How to Retract an E-mail

Written by faizah imani
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How to Retract an E-mail
Get your sent e-mail message back. (e-mail image by F/32 from

There are times when you may experience regret for sending an e-mail to an individual or a group of individuals. Perhaps the email is a confidential message that was sent to the wrong person. The Outlook/Outlook Express e-mail program offers a feature that will allow you to retract (recall) that sent e-mail message. This recall feature is currently not available in other e-mail programs, such as Eudora, Entourage and web mail services.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Microsoft Outlook/Outlook Express

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  1. 1

    Open your Microsoft Outlook/Outlook Express e-mail program. Click on the "Sent Items" folder to access your sent messages.

  2. 2

    "Double Click" on the sent message that you desire to retract. This will cause the message to open.

  3. 3

    Click "Actions" from the Outlook menu bar. If you are using Outlook Express, you will have to click "Actions" from the Outlook Express toolbar and select "Other Actions."

  4. 4

    Select the option to "Recall This Message."

  5. 5

    Select the option to "Delete Unread Copies Of This Message."

  6. 6

    Place a check-mark beside the option that is labelled "Tell Me if Recall Succeeds or Fails For Each Recipient."

  7. 7

    Click "OK" to retract your sent message.

Tips and warnings

  • Wait to receive the notification of whether or not your recall is successful. If the email recipient has already opened the message your recall will fail. The recall will also fail if the person you sent the message to is not using Outlook or Microsoft Exchange.

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