Users complain recalling Outlook emails almost never works

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

Microsoft Outlook is one of the most popular email services in the world, with millions of users relying on this platform to deliver their messages every day. And as with all email, when you are in a hurry and you’ve got little time to reply to an important email, you can sometimes address it to the wrong recipient. The question is: can you recall it?

In theory, the latest versions of Microsoft Outlook allows users to recall their emails. In practice, this almost never works because there are a series of requirements that must be met. Long story short, users can recall their emails as long as:

  1. the recipient is on the same Exchange Server environment
  2. the message is still in the inbox and not moved by an inbox rule
  3. the message hasn’t been read

If these criteria are not met, the recipient receives a message informing him/her that you want to recall the email. If you’re lucky, they will delete it but unfortunately, recall messages only spark the recipient’s curiosity. In most cases, they will open the email because it’s very hard resisting the temptation.

It only works if the recipient double clicks the recall notification and they haven’t already read the message you want to recall. Pretty useless.

Secondly, most Outlook users are connected to their inbox around the clock and it’s very unlikely that any of your emails remain unread.

Another possibility is to set timer to send your email one to five minutes after you hit the Send button, but doing this could cause various bugs.

Many Outlook users wish Microsoft would really bring back the recall feature. On previous Outlook versions such as Outlook 97, this feature worked very well and helped users avoid embarrassing situations at work.

What’s your take on this situation? Have you ever had an issue with the recall feature?

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