Retract Outlook emails the effective way – Before they get sent

Do you have fat fingers? Trying to format some picture in a draft email and you press “Send” by mistake? Do you regularly YELL SAILOR-WORTHY SWEARING in your email draft and then retract what you write? (that last one can be fixed with therapy btw)

Sounds like you need some risk mitigation – an ability to un-send an accidental email transmission that works a bit better then the generally ineffective Exchange-powered “Retract Email” functionality.


Enter: Delay or schedule sending email messages…

Email messages are sent immediately when you click Send. In Microsoft Outlook, you can delay sending a single email message or use rules to delay the delivery of all messages. These messages are held in the Outbox for a specified time after you click Send.

 Delay the delivery of all messages

1.Click the File tab.
2.Click Manage Rules & Alerts.
3.Click New Rule.
4.In the Step 1: Select a template box, under Start from a Blank Rule, click Apply rule on messages I send, and then click Next.
5.In the Step 1: Select condition(s) list, select the check boxes for any options that you want, and then click Next.

If you do not select any check boxes, a confirmation dialog box appears. If you click Yes, the rule that you are creating is applied to all messages that you send.
6.In the Step 1: Select action(s) list, select the defer delivery by a number of minutes check box.
7.In the Step 2: Edit the rule description (click an underlined value) box, click the underlined phrase a number of and enter the number of minutes for which you want the messages to be held before it is sent.

Delivery can be delayed up to 120 minutes. < Keith’s note: I find 1 minute to be just right to be able to strike the balance between “Oh crap I messed up with that message” and getting impatient with emails stuck in the Outbox.
8.Click OK, and then click Next.
9.Select the check boxes for any exceptions that you want.
10.Click Next.
11.In the Step 1: Specify a name for this rule box, type a name for the rule.
12.Select the Turn on this rule check box.
13.Click Finish.

After you click Send, each message remains in the Outbox folder for the time that you specified.


Note that these rules are performed only when you are sending from your desktop or web-based Outlook client- currently mobile device Outlook clients do not support running rules of this nature.

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