You know what’s the worst feeling?
When we click the send button in Outlook then realize OH CRAP … I made a huge mistake in that email. I shouldn’t have sent that. And that could be for an array of reasons, such as:
Clicking send before the email is finished
Spelling or grammar mistakes
Accidentally clicking “reply all” when we meant to hit “reply” (and then everyone got that funny-but-NSFW picture instead of your one coworker)
Are these emails embarrassing? Absolutely. But that’s not the worst part. They could lead to something far more destructive, such as:
The loss of a sale
The loss of a client
Or even worse, the loss of a job
Many may ask, why can’t we just double check our emails? Well, most of us do. But we're not perfect. Sometimes things slip through the cracks.
And before we know it, we're sending an email into the abyss, then realize our stupid mistake right afterward. But it's too late. We can't take it back. ****woommmpp wommp wommmmp****
But there’s good news. If this happens, there’s a way to reverse it:
We can "recall" an email in Outlook to reverse our mistakes.
This has saved me the embarrassment of sending emails trickled with errors that I could have prevented.
In fact, “recalling” an email isn’t the only method for fixing an email mistake. In Outlook, you’re given three options. You can:
- Recall the email
- Replace the email
- Resend the email
Here’s the difference - and how to enable - each one.
Option 1: Recalling an email
Recalling an email is basically undoing the email. However, it has two requirements:
- Your recipient hasn’t opened the email yet (which you can track using Sidekick).
- Your recipient is also on Outlook and Microsoft Exchange.
Recalling messages is incredibly useful when emailing coworkers … because it’s 99% likely they’re also using Outlook. Here’s how to do it:
You’ll now get a confirmation email that looks like this:
If the person you’re emailing fits the requirements above (they haven’t opened the email and they’re on Outlook), you can also Replace the email.
Option 2: Replacing an email
Similar to recalling an email, which “undos” the email, you can also replace it. This basically means you edit the email before it sends to them.
This is perfect for fixing a small typo or grammar mistake that can be done in a few seconds. Here’s how to do it:
Replacing the email works great for fixing small errors, but if you need to rewrite major sections in the email, I’d suggest just recalling the email.
Then you won’t risk the chance someone will open the email in the meantime, which would cancel your ability to replace the message.
But remember — recall or replace only works if someone is on Microsoft Exchange. If they’re not, you won’t get a confirmation message. Or you’ll get one that looks like this:
If that happens, consider resending the message.
Option 3: Resending an email
Resending the email doesn’t undo the message or replace it … it just helps you reply faster to your original email.
Here’s how it works:
And that’s it! You’ve now officially learned how to reverse a goofed sent email in Outlook.
Never again experience that regretful "OH CRAP!" feeling when you're sending to other Outlook users (remember: recall and replace only works for Outlook users -- here's how to undo a sent email in Gmail).
Because you now have the power to reverse those accidental emails.