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Recall or replace an email message that you sent in Outlook for Windows

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With message recall, a message that you sent is retrieved from the mailboxes of the recipients who haven’t yet opened it. You can also substitute a replacement message. For example, if you forgot to include an attachment, you can try to retract the message, and then send a replacement message that has the attachment.

Message recall is available after you select Send and is available only if both you and the recipient have a Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Exchange email account in the same organization. So, for example, a message sent to or from a Hotmail, Gmail, or account can't be recalled. 

Important: Steps may be different between new and classic Outlook for Windows. To determine which version of Outlook you're using, look for File on the ribbon. If there's no File option, follow the steps under the New Outlook tab. If the File option appears, select the tab for Classic Outlook.

  1. Select Sent Items in the left folder pane, then double-click the sent message to open it in a separate window.

  2. On the toolbar, select  The Recall Message button. Recall Message, then select OK in the confirmation dialog box.

  3. Shortly thereafter, you'll receive a Message Recall Report in your inbox. Select the link in that message to see whether your recall has succeeded, is pending, or failed.

To recall and replace a message

  1. In the folder pane on the left of the Outlook window, choose the Sent Items folder.

  2. Open the message that you want to recall. You must double-click to open the message. Selecting the message so it appears in the reading pane won't allow you to recall the message.

  3. If you have the Classic Ribbon, from the Message tab, select Actions > Recall This Message.

    Recall a message

    If you have the Simplified Ribbon, select the Message tab and then select More commands (...). Point to Actions and select Recall This Message
    Select Recall this message


    • If you don’t see the Recall This Message command, you probably don’t have an Exchange account or the feature isn’t available within your organization.

    • You can't recall a message that's protected by Azure Information Protection.

    • You can't recall a message in Outlook on the web.

  4. Select Delete unread copies of this message or Delete unread copies and replace with a new message, and then select OK.

    Recall this message box

  5. If you’re sending a replacement message, compose the message, and then select Send.

To check on the recall

After submitting a recall request, usually less than 30 seconds later, you will get an email notification with the subject "Message Recall Report for message [original message subject]".  

outlook to check on a message screenshot one

Select the View Message Recall Report link to view the report in your browser. If you’re prompted, log in with your mailbox credentials to view the report.

outlook to check on a message screenshot two

Recall actions are usually quick, regardless of how many recipients are involved. But if the recall request can’t be executed right away for some reason (e.g., the recipient’s mailbox is temporarily unavailable) we'll continue to retry for up to 24 hours before marking the recall as failed.

Status updates are usually pretty quick as well but can sometimes take up to five minutes for a message with up to a few hundred recipients. For a large number of recipients (tens of thousands) the recall itself is still fast, but it can take up to thirty minutes to retrieve the recall status for all recipients.

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Video: Recall or replace a sent email

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