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Office Outlook (2010) - How do I Retract/Recall an Email sent using Outlook


  • The steps listed in this article will only work if the other user is on the Exchange system: it won't work for external users or if the Cornell user is on the old email system.

  • If the recipient opens the email before the recall process is complete, you will receive a message informing you that the Message Recall was a Failure.

  • If the recipient is sitting at their computer with the AutoPreview or Reading Pane enabled, and they click once on the new email in their Inbox, it does not show up as being opened, yet the recipient may still be able to read all or part of the email. Under these circumstances, you will still receive a message from Outlook saying that the recall process was a success.

  • An alert will appear in the bottom right corner of the recipient's screen notifying them that a message is being recalled. If they are sitting at their computer at the time the alert appears, it may catch their attention and cause them to open the email.

  1. Go to your "Sent Items" folder.

  2. Open the message you wish to rescind.

  3. Click on the "More Move Actions" icon from the toolbar. Select "Recall This Message" from the drop down.

  4. You'll then be presented with a few options:
    1. You can delete unread copies of the message
    2. You can delete unread copies of the message and replace with a new message.
    3. You can choose to be notified if the recall succeeds or fails. We recommend you set this check mark. 

      Once you're done then click on the "OK" button.

  5. You'll then get an email indicating whether the retraction failed or succeeded.