Delaying email send in Outlook

All too often, I send an email and regret it a moment later.

Maybe I bumped into Send before I was ready. Maybe I wrote something mean & nasty, and want to rephrase to something more constructive. Maybe I think of a better way to make my point.

With these steps, Outlook will keep my message in the Outbox for a few minutes. When I change my mind, I can go there and modify the message.

  1. Tools.Rules and Alerts

  2. New Rule

  3. Start from a Blank Rule
  4. Check Messages before Sending
  5. Next

  6. (don't check any conditions)
  7. Next

    • Yes, apply to every rule

  8. Check "defer delivery by a number of minutes" (the last checkbox)
  9. Click on "a number of".

    1. 3
    2. OK

  10. Next

  11. (don't check any exceptions)
  12. Next

  13. Supply name if you like.
  14. Finish

Comments (6)

  1. Martin says:

    We use exchange 2000 + Outlook 2003 but don’t have the option "Check messages before sending". Does this sound right?

  2. Larry says:

    I use this feature, but sometimes I want to ignore the delay for a certain message, that is, I want to send it right away. Is this possible?

  3. Matt Povey says:

    Even simpler. Set Outlook not to send automatically. Go to the "Mail Setup" tab in options and deselect "Send Automatically when Connected". Bob’s yer uncle, mail sits happily in your Outbox until you go in there and hit Shift f9.

    Saved me a few times that. Only problem is the occasions when you forget to shift f9!

  4. jaybaz [MS] says:

    Larry: With the message open, click on Options on the toolbar. There’s a "Don’t send before". Uncheck it.

    That should do the trick.

  5. Prasanna says:

    Another option is to remove the To, Cc (and Bcc) lists while writing the message. Even if you accidentally hit Send, it won’t go. Once you are sure you want to send it, fill them back in. No messing around with options.

  6. Sam says:

    for me step 4 was

    Check Messages after Sending

    Also (for Larry) I add an exclusion on the "Are there any exceptions" step. Click the first box "except if the subject contains specific words" add the word qq in and then the mail will be sent immediately if you have a subject like "Here is the emergency patch – qq"

Skip to main content