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How To Retract an Email in Outlook: A Step-by-Step Guide

Whenever it comes to email services providers, Outlook is the choice for almost all users. There are several features that make Outlook exceptional for both individual and organizational-level users. The amazing user-friendly UI and excellent email management services of Outlook make it unique and the best in Microsoft Office. Therefore, we can say that Outlook is a great remote work productivity tool.

Instances may occur when you impulsively sent a mean email to someone. Or, you have sent a work email without the mandatory attachment. In such cases, Outlook provides you with an option to take those emails back. Microsoft’s Outlook has a built-in solution to help you in such situations: The option to retract emails. Yes! You can retract or recall emails whenever you want. Here, in this article, we have mentioned some quick tips that will help you to know how to retract an email in Outlook.

What Does Retract Email in Outlook Actually Mean?

Before you know how to retract email in Outlook web or mobile app, you must know what exactly this means. An email recall prevents a recipient from seeing an incomplete or bad email that you have sent by mistake. It is very easy and simple to retract an email from your Outlook sent box. All you have to do is follow some simple steps. These steps help you and your recipients who are on Microsoft Exchange or Microsoft 365 and in the same organization to recall emails in Outlook. 

Quick Steps to Retract Email in Outlook

Follow the steps given below to recall an email in Outlook:

  • Step 1: Open the Sent Items folder and detect the email that you want to recall. Usually, such an email is located at or near the top of the list. Double-click on this email to fully open it and then move to the next step.
  • Step 2: Navigate to the Message tab on the toolbar to activate it. Next, go to the Move section and tap the More Move Actions button indicated with a letter and an envelope.
  • Step 3: Now, select the “Recall This Message” option on the drop-down list that appears on the screen.
  • Step 4: If your interface is simple, then select the Message tab, and choose the three-dots icon. Now, choose Actions and then tap “Recall This Message”.
  • Step 5: You will get a pop-up window on your screen. This window will display two options: “Delete Unread Copies of This Message” or “Delete Unread Copies and Replace With a New Message”. Select an option as per your need and click the OK button to continue. In case, if you have selected an option to Delete unread messages, Congratulations as the recipient cannot read them now. 
  • Step 6: If you select to replace your email, Outlook opens a second window to revise the message. You can edit the email as your requirements, Outlook recalls your old message and displays a notification. At last, click the Send button when you have edited your message.

Steps to Retract an Outlook Email on Mac

If you want to prevent sending an incorrect email from your Outlook account, you can delay them. This prevents you from sending these emails immediately. Follow the below-mentioned steps to delay all your Outlook emails: 

  • Select File from the upper-left corner of your Outlook account.
  • Scroll down and click Manage Rules & Alerts.
  • Now, from the “Rules and Alerts” window that appears on your screen, choose “New Rule” option.
  • From the pop-up window that appears on the screen, click Apply Rule on Messages I Send. located under Start From a Blank Rule. Click the Next button to continue.
  • After this, a confirmation window will appear. Choose Yes to confirm.
  • Choose the “Defer Delivery By a Number of Minutes” option. Select the A Number of links and from the pop-up that appears on the screen, choose your preferred duration. Enter the number as per your need. You can enter your values for up to 120 minutes and then click the OK button. At last, click Next.
  • At last, enter a name for your rule and check the “Turn On This Rule” checkbox. Click the Finish button to complete the process.


Recalling or retracting an email is a very simple and quick process. We have mentioned all the steps that you can follow to retract an email from Outlook sent box. You can even configure a setting in Outlook to delay your emails so they don’t send immediately. If you face any problems with these steps, feel free to contact us.

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