How to Recall or Replace an Email for Outlook or Gmail

We have all done it before. You start writing an email and click the send button by accident, forget to add an attachment or make a few typos, but once the email is sent you realise your mistake and then have to construct a new email apologising to the recipient.

Your recipient will most likely understand because, as we say, we have all been there. However, there is a better way to approach things, you can recall or replace the original email. The recall feature tries to stop delivery and, optionally replace an existing email.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll give you greater insight into the recall or replace feature and provide you with a step-by-step guide to using them in both Outlook and Gmail.

How do you recall or replace an email in Outlook?

Recalling a message in Outlook without sending a revised message is extremely straightforward and you can do it in a few seconds.

  1. Navigate to your sent items
  2. Open the message in question
  3. At the top, search for the Message tab and click actions, you’ll then be presented with a dropdown that has the option ‘recall this message’
  4. Click the recall option

You can take this one step further by recalling a message and sending a replacement; a prime example is forgetting to include an attachment on an email. With the replace option you can simply recall the email and resend it with the attachment included. If the recipient has not read the original email it will be replaced with the updated message.

To recall and replace an email, follow these simple steps.

  1. Navigate to your sent items
  2. Open the message in question
  3. At the top, search for the Message tab and click actions, you’ll then be presented with a dropdown that has the option ‘recall this message’
  4. Click the recall option
  5. Click ‘delete unread copies and replace with a new message’
  6. Construct your updated email and send as normal

How to recall or replace an email in Gmail

Now that we have covered Outlook our next port of call is Gmail. In recent years Gmail has rapidly emerged as a premier emailing system and millions of people across the world use it every day… that’s a lot of people who could potentially do with some form of recall or replace feature!

Countless Gmail users aren’t aware of it, but the recall feature does, in fact, exist and it’s extremely straightforward to use!

  1. Log into Gmail
  2. Click on the gear icon located in the upper right-hand corner
  3. Select ‘settings’
  4. Click the ‘labs’ tab
  5. Enable the ‘undo send’ option and save changes

From now on each time you send an email, you’ll be presented with an ‘undo’ link at the top of your screen for 30 seconds. Once your 30 seconds is up you won’t be able to recall the message so make sure you get to it on the double to avoid the embarrassment of the recipient seeing your mistake.

Unfortunately if you have previously sent an email via Gmail and haven’t enabled the ‘undo send’ option then you will be unable to recall the message, we suggest dropping the recipient a line to tell them to ignore your previous email and keep an eye out for a replacement that you’ll send manually in the next few minutes.

How often do you find yourself in a position where using a recall or replace feature is an absolute necessity?  Leave a comment below and get involved in the conversation.

Alternatively, contact us today for any London-based IT support.

Need IT support?
Get in touch with Cheeky Munkey