Recalling Emails in Outlook for Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

In today’s fast-paced digital communication landscape, sending emails is a routine task for professionals worldwide. However, we all have experienced that moment of panic after hitting the “send” button prematurely or realizing an error in the email we just dispatched. Fortunately, email recall features come to our rescue, offering a chance to retract or replace an email sent in error. In this guide, we will delve into the specifics of recalling emails in Outlook for Mac, exploring its functionality, limitations, and best practices.

Understanding Email Recall

Before diving into the intricacies of email recall in Outlook for Mac, it’s essential to grasp the concept behind this feature. Email recall allows users to retract an email message that has already been sent, ideally before the recipient reads it. However, the effectiveness of email recall largely depends on various factors, including the recipient’s email client, settings, and network latency.

How to Recall an Email in Outlook for Mac

Recalling an email in Outlook for Mac involves a series of steps that users must follow promptly after realizing their mistake. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Open Outlook: Launch the Outlook application on your Mac device.

Navigate to the “Sent Items” Folder: Locate the email you wish to recall in the “Sent Items” folder.

Double-click the Email: Open the email you want to recall.

Select the “Actions” Dropdown: In the toolbar, click on the “Actions” dropdown menu.

Choose “Recall This Message”: From the dropdown menu, select “Recall This Message.”

Select Recall Options: In the Recall This Message dialog box, choose whether you want to delete unread copies of the email or replace the email with a new message.

Confirm Recall: Click “OK” to confirm the recall action.

Verification: Outlook will attempt to recall the message and notify you of the outcome.

Limitations and Considerations

While the email recall feature in Outlook for Mac can be a lifesaver in certain situations, it’s essential to understand its limitations and considerations:

Recipient Read Status: Email recall may only be successful if the recipient hasn’t opened the email yet. Once the recipient has read the message, the recall attempt is futile.

Recipient Email Client: The effectiveness of email recall can vary depending on the recipient’s email client and settings. While Outlook offers robust support for email recall, other email clients may not support this feature or may have limitations.

Network Latency: Network latency can impact the success of email recall. If there is a delay between sending the email and the recall attempt, the recipient may already have received and read the message.

Multiple Recipients: If an email has multiple recipients, each recipient must be using Outlook and must not have read the email for the recall to be successful.

Public Folders and Shared Mailboxes: Emails sent to public folders or shared mailboxes cannot be recalled using the standard recall feature in Outlook for Mac.

Best Practices for Email Recall

To maximize the effectiveness of email recall in Outlook for Mac, consider the following best practices:

Double-Check Before Sending: Take a moment to review your emails before hitting the send button to minimize the chances of errors.

Act Swiftly: If you realize you’ve made a mistake in an email, act promptly to recall it. The longer you wait, the higher the likelihood that the recipient has already read the message.

Communicate Directly: If the content of the email is urgent or sensitive, consider following up with the recipient directly after recalling the message to ensure clarity and transparency.

Learn from Mistakes: Use email recall incidents as learning opportunities to improve your email communication skills and attention to detail.


Email recall in Outlook for Mac is a valuable feature that provides users with a chance to retract or replace sent emails in case of errors or oversights. By understanding its functionality, limitations, and best practices, users can make the most out of this feature to maintain professionalism and accuracy in their email correspondence. Remember, while email recall can be a helpful tool, prevention and careful attention to detail are key to effective communication.

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