Delaying outgoing messages in Outlook

…or saving yourself some embarrassment after making a mistake in an outgoing

I ma guessing that this has happened to all of you, and it has obviously happened
to me- you press the Send button on an e-mil and notice that [replace with your own
experience] you have placed an incorrect recipient in the To/CC/Bcc fields . You
feel your stomach sink, you rush to your Outbox folder(it has a tendency to hide
when this happens) and you find out that it’s gone…Then you need to write a message
explaining/apologizing for the previous message…

By configuring a few rules in Outlook you can actually save yourself the hassle by
asking Outlook to delay an outgoing message. Bye delaying it, if you press the
Send button noticing that you have made a mistake you are given a chance to fix that
mistake by accessing the message in your Outbox. Given, there is a one minute
delay before your message is actually sent, that delay may be worth it.
If you have an urgent message that must leave you can configure an exception to the
delaying rule-so how is this done?

  1. Open Outlook
  2. Tools>Rules and Alerts>New Rule
  3. At the bottom, choose ‘Start from a blank rule>Check Messages after sending’
  4. Press Next, and press Next again on the Conditions window
  5. On the ‘Actions’ window choose the ‘defer the delivery by a number of minutes’
  6. At the bottom of the window click the ‘a number of line’ and choose the number
    of minutes you would like messages to be deferred for.
  7. Press Next.
  8. If you want to configure any exceptions now is the time. As an example you may
    want all messages marked with ‘High Importance’ to be sent immediately.
  9. Finish configuring the rule by finalizing and enabling it.

That’s it, every message sent will be delayed for a minute (except the ones marked
with high importance)…Note that you can configure additional exceptions, basing them
on categories or configuring longer delays for specific messages…



A message I sent by mistake on Wednesday triggered the writing of this post, and I noticed
that the Outlook team’s blog has a post about this too…

One thought on “Delaying outgoing messages in Outlook

  1. Some Microsoftee at the Certified Partner Program sent out an email with 100’s if not 1000’s of addresses in the TO line last week – there needs to be rule for “You are sending to more than X people with their email addresses in the To or CC line – are you stupid?” 🙂

    And of course, the same ‘softee tried to RECALL the message which of course does not work once it’s left an org.

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