Tuesday, December 31, 2013


We've all done it before. You hit the send button on an email and instantly realized you sent it to the wrong person, or you misspelled something, or you forgot to attach the attachment. Perhaps worst of all, you sent the email out of feelings of frustration or anger and realized too late that sending it wasn't such a good idea.

Once the send button is pressed, it is difficult to impossible to get it back from the receiver. However, you can set up Outlook to not instantly send your emails once you hit the send button. I have mine set to delay sending the email by one minute. It might not seem like a lot, but it is enough time for you to double check your email if you want before it is actually sent out. In an average week, I probably change three of four emails after I have initially hit the send button because of this.

To delay sending emails like this, you need to create a rule. Open Outlook and click on the File tab in the ribbon. Then, choose "Manage Rules & Alerts" in the Info area. In the window that pops up, click on "New Rule" near the top, which will open a new window.

Now, we are going to create a rule that applies to every email sent, so click on "Apply rule on messages I send" and choose next.

In the next window you can narrow down the application of the rule to only certain situations if you like. However, I prefer to have it delay all of my emails, so you can just click next. A pop up will remind you that your new rule will apply to all emails, which is what you want.

In the next window, check the box next to "defer delivery by a number of minutes". Then, in the lower window, click on the link "a number of minutes" and tell it how many minutes you want things delayed by. I chose one, but you can choose however many you like.

In the next window, you can choose situations in which you don't want to delay sending an email. There may be some situations where this makes sense for, but for me, I like having an across the board rule, so I just clicked next. In the last window, give the rule a name and make sure the box next to "Turn on this rule" is checked. Then hit finish.

From now on, when you hit the send button on an email, it will sit in your outbox for the number of minutes you set out in the rule before it is actually sent. Thus, giving you time to either edit the email, add the attachment you forgot, or to decide not to send it after all.

So, even if you have hit the send button, you now have a chance to un-send that ill formed email.

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