Skip to main content

Can I retract a message?

If you’ve sent an email message you now regret, you can recall it in Outlook.

Note: You  cannot recall messages if any of the following conditions are met.
  • the recipient is not using Outlook.
  • the recipient is not logged onto the mail service provider.
  • the recipient is using ‘Cached Exchange Mode’ and is working offline.
  • the original message is moved from the Inbox. This can occur with rules are used.
  • the original message is opened first and is marked as  read. This can occur when the message is displayed in the Preview Pane or Reading Pane. 
    ( Source of text in the previous bullets.)
  • the message was sent to a Listserv® list.

Follow the steps below to recall a message.

  1. Open Outlook and go to Sent Items.
  2. Open the message you want to recall or replace.
  3. Under Actions, click on Recall This Message.
  4. Make the proper selection to do what you need. The options are:
    Delete unread copies of this message.
    Delete unread copies and replace with a new message.
    Enable “Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient” if you want to be notified.
  5. Click [OK].
  6. If you chose to “replace” a message, type it and send it.
Important Note: A message to a Listserv® electronic mailing list, cannot be retracted or recalled. In many cases, it is archived.