Rule” and select “Apply rule on messages I send.” Click “Next” to proceed.
  • In the rule options, check the box for “defer delivery by several minutes” and set the desired delay time (up to 120 minutes).
  • Click “Next” and then “Finish” to activate the rule, providing you with ample time to review and make changes to your sent emails

By mastering the recall and Unsend Email in Outlook feature and using delayed sending, you can enhance your email efficiency and minimize any email-related mishaps in Microsoft Outlook. 

In case you are still having doubts about How to Unsend an Email in Outlook, do not hesitate to contact professionals for expert advice. 




Q. If I send an email to the wrong person, can I retrieve it in Microsoft Outlook?

A. In Microsoft Outlook, you can undo sending an email to the incorrect person, but only under particular circumstances. You and the recipient must both use Outlook as your email client and have Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Exchange email accounts in the same organization. The recipient must not open the email, and spam filters or add-ins must not have any impact on it.


Q. What happens if the recipient of the email I’m attempting to Unsend has already opened it?

A. The recall attempt won’t be successful if the recipient has already viewed the email you’re trying to recall. Outlook’s “Recall This Message” feature only works when the recipient’s inbox contains an unopened copy of the email.


Q. Can you remember an email I sent to a recipient outside of my company?

A. No, using Outlook’s recall tool won’t let you retrieve an email that was sent to someone outside your company. Emails sent to recipients with a Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Exchange email account or inside the same organization are the only recipients who can use the recall functionality.


Q. Is it possible to put off sending emails in Outlook to avoid embarrassing errors?

A. Yes, you may set up a rule in Outlook that delays delivery for a predetermined period (up to 120 minutes), delaying email delivery. Due to the delay, you can check and edit your sent emails before they are received by their intended recipients. Go to “File” > “Manage Rules & Alerts” > “New Rule” > “Apply” to make this option available.


Q. What if the recipient’s email account automatically filters or forwards emails?

A. The recall effort might not be successful if the recipient’s email account is set up with rules that automatically forward, edit, or move emails. In certain circumstances, it’s possible that the recall feature won’t function as planned and the email will stay in the recipient’s inbox.

Written By


John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.


John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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