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Summary: Learn how to retrieve unopened sent mail in Microsoft Outlook with this comprehensive guide. Discover practical steps to track and recover emails that haven’t been opened by recipients. Whether for critical follow-ups or maintaining accurate records, these instructions help Outlook users efficiently manage their sent messages and ensure important emails receive the attention they deserve.

It’s a common scenario for users to send an email and then realize they’ve sent it to the wrong person or omitted important details like attachments or information. While most email clients don’t allow editing of sent emails, MS Outlook offers a solution through its recall feature.

If you’ve configured MS Outlook with Exchange Server or Office 365, you have the option to recall and replace a sent email or retrieve it if sent in error. This article will guide you through the process of retrieving unopened sent emails in MS Outlook.

Things to Know before Using the Recall Feature

To retrieve a sent mail:

  • You and the recipient must have an Exchange Server email account, and use MS Outlook as their email client
  • The original message must be in the inbox folder without being read
  • Outlook will notify the recipient when you try to retrieve the sent email

Now, you can follow the below steps to recall the sent email for modifying or replacing it.

  1. Open MS Outlook on your system, and go to the Sent Items folder. You can find the folder list in the navigation pane.
  2. Click the email that you want to recall and open it in a separate window.
  3. Note: The options to retrieve an email won’t be available if you open the message in the reading pane.

  4. After opening the email, go to the Message tab and select the Actions from the drop-down arrow, and select Recall this message.
  5. From the Recall This Message dialog box, you can select any of the following options:
    • Delete unread copies of the message for recalling the message
    • Delete unread copies and replace with a new email for replacing the entire message with a new oneDelete unread copies
  6. If you are interested in receiving notifications for the results, then check the checkbox ‘Tell Me if Recall Succeeds or Fails for Each Recipient’ and click Ok.
  7. If you choose to Delete unread Copies and Replace the Mail, then modify the email and click Send.
What could Happen When you Recall an Email?

The outcome of recalling an email relies on various factors, including the recipient’s email client settings and whether the email has been read. When attempting to retrieve unopened sent emails, you can anticipate the following potential outcomes.

  1. If the recipient has opened the message, then the recalling feature won’t help. Also, the recipient would be notified about recalling the email
  2. If the recipient opens the recall message first, rather than opening the original one, then the original message will be deleted
  3. If the recipient moves the original email to another folder without opening it, and the recall email goes to the Inbox, then the process won’t work.

Another critical thing to note here is that if you try to use the recall feature on a mobile device, it will fail. The recalling feature can only be used in Outlook for desktop working with Exchange Server or Office 365 account.

“Recovering unopened sent emails in Outlook is straightforward if the recipient hasn’t opened them. However, for retrieving permanently deleted data from your Outlook profile, consider using the Kernel for Outlook PST Repair tool. This specialized tool is designed to repair PST files and recover permanently deleted data from them.


If you’ve ever sent an email to the wrong recipient, the steps outlined above can help you retrieve unopened sent emails when using Outlook with Exchange/Office 365 within the same organization. Additionally, we’ve recommended a tool that can assist in recovering permanently deleted items from your Outlook PST file.

Kernel for Outlook PST Repair