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Email 'timebomb' expiration

Mark Galvin
Mark Galvin asked
My client has as hosted Exchange 2010 system and they have asked me the following:
Is it possible to set a time limit on an outbound email so that when that time limit is reached the email delete itself from the recipient?

A bit like Mission Impossible !! So scenario is this:
Client sends out an email to 5 people that has a time limit of 48 hours
The recipients have 48 hours in which to open and digest that email
After 48 hours all traces of that email are removed from the 5 recipients mailboxes and servers

I'm not sure if this is even possible as once the email leaves my clients servers, I don't believe they have any control over it but thats why I'm reaching out.

Watch Question

No that is not possible, you simply don't have control over emails once they left your network. Best you could do would be to simply include a link to a webserver in the email body and the webserver shows the message. Delete the webpage after 48 hours. But no guarantee that the other party didn't copy the message when they viewed it, so a bit pointless imho.
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Nope, not possible with native tools.
Even if it was, if I can see it, I can keep it. Screenshots will do that for you (just look at the number of "intimate" selfies floating around).

Email doesn't have that capability at all.

The only possible way I can think of would be one of the secure email systems that are used by financial services companies. Whether they will allow you to delete the message though is a different matter. That would at least give you control. However it doesn't help with the screenshot method I outlined above.

Mark GalvinPrincipal Consultant


Thanks both