How To Recall An Email in Outlook And Gmail: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide?

How To Recall An Email in Outlook And Gmail: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide?

Follow the steps below to remember an email in Outlook in five easy ways. You’ll also learn why you might not want to unsend an email and what you should do instead.
We’ve all felt bad after writing an email to the wrong person and giving away too much information.

We’ve also made mistakes, gotten facts wrong, sent typos and mistakes, and acted on our emotions when we later wished we hadn’t. The good news is that Outlook and Gmail make it easy to remember emails.

You can recall an email you sent with MS Outlook up to 120 minutes after you sent it. You can just delete the email from the recipient’s mailbox and stop it from being sent. You can also write a new one with the right facts, tone, or application. But be careful: there are times when your old emails might not go away by themselves.

We’ll also talk about how to remember a Gmail message, but you’ll only have 30 seconds to do it.
Now, let’s learn how to remember a message in Outlook.

How To Recall A Sent Email In Outlook?

In Case You’re Sweating Bullets Over that Message You Just Sent, Here’s How To Retract an Email in Outlook:
How To Recall An Email in Outlook And Gmail: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide?
  1. In the left menu bar, find the Sent Mail folder. You may need to open a drop-down menu before you can see it.
  2.  Look for the email you want to recall.
  3.  Double-click the original message to open it in a new window. (If you single-click, you’ll get stuck at this step.)
  4. At the top right of the message, choose File Info.
  5. Select Message Resend and Recall and then Recall This Message.
6. Make sure to select Delete unread copies of this message.
7. Also select Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient.
8. Click OK.
That’s it! You just recalled the email and deleted the old version from the recipient inbox — as long as the recipient(s) didn’t already read it.

How To Replace An Email In MS Outlook?

Maybe you’d like to cancel that unwanted email and replace it with a new message. You may also want to attach a file, fix an error, or rewrite your message with a friendlier tone. You can replace an Outlook email with a different version like this:
  • Find the Sent Mail folder in the left menu.
  • Double-click the email you want to recall, which will open it in a new window.
  • At the top right of the message window, choose File Info.
  • Select Message Resend and Recall, then Resend This Message.
  • Edit the message text.
  • Click the Send option.

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Beware: Your Old Emails Might Not Go Away

When you remember an email in Outlook, the old email might not go away right away. Here are a few reasons why you might not be able to remember your message:

It’s Already Been Opened by The Recipient

If the person or people you sent the email to have already read it, Outlook won’t be able to find it. They’ve already read it, so the damage is already done. If you checked the box that says “Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient,” you’ll get an email telling you who read your email and who didn’t.

Your Email Went To A Different Folder

Sometimes you can’t remember an Outlook email because the person you sent it to has filters that put emails in different areas. Outlook can’t find or delete your email if it went into, say, the trash folder or a project folder.

It’s in A Folder for The Public

If your email ended up in a public place, you won’t be able to find it again. This could happen if the email address you sent it to is public or if a filter sent your email to a public folder.

The Recipient Doesn’t Use Outlook as His or Her Email Client

You can always get back an email you sent to an Outlook account. But you can’t get it back if you sent it to a Gmail or Yahoo address. Also, you can’t remember the email if the recipient’s Outlook account is set up to send mail to a different email app.

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What To Do if Outlook Can’t Remember Your Email?

If you can’t remember your Outlook email because of one of the above problems, you should send a new email to say you’re sorry. No one likes this choice, but it often gets the job done. It’s easy to say you’re sorry for mistakes or files you forgot to send, and most people will understand that you’re just a person.

outlook_headpic-2813383When feelings get in the way, things get a little harder. If you had a George Costanza moment and said something you really, really shouldn’t have, even if you can’t remember the email, you should definitely apologize.

You might still have to deal with some problems because of your mistake, but if you apologize sincerely, it will go a long way toward making things better.

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Instead of Recalling an Email, Turn on This Safeguard

If you already sent a damaging or error-packed email, then a recall or an apology are your only options. But to stop yourself from making a costly mistake in the future, you can set up a delay in your Microsoft Outlook outbox. This can give you a nice buffer where you can decide if you actually want an email to go out.

How To Create a Delay For Outlook Emails?

Putting a delay on every email you send can create a nice grace period if you ever change your mind. Just follow the steps below:
  1. In the MS Outlook general tab, click File in the top left.
  2. Click Manage Rules & Alerts.
How To Recall An Email in Outlook And Gmail: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide?
3. In the popup window, select New Rule.
4. Click Apply rule on messages I send, then Next.
How To Recall An Email in Outlook And Gmail: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide?
5. If you want the delay rule to apply to every outgoing email, click Next again to skip the next window. (If you want to set up some exceptions to the delay, you can do that first.)
6. Click Yes to confirm your selection.
7. Select the checkbox next to defer delivery by a number of minutes.
8. Click the link in the middle of the text below.
How To Recall An Email in Outlook And Gmail: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide?
9. Choose a set number of minutes to wait after an email is sent. (You can choose up to 120 minutes.)
10. In the next window, you can add exceptions to the delay, like if you have a recipient you always need to respond to immediately.
11. Click Next.
12. Click Finish. Your emails will now wait for a set amount of time before they’re sent.
Setting up a delay will slow down your email responses, creating a lag in your communications. A 5- or 10-minute delay is often long enough to cool down or realize a mistake. Beyond that, many recipients will have already read your email.

Can You Remember A Gmail Message You Sent?

Gmail doesn’t have a return feature like MS Outlook’s 120-minute feature. But for a short time, after you click send, you can change your mind and not send the email. In your Gmail settings, you can make that time last up to 30 seconds. Scroll down until you see “Undo Send,” and then change the time.


By following the simple steps above, you can remember an email in Outlook, but the process isn’t perfect. You won’t be able to unsend an email if the recipient(s) have already read it or if an email filter moved it to a different place. Our advice? Set up a wait for your outgoing Outlook emails so that you don’t send messages that might cause problems.