Have you ever sent an e-mail that you wished you hadn’t sent? It happens quite often, and it recently happened to me. I intended to reply to just one person on a distribution list, but accidently replied to everyone on the list, which is everyone that works in my office. How embarrassing! Since we use Outlook 2010 on an Exchange server, I was at least able to try and recall the message. But that only works if the message hasn’t been opened or previewed. Once the message has been viewed, there is no turning back. In my case, I was able to recall my message from about half of the recipients that received it. Not counting the one that went to our CEO. Oh joy.
Unfortunately, while Outlook is the most used mail client on the planet, it does not have the capability to go back in time and prevent the message from going out. Nor does Outlook have a way of detecting when a user is about to do something stupid. Too bad, really.
There are steps however, that can at least buy a few minutes to realize a mistake and prevent a message from being sent. You simply create a rule to defer delivery of a message for a set number of minutes. Here’s how to set up the rule in Office 2010:
For Outlook 2010
- From the Home menu, select Rules.
- Select Manage Rules & Alerts.
- Select New Rule.
- Select Apply Rule on Messages I send from the list of rule templates.
- Click Next.
- Ignore the Select Conditions. Click Next.
- On Select Actions, Check the defer delivery by a number of minutes.
- In the lower box, click a number of minutes and enter the number of minutes of delay you desire.
- Click OK, Next.
- Ignore the Select Exceptions. Click Next.
- Give the rule a name, possibly Delay Send.
- Click Finish.
For Outlook 2007
In Outlook 2007, the process is slightly different, but the results are the same:
- On the Tools menu, select Rules and Alerts
- Click New Rule
- Select Check messages after sending and then click Next
- Click Next again.
- Click Yes to confirm that you want this rule to apply to every message
- Check the checkbox next to defer delivery by a number of minutes
- Click on “a number of” in the lower box and set your delay time
- Click Next, Next
- Give the rule a name, possibly Delay Sending
- Click Finish, OK, and OK
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An e-mail signature typically looks something like this:
That’s a very simple and basic signature that takes about 10 to 20 seconds to type into my outgoing e-mails. But if I am sending and answering e-mails all day long, it can get tedious to type my signature with every e-mail. Most e-mail clients, Outlook included, provide a method of automatically inserting a signature in your outgoing email.
Here’s how you do it:
1) Select “Tools | Options…” from the menu in Outlook
2) Go to the “Mail Format” tab
3) Go to the “E-mail Signature” tab
4) Type the new signature’s desired name
5) Type the desired text of your signature under “Edit signature”
6) Click OK, and then OK again
It seems that accidentally deleting a distribution list in Microsoft Outlook 2010 is a fairly common issue. The problem is that the Delete Group button is right next to the Save & Close button in the Contact Group pane. Fortunately, recovering a deleted distribution list is fairly easy.
Depending on whether you are using Outlook as a stand-alone e-mail client or using Outlook in conjunction with Microsoft Exchange Server, the process to recover accidentally deleted distribution lists is as follows:
Recovering a distribution List
- In the Navigation pane, click Deleted Items
- Find the distribution list that was accidentally deleted, and drag it to the Contact button at the of the Navigation pane.
Recover a distribution list once the Deleted Items folder has been emptied
Note: Your Exchange administrator specifies the retention time for items that are deleted permanently on the server running Exchange. After this time elapses, you cannot recover the deleted items.
If you use a Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Exchange Server 2003, or Exchange Server 2000 account, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 provides a way to recover items after you delete them permanently, even after you empty the Deleted Items folder.
- In the Deleted Items folder, click Recover Deleted Items on the Tools menu.
- Locate the distribution list and then click Recover Selected Items.
- In the main message list, drag the distribution list to the Contacts button at the bottom of the Navigation Pane.
Note: You must use an Exchange account for this command to appear. If you use an Exchange account and do not see the command, contact your Exchange administrator.
- This procedure adds the distribution list to your main (default) Contacts folder.
- Your distribution list might be listed according to the date that it was created; in that case, scroll through the deleted items.
In Microsoft Outlook, when you delete an item from a folder in a mailbox, that item is first transferred to the Deleted Items folder of that mailbox. You can then remove the item from the Deleted Items folder. This provides a measure of protection in case you accidentally delete an item. After the items are removed from the Deleted Items folder, you can still recover them if Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 or Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server has been configured to retain deleted items.
1. Exit Microsoft Outlook.
2. Open the Windows registry editor.
3. Browse to My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Client\Options.
4. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
5. Type the name DumpsterAlwaysOn.
6. Set the DWORD value to 1.
7. Restart Outlook.