Anyone can make the mistake of clicking the mouse too quickly. Now that you’ve pushed Send on that email, it’s on its way to the intended recipient, and you’re shuddering at the potential consequences. Instead of worrying about the fallout and writing an apologetic letter right away, you may give message retrieval a shot.
As luck would have it, most email programmes allow you to retract messages after they’ve already been sent. While this method isn’t without its caveats, it does offer a promising window of opportunity to quickly fix your error and avoid embarrassment.
Can You Explain What It Means to “recall” an Email?
If you send an email to the wrong person, forget to attach a file, or send an incomplete message, you can try to retrieve it from the recipient’s inbox before they open it. This function is known as Recall email in Microsoft Outlook, and there are two ways to access it:
- The message should be removed from the recipient’s inbox.
- You need to write a new message instead of the old one.
- Any trace of the recalled message is removed from the inboxes of the intended receivers.
- Only users with an Exchange server or Office 365 subscription can access their emails. There is support for Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019.
This functionality is available in other email clients as well, albeit they may have different names. As an example, Gmail allows you to retract a sent message. Google Gmail, in contrast to Microsoft Outlook, does not delete but rather delays transmitting a message by a brief amount of time. To learn more, visit the Gmail help page on erasing sent messages.
Outlook’s Message Recall Guide
Here Are the Measures to Take to Retrieve an Accidental Transmission:
- Please visit your outgoing mail folder.
- To delete a message, double-click on it to bring up a copy in a new window. Reading Pane messages cannot be recalled.
- Select Actions > Recall This Message from the Message tab’s Move sub-group.
- One of the following options will appear in the Recall This Message dialogue box; select it, and then click OK:
- To remove this message from the recipient’s inbox, all unread copies of it must be deleted.
- It will replace the original message with a new one if you delete all unopened copies and send a new one.
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Recalling Outlook and Its Requirements and Restriction
- This feature requires a few things to be in place, but the recall procedure is otherwise quite easy and uncomplicated:
- Both you and the intended recipient must have a Microsoft Office 365 or Exchange account.
- The recall is only compatible with Windows clients; it is not offered in Outlook for Mac or Outlook on the web.
- When using Azure Information Protection, a message is permanently deleted.
- The unopened, original message must be waiting in the recipient’s Inbox. Once a receiver or automated system (such as a rule, spam filter, or add-on) has viewed or processed an email, it can no longer be recalled.
- There is a good possibility that an embarrassing email will be avoided if these four conditions are met. More detail on the most common causes of a failed recall is provided below.
- The recall feature in Outlook is not working.
- Even if the recall procedure begins without incident, that doesn’t guarantee it will end that way. There are a lot of things that can make it harder to implement or even make it useless.
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It Is Recommended to Utilise Office 365 or Microsoft Exchange
- The recall is now only available for Microsoft Outlook 365 and Exchange email accounts. However, this is not necessarily grounds for retracting an email. Critical to a successful recall is the following:
- Both the sender and the recipient must use the same Outlook Exchange Server. Any recall attempt will fail if the receiver is using a POP3, IMAP, or Outlook.com account, or if they are connected to a separate Exchange server, even if they are part of the same organisation.
- The recipient needs to be signed in to Outlook Exchange. A recall will not function if they are utilizing the Cached Exchange Mode for offline operations.
- An Exchange “primary” mailbox, as opposed to a shared or delegated mailbox, is required for the initial email to be sent.
It’s an Outlook and Windows-Only Add-On
The Recall function was developed exclusively for the Outlook client on Windows. It is impossible to retrieve an email that was sent to a recipient using a different email client, such as Gmail or Thunderbird. Also, both the web-based and Mac versions of Outlook are incompatible with the recall feature.
Does Not Function with Mobile Applications
Emails read on mobile devices using an email client, such as Gmail or Apple Mail, do not support recalls. Unfortunately, a recall may still fail if the recipient utilizes Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) settings for Outlook on a mobile device.
The Recipient’s Inbox Must Include the Email Before It Can Be Opened
A message can only be recovered if it remains in the intended recipient’s Inbox. The recall won’t work if the email has been relocated to a different folder, either manually or using an Outlook rule, sorting filter, VBA macro, or add-in.
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No One Else Can Have Read the Email Yet
Recalling messages only applies to those that have not yet been read. Messages that have been read by the receiver will remain in their inbox until they are manually erased. Instead, the recipient can be informed that you want to revoke the communication you just sent.
For Shared and Public Folders, This Could Be a Problem in The Sixth Position
Because of the presence of public folders, wherein numerous users can access the inbox simultaneously, matters tend to become convoluted. As a result, the recall will fail if the email is opened by even one person, and the original message will remain in the Inbox.
When You Recall an Email in Outlook, What Happens?
There is no single factor that will guarantee a successful recall. The success or failure of an endeavor may also vary according to the user’s Outlook preferences.