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If you send an email within the Microsoft 365 organization, you can recall the message if the recipient has not read it. To use the message recall feature, the sender must use the Outlook app for Windows from a Microsoft 365 Exchange Online account. In this article, you will learn how to enable message recall in Exchange Admin Center and Exchange Online PowerShell.
When you send an email to a recipient, you can make a mistake. While this is completely normal and can happen to all of us, you don’t want to send another email to explain it was a mistake. That is when the message recall feature in Exchange Online comes to the rescue.
With message recall in Exchange Online you can retrieve the message you sent from the recipient’s mailbox if it is not opened yet.
Microsoft has updated Message Recall in Exchange Online to a new version. Now it will be possible to recall an email you sent within the same organization even though the recipient does not use Outlook. The latest update allows users to track the recall status for all recipients in the message recall status report.
Note: The message recall won’t happen (like for messages sent outside the Microsoft 365 organization).
There are two methods to enable the recall message:
We will show you the steps to enable message recall in both methods. However, some conditions must be met for message recall to succeed.
First, you need to connect to Exchange Online.
Run the below PowerShell command to enable message recall.
Set-OrganizationConfig -RecallReadMessagesEnabled $true
To get the message recall status in Exchange Online PowerShell, run the command below.
Get-OrganizationConfig | fl RecallReadMessagesEnabled
Message recall is available after you send an email in Outlook. In our case, Stephen (sender) wants to email Carol (recipient).
How to recall a message in the Outlook app for Windows:
You will be redirected to the start page of the Outlook app.
In the Recall This Message dialog box, there are two options:
The first option will delete the unread message. The second option opens the email so you can edit and replace it. Select one of these options.
Note: Always select the option (Tell me if recall succeeds or fails for each recipient) so you get a notification whether the message recall has failed or succeeded.
The below picture is the ideal outcome. However, in some situations, you can’t recall messages in Outlook. Therefore, we want to look into a few examples of message recall.
Let’s take a look at a message recall success. Suppose you send a test email from Outlook to another account in the same organization.
Stephen wants to recall the message in Outlook by following the steps below:
Stephen (sender) gets a notification with the date and time he tried to recall the message.
Within a few minutes, Stephen gets an email in his Inbox: Message Recall Success.
The below picture shows Carol’s inbox. Carol receives the message, and it is marked unread.
In this case, the recipient can do two things:
When the sender recalls the message and it is unread, the recipient will see two emails in her inbox. If you click on the above email (Recall), you can’t read its content. You need to double-click the email to open it.
Once you double-click on the Recall email, you will get a notification saying that the sender has recalled the message. It automatically deletes both emails from Carol’s Outlook inbox.
Sometimes the message recall fails because of the recipients’ settings in Outlook. We will show you different scenario’s to understand why message recall does not always succeed. In our case, Stephen is the sender, and Carol is the recipient.
Stephen sends an email, but he wants to recall the message by following these steps:
The sender, Stephen gets an update that he tried to recall the message.
Stephen receives a notification that the message can’t be recalled.
Now we will look at the recipient Carol’s inbox, where there are two emails:
The email is in the progress of being recalled. The recipient receives a notification that the sender tried to recall the message.
The reasons why the message recall failed:
All these examples give the same outcome, which is message recall failure.
You learned how to enable message recall in Exchange Admin Center and Exchange Online PowerShell. With the latest Microsoft update, it is possible to recall or replace sent emails if the sender and recipient use Exchange Online. That’s because the message recalls happens in the recipient’s cloud mailbox.
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