How to Recall an Email

by Robert Best on January 28, 2021
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how to recall an email

Have you ever hit the send button on an email and then been hit by that feeling of dread? When you realise you've sent an email to the wrong person.

If you've been using email for a while then it's likely you've made more than one mistake you wish you could take back. Sometimes it's an email full of spelling mistakes, or you've missed some key information out. 

However, there are times when an email sent by mistake counts as a data breach and that is a serious incident.

So whether you've sent sensitive data out by mistake or you've made an error you don't want anyone to see, it's great to know how to recall an email.

How to recall an email in Outlook

If you and recipients are all on Microsoft Exchange and within the same organisation you can recall your email by following these steps.

  • In the navigation pane, select the Sent Items folder.
  • Double-click the email message that you want to recall or replace.
  • Select Message > Actions > Recall This Message.
  • In the Recall This Message box, select an option:
    • Select Delete unread copies of this message to recall the sent message.
    • Select Delete unread copies and replace with a new message to replace the sent message with a new message.
  • Select the Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient check box.
  • Select OK.

How to recall an email in Gmail

Google has made it pretty simple to be able to recall an email sent out in error. When you send an email you will see a message sent popup.

  • In the bottom left, you'll see "Message sent" and the option to "Undo" or "View message".
  • Click Undo.

In the general settings, you can change the length the undo option is available. The longest time you can et is 30 seconds. 

Why is it important to be able to recall emails

If you send sensitive data through an email and that email is sent by mistake to the wrong person that is a data breach.

You will have breached GDPR and you will have to notify the affected parties as well as the ISO. This could result in a fine as well as diminishing the relationship with the affected parties.

That is a steep price to pay for a simple mistake so knowing how to recall an email is very important. No matter what email client you use you should be familiar with how you can recall an email.

Adding a delay to Outlook email

When sending an email from Outlook it is possible to schedule a delay before sending. If you are regularly sending sensitive or personal information this a great option to make sure the email goes to the right recipient. 

When your email is ready to send click the arrow next to the send button. There you have the option to schedule the email to send at a later time. This will give you time to check the email is going to the right recipient and includes the right data.


Modern business relies heavily on email. Lots of information is sent every day so it's vital you make sure that the emails are going to the right people.

For more information on how Infotech can help with your email and security needs contact us here, email or call us on 01634 52 52 52.

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