Delaying the delivery of all messages

Office 365 / SharePoint Blog

Have you ever sent an email and then hit your forehead with an “Oh Gosh” or more severe expletive when you realized the email you sent was inaccurate, or that you attached the wrong file, or no file at all? Don’t you wish you could retract the email and then send a new one?

The email retraction feature in Outlook is a flawed system and something not to be relied upon. In fact, I don’t even know if it really works since I tend to receive both the original, and the retraction request emails.

I have had a few of these “Oh Gosh” moments, and would have appreciated this tip from Microsoft. By delaying a message it gives you an opportunity to review your email while it’s sitting in the outbox waiting to be sent. Therefore, if you forgot something, you can go back and edit it.

Delaying delivery of all messages.

  • Click the File tab.
  • Click Manage Rules and Alerts.
  • Click New Rule.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the Step 1: Select action(s) list, select the defer delivery by a number of minutes check box.
  • 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 sending.
    Delivery can be delayed up to 120 minutes.
  • Click OK, and then click Next.
    Select the check boxes for any exceptions that you want.
  • Click Next.
  • In the Step 1: Specify a name for this rule box, type a name for the rule.
  • Select the Turn on this rule check box.
  • Click Finish.

While this tip will help with the “Oh Gosh” moments as described above by giving you time to go back and edit the email before it is sent, it can also help you with setting expectations with your co-workers. If you’re generally someone who answers emails almost immediately, you set an expectation that you will always be available with a quick response. By setting messages to be delayed, you can answer the email right away but the recipient won’t receive it until some time later, thus you won’t give the impression that you’re always at the ready.


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