Outlook tip: Delay or schedule sending an email message


I wrote previously (on work-life balance) that “one manager I know is so serious about work/life balance that he all but forbids his team from sending emails late into the night (sure, there are exceptions to the rule). But he is able to live within the boundaries by responding to mail ofline after the family goes to bed and then sync’ing mail the next morning at the office.”


I admit it: after the kids go to bed, I’ll use Outlook in offline mode and answer a few mails. (I’ve even been known to respond to a few urgent ones that tend to hit my mailbox late on a Sunday night…)


Well, there’s another way to do this if you use Outlook on an Exchange Server: you can delay delivery of an individual message.


To do this in Outlook, while the message is open, click ‘Options’ and under Delivery options, click on the ‘Do not deliver before check box.’ You can then select the delivery date and time you want the mail to be sent. (This tip is also available on Office Online here, but without the lovely graphic.)


According to Office help, you can even set up rules to delay delivery of all messages by having them held in the Outbox for a specified time after clicking Send. (This is also summarized in the OO article above.)


Not a bad idea for those times I hit ‘send’ in error: no more having to ‘recall and resend’ mail.


More Office Online “Outlook 2003 Help and How-to” is available, including these tips on organizing your emails. Many of these tips also apply to Office 2007.



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Comments (11)

  1. John Walker says:

    Works with SMTP email too! Use it all of the time.

  2. tzagotta says:

    Outlook 2007 has a “Delay Delivery” toolbar button on the Options tab for that purpose.  I guess that is an example of how the toolbar makes the discovery of software features easier.

  3. M3 Sweatt says:

    I hadn’t found that new toolbar button in Outlook 2007, and I’ll use it tonite. 😉

    Thanks for the tip.

  4. formula-1 says:

    Chi ha fatto questo? E un buon posto per trovare le informazioni importanti!:)

  5. Anil says:

    In outlook 2007, i see that some mails suddenly have the delayed option ticked by itself when we compose a mail and even when we remove it it stays that way…I am not seeing how it does excet that it maybe a bug..and still trying to figure out how to remove this ‘automatic; delayed option enabled only for few mails..

  6. Frank says:

    Although this option delays sending messages until the specified delivery date/time, the "time sent" stamp on the email relates to the time that the email was drafted, not when it was delivered. In other words, you can’t send a message at 3:00 PM, set it to deliver at 5:30 PM, sneak out of the office for a a few beers with your friends, and expect your boss to think you’re working late when it arrives in his inbox at 5:30. Trust me, I’ve tried it.

  7. Jon says:

    I am having the random automatic delayed option as well.  Seems to only happen when sending attachments.  Can’t find any reason why…

  8. Joe says:

    This kind of thing, including the leaving for a beer issue, works properly in Eudora. 😉

  9. It looks that delayed send works only if you set mail priority to High, or you have an attachment.

  10. Vonci says:

    Does Outlook 2007 delay option has a limited hrs of delay? Say, only allows 2 hrs max for delay delivery? Once its in the outbox, does it meant that the email is left on the server or the client itself?

  11. Charles Crowder says:

    Works like a champ in 2003, having issues getting it to work properly in Outlook 2007