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Why message recall is not working in Outlook/Exchange

I have seen many complaining that message recall is not working as expected in their environments. I too often receive queries related to it. Today one of my colleague asked me whether the message recall that she/he did will work for sure or not. My answer is “YES/NO/MAYBE”. Because I never seen it working in such a confidant and smooth manner. It surprised me every time. I wanted to do a deep dive into this topic from long time but never got a chance — but today I did. I searched a bit on internet and found a interesting link that answers most of the questions and clarifies how it works.

Though a few people described it as funny/fancy feature in all versions of exchange/outlook but never seemed worked as expected, I am still feeling that below scenarios are valid. At least in my case scenario#2 answered my question because no human mailbox will have auto-processing of meeting requests box enabled. This generally configured in conference room mailboxes/shared mailboxes.

But your case might be different, so go through these and let me know if you find this helpful. Happy learning.. ūüôā

Source: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/recall-or-replace-an-email-message-after-it-is-sent-HA010354931.aspx

Scenarios that affect recall success

The success or failure of a message recall depends on the recipients’ settings in Outlook. In the following table, five scenarios are presented:

  • Four scenarios that explain what happens when message recall is tried in various situations
  • One scenario that describes what happens when the recall of a message that was sent to a Microsoft Exchange public folder is tried
Action Result
You send a message to someone. You recall the original message and replace it with a new one.On the recipient’s computer, under Tracking, the Automatically process requests and responses to meeting requests and polls check box is selected.¬†Note¬†¬†¬†To view this setting, click the File tab. Under Outlook, click Options, click Mail, and then scroll to the Tracking section. Both the original message and the recall message are received in the recipient’s Inbox.Assuming the original message has not been read, the original message is deleted and the recipient is informed that you, the sender, deleted the message from his or her mailbox.¬†Note¬†¬†¬† If the original message is marked as read (viewing in the Reading Pane is not reading in this scenario) when the recall message is processed, the recipient is informed that you, the sender, want to delete the message. However, the message remains in the recipient’s Outlook folder.
You send a message to someone. You recall the original message and replace it with a new one.On the recipient’s computer, under Tracking, the Automatically process requests and responses to meeting requests and polls check box is not selected.¬†Note¬†¬†¬†To view this setting, click the File tab. Under Outlook, click Options, click Mail, and then scroll to the Tracking section. Both the original message and the recall message are received in the recipient’s Inbox.On the recipient’s computer, one of the following results occurs:

  • If the recipient opens the recall message first, the original message is deleted, and the recipient is informed that you, the sender, have deleted the message from their mailbox.
  • If the recipient opens the original message first, the recall fails, and both the original and recall messages are available.

¬†Note¬†¬†¬† If the original message is marked as read (viewing in the Reading Pane is not reading in this scenario) when the recall message is processed, the recipient is informed that you, the sender, want to delete the message. However, the message remains in the recipient’s Outlook folder.

You send a message to someone. You recall the original message and replace it with a new one.On the recipient’s computer, either by rule or by action of the recipient, the original message is moved out of the Inbox to another folder and the recall message remains in the Inbox (or it is moved to another folder also). If the recall message and the original message exist in separate folders, the recipient receives a message that indicates a recall attempt failed. This occurs regardless of the Outlook configurations and the read status of the message.The original message and the new message are both available to the recipient.
You send a message to someone. You recall the original message and replace it with a new one.On the recipient’s computer, either by rule or by action of the recipient, both messages are moved to the same folder. This results in behavior similar to what occurs when Outlook is not configured to automatically process messages. On the recipient’s computer, one of the following results occurs:

  • If the recipient opens the recall message first, the original message is deleted, and the recipient is informed that you, the sender, deleted the message from his or her mailbox.
  • If the recipient opens the original message first, the recall fails, and both the old and new messages are available.
You send a message to a public folder. You recall the original message and replace it with a new one. One of the following results occurs:

  • If the recipient who reads the recall message has read access to all the items in the public folder but did not read the original message, the recall succeeds, and only the new message remains. You, the sender, receive a message that indicates the recall succeeded.
  • If the recipient has already marked the original message as read, he or she is informed that the recall failed, and only the recall message is deleted.

If a user who has any other public folder rights opens the recall message, the recall fails, and the user receives a message that states the recall failed. Both the old and new messages remain in the public folder.

 Notes 

  • If the recipient reads the original message and then marks it as unread, it is considered never read and recall is successful.
  • In the public folder, it is the reader’s rights, not the sender’s, that determine the success or failure of the recall.
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