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Retract or replace a sent message

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If you and your recipients are all on Microsoft Exchange and in the same organization, you can recall or replace an email message that you sent.

  1. Select File > Info.

  2. Under AccountInformation, make sure the account you sent the email from is selected.

    • If your account is a Microsoft Exchange account and your email message recipients are all on the same email system, you can use recall or replace.

    • If your account is a MAPI or POP account, recall won't work.

  3. Select the Back button Back .

  4. In the navigation pane, select the Sent Items folder.

  5. Double-click the email message that you want to recall or replace.

  6. Select Message > Actions > Recall This Message.

    Or, select File > Info > Resend or Recall > Recall This Message...

  7. In the Recall This Message box, select an option:

    1. Select Delete unread copies of this message to recall the sent message.

    2. Select Delete unread copies and replace with a new message to replace the sent message with a new message.

  8. Select the Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient check box.

  9. Select OK.

    Note: If you selected Delete unread copies and replace with a new message, the original message opens for editing. When you select Send, the original email message will be deleted from the recipient’s mailbox and replaced with the newly edited one.

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Recall or replace an email message after it is sent

You send an email message, and then you start to have second thoughts. Maybe you feel you said too much, or not enough. Or you suddenly realize all those facts you cited to make your case are actually wrong. Now you wish you could take it all back.

Well, it might not be too late. You can recall or replace email that you've sent. Or you can resend an email to try to repair the damage.

First, see if you can use recall. Click File to go to the Backstage. With Info selected, open the list at the top of the page, and select the account you sent the email from.

If it says Microsoft Exchange, and your recipients are on the same email system, you can use recall, which is a feature of the Exchange server.

If it says something like MAPI or POP, recall won't work.

Of course, it’s always best to check your email over before you send it, but if you make a mistake, you need to act quickly. You can’t recall a message after it has been opened.

Go to Mail and click Sent Items in your folder list. Then, open the mail you want to recall or replace.

Click File in the message to go to the Backstage. With Info selected, click Resend or Recall, and click Recall this message.

Now you choose what you want to do: recall the message, which means that you want to try to delete the message from the recipient's Inbox, or replace the message, which means you want to delete the original message and replace it with a new one. Let's try recall first.

Also, make sure this check box is selected, so that you receive a message telling you whether the recall was successful or not.

Click OK, and a recall request is sent.

If everything works, Outlook deletes the original message.

And you receive an automatic message confirming the recall.

The second option works about the same, except that when you click OK, the original message opens so you can make your changes. When you’re ready, click Send.

The first message is deleted from the recipient's Inbox, and the new one is added.

And you receive confirmation mail.

There’s a good chance recall will work if you and your recipients are in an organization that uses Microsoft Exchange, and you know recall and replace are enabled.

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