I sent an email and then tried to recall the email. After hours post doing this, I didn't receive any notification (success or failure of this action). When I click on the mail in my sent mail, it simply says:

You attempted to recall this message on [xddf] . .. 

Since I didn't receive notification if it was successful or not, how do I know what's going on? Why would it take so long? Should I assume the attempt to recall failed? Should I click on the email and try recalling again?


The conditions under which an email recall will work are very narrow and almost impossible to meet. From the fact that you have not received the notification, it is quite clear that the recall has failed.

From In Microsoft Outlook, how can I recall, replace, or resend a message?

If you accidentally send an incorrect message, the simplest solution may be to send a second, revised version. In some circumstances, you may also be able to recall the message, or replace it entirely. This will work only if:

  • The recipients use your Exchange server as their email address, and have not forwarded their Exchange email to another account.
  • The recipients are currently logged into their Exchange accounts and using Outlook.
  • The message is still unread and remains in the recipients' Inboxes.

Note: When you recall a message, the recipient will receive notification that you are recalling a message.

If the recipient has already opened your email, recall will of course fail. The recipient may also need to authorize the recall, which with natural human curiosity and the aversion to authorizing somebody else deleting mail from their own mailbox, simply will not happen.

For the full details about whether recall will work or not, see in How message recall works the section "Will my recall be successful?". After reading it, you may agree that the recall feature is next to useless. It is better to verify the message 10 times before sending, rather than relying upon recall.

  • Recall is one of the poorly implemented features of outlook. Groupwise is much better at handling recalls as read receipts are processed by default. You will know if an email can be recalled just by looking at the email properties. Recall didn't work right in Outlook 97 and it still doesn't work well in Outlook 2013. – Sun Sep 26 '14 at 15:08
  • The link is no longer valid, sadly. – EleventhDoctor Jul 28 '15 at 7:38
  • 1
    @EleventhDoctor: Replaced with an Internet Archive link. – harrymc Aug 2 '15 at 6:37

Did you check the "Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient" box?

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The full process is described here (the determination if it succeeded or failed)


Though - if you didn't click the box (or unclicked it) - there is no way to tell if it worked.

  • yes, that box was checked – leora Mar 20 '11 at 18:32
  • If it was checked you'll eventually be notified. Otherwise there is no way to tell where it's hung up. It could be stuck in the queue (either the recall [if there were a lot of users] or the return message) – iivel Mar 20 '11 at 18:38
  • The link no longer works, sadly. – EleventhDoctor Jul 28 '15 at 7:38

The recipient of the mail you want to recall must also be using an Exchange server e-mail account. For example, you cannot recall a message sent to someone's personal Internet service provider (ISP) POP3 e-mail account.

If you attempted to recall an email sent to a non-Exchange email server, Outlook has no way of recalling the message, and probably no way to report that to you (since the recall request will not be answered by a non-Exchange server).

protected by Mokubai May 18 '16 at 5:59

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