How to Withdraw Sent Mail

By Charline Kong

Sending an email to your co-workers while distracted can result in mistakes in the content or the recipients. Usually, you want to withdraw the email once you realize the error. With the advancement in technology, emails usually arrive to the recipient's inbox in seconds or minutes, making it difficult to withdraw. However, some email programs such as Microsoft Outlook allow you to retract the email and even replace it with a new one. It is important to note that this procedure only works if you and the recipient use the same Exchange server email account, the sent mail is unread, and the recipient is logged into his Outlook program.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Exchange account
  • Microsoft Outlook

Step 1

Click "Sent Items" in your Outlook Navigation Pane. Select the sent mail you want to withdraw, and then double click to open.

Step 2

Click on the "Actions" icon from the toolbar and select "Recall this Message." A dialog box will appear. Note that you cannot withdraw a sent email from a personal email account, including MSN Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL and others.

Step 3

Select "Delete Unread Copies of this Message" from the dialog box. The "Recall this Message" dialog box allows you to delete unread copies of the message or delete unread copies of the message and replace with a new one. For the second option, after you select "Delete Unread Copies and Replace with a New Message," click "OK" and start typing a new message. You can also include any attachment you forgot in the previous email. Select "Send" and the unread email in the recipient's inbox will be deleted and replaced with the new one. You may want to select "Tell Me if Recall Succeeds or Fails for Each Recipient" if your recipient list is not long.

Step 4

Check your inbox for an email confirming that the recall was successful for each recipient. Note that this process can only work when you and the recipients use a Microsoft Exchange server email account.