Outlook 2013 will not stop sending "Message Recall Failure Notice" emails.

Posted on 2013-12-06
2 Endorsements
Last Modified: 2016-02-11
I have two users in my company, one on Outlook 2003 and one on Outlook 2013.  The user on Outlook 2003 is configured with POP3, while the one with Outlook 2013 is configured with IMAP on Gmail.  There is NO Exchange Server in the network.

The user on Outlook 2003 attempted to recall a message due to a mistake in the original message, and sent an updated message. Since then, the 2003 user has received over 1000 "Message Recall Failed" notices sent from Outlook 2013 PER DAY. My user on 2013 is a Manager, with offsite email access needs, and ended up being barred from sending more email through Gmail and I had to move her to a different SMTP so she could continue to send normal business emails.

There was one answer here at Experts Exchange, which had to do with Outlook 2003, so I applied that fix: ( ) No change.

I've already told the user never to use message recall again. I've deleted the original message from both user's accounts. I've had to make rules to auto-process these messages into Deleted Items for the 2003 user. They just keep coming.

On the Outlook 2013 machine today, the Outbox claimed there was nothing to show, until I right-clicked, and while the context menu was visible, email after email began to stack up in the Outbox, same subject, "Message Recall Failure", about one new one every 5 seconds. I haven't found an option or setting or anything in Outlook 2013 to stop it from sending these, and the "outlook /cleanprofile" command fails.

Hope you can help.
Question by:Alderin
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 39702465
Just a wild guess ... could it be a virus ? try running latest antivirus

Author Comment

ID: 39702602
When a computer starts acting stupid, my pattern is: Reboot, test, reboot+virus and malware scan+reboot, test, then go to online forums. So, yes I've checked, no it isn't a virus. Not a horrible suggestion for others, though.

Reminds me of this:
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 39703056
It seems out of my league but just to know what is Message Recall ???
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Author Comment

ID: 39703923
Message Recall is a feature borne of a ill-conceived notion that you should be able to retract an email after you've sent it. IF you are in an environment that has an Exchange server, and the email was sent only to people inside your organization (i.e. using the same Exchange server), AND if those recipients haven't opened said email yet, THEN it works. Exchange removes the "recalled" message from the recipient's Inbox. Sometimes, if the recipients outside of your organization also use Outlook, AND the message hasn't been opened, then it MIGHT work. Outlook can remove the "recalled" email from the Inbox. If you open one of your messages from your Sent box, in the Actions menu, "Recall this Message" is an option.

It is a flawed concept though. If you send a letter, you can't take it back. If you make a phone call, you can't take it back. If send a text message... you get the picture. And somehow as flawed a concept and as poorly implemented and as long as people have had problems with it, this "feature" continues to make it into new versions of Outlook.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 39705547
Tks your detailed explanation on this issue. I was totally un-aware of this feature, but as you very well explained it is an odd option and simply should not be used. The harm has been done, I guess but you are in a situation that is not very nice, you manage a network and have users that sometimes will use this option and the side effects of this are disastrous as you mentioned it.

Just thinking of a way around that, would you be interested in looking for an alternative that would (either warn or simply forbid) user to use this function ? If you are interested I could lookup a way to do that thru vba.


Author Comment

ID: 39706685
Thanks for the offer gowflow, but disabling Message Recall in Outlook's menu is already available and is being implemented on our network now via Group Policy. Before this happened, I had only been cursorily aware of Message Recall's existence. In trying to solve the situation myself, I gained my knowledge of the option through researching possible solutions to my problem. Unlike most of the problems I run into, this has yet to provide an actual solution to the pressing problem.

LIKE most of the problems I run into, this problem highlights exactly the kind of unbalanced development focus and willful standards ignorance that Microsoft continues to force on the Enterprise through its monopoly. I can't not use Outlook in my environment, too many people rely on the integrated Calendar, Notes, and Tasks.  But with the .PST management problems (because we can't afford a full blown Exchange server), and the poor IMAP implementation (because Microsoft won't put effort toward making it better, because they would rather force Exchange server purchases), I REALLY WISH I could drop Outlook for something else.  I would do it today if I could, but there isn't a solid, stable, centrally-configurable, Enterprise-level replacement yet.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 39707075
Well you said it:
there isn't a solid, stable, centrally-configurable, Enterprise-level replacement yet.
and I guess the is the trade in that one has to do when you hv problem like these. Swallow the pill and continue look at the bright side, as here it is 'Message Recall' and who knows when you shift maybe to a 'better solution' it could be an other pit fall that at the end you find yourself saying:

I was way better off with Microsoft !!! :)

Not that I make them a publicity here but after all it is a co that is after their products and keep on releasing updates (yes they should do more, as there is always room for comments and you will always find unsatisfied in anything that is done) most important is to weight pros and cons !


Accepted Solution

Alderin earned 0 total points
ID: 39707571
If only I had the funds and the time to fix that "yet" problem.

I did find the solution today:

In Outlook 2010/2013, File->Options, Click 'Mail' on the left, scroll down to 'Tracking', and set everything to unchecked and "Never...". Most specifically, uncheck the items:
"Automatically process meeting requests and responses to meeting requests and polls"
"Automatically update original sent item with receipt information"

There are similar settings in Outlook 2003: Tools->Options
On the 'Preferences' Tab, click "E-mail Options..."
In the "E-mail Options" window, click "Tracking Options..."
Uncheck and set to "Never...", Outlook won't process Recalls anymore.

Not sure for 2007, since Office 2007 was skipped by my predecessors.

I've added these settings to my Group Policy.

These settings don't mention Message Recall requests and confirmations, but they operate on the same principle and after disabling these, the flood stopped.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39718532
I was the only person in a week to actually provide an answer to the question. Other comments were possibly useful, but did not prove helpful in this case.

Expert Comment

ID: 41140164
Alderin, thanks for your response, but your solution did not work in my case as my company frequently uses read receipts. I am currently using the Outlook Rules function in Microsoft Office 2016 to keep my mailboxes tidy, but the sheer volume of emails (or receipts) generated is greatly slowing down the send/receive updates for all the associated computers in my company.

Calling Microsoft was useless as their staff were unhelpful, and tried to sell me a solution 'membership' which i apparently needed to solve this 'technical' issue, which cost USD499 for one incident (as of Oct 2015). I'm quite sure this is a common problem among IMAP or POP users, so i don't see why they should charge such a high fee.

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