How to Retract an Accidentally Sent Email

Retracting -- also known as recalling -- an accidentally sent email in a Microsoft Outlook environment means forcibly deleting the email before it is read by the recipient. This can be useful for obvious reasons. You may have sent by mistake an email destined for one user to several users. Or the information contained within the email may have been updated after the email was sent. Retracting or recalling an email in Outlook can be done by anyone with the know-how.

Step

Open your Outlook application by clicking "Start," "All Programs," then "Microsoft Outlook."

Step

Click "Mail" and then click "Sent Items." This is a list of all emails you have sent.

Step

Double-click the email you want to retract and on the Actions menu click "Recall This Message."

Step

Click the entry marked "Delete Unread Copies and Replace with a New Message." Type in the message that will replace the email; for example, "This email was sent in error."

Step

Click "OK" then click "Send." The message will be sent and all copies deleted, recalled, and retracted.