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How to Schedule or Delay Sending Email Messages in Outlook

Outlook Delay Send Option

When you click Send on an email, it is typically sent immediately. But what if you want to send it at a later time? Outlook allows you delay the sending of a single message or all email messages.

For example, maybe you’re sending someone an email message late at night and they are in a time zone that’s 3 hours ahead of you. You don’t want to wake them up in the middle of the night with an email notification on their phone. Instead, schedule the email to be sent the next day at a time when you know they will be ready to receive the email.

In this article we'll discuss:

  • How to delay sending a single message.
  • How to create a rule to delay the delivery of all messages.

How to Delay the Delivery of a Single Email Message

To delay sending a single email message, create a new message, enter the email address of the recipient(s), but don’t click Send. Instead, click the Options tab on the Message window.

Outlook Message Options Tab

In the More Options section, click Delay Delivery.

Outlook Message Options Tab

In the Delivery options section of the Properties dialog box, (1) check the Do not deliver before check box. Then, (2) click the down arrow on the date box and select a date from the popup calendar.

Outlook Message Delivery Options

Click the down arrow on the time box and select a time from the drop-down list.

Outlook Message Options Properties

Then, click Close. Your email message will be sent on the date and at the time you chose.

Note: You must leave Outlook open until the message is sent.



How to Delay Sending All Email Messages Using a Rule

You can delay sending all email messages by a certain number of minutes (up to 120) using a rule. To create this rule, click the File tab on the main Outlook window (not the Message window). You can save your message as a draft and either close the Message window or leave it open and click on the main window to activate it.

On the Backstage View screen, click Manage Rules & Alerts.

The Rules and Alerts dialog box opens. Make sure the E-mail Rules tab is active and click New Rule.

The Rules Wizard dialog box opens. In the Step 1: Select a template section, under Start from a blank rule (1), select Apply rule on messages I send. The rule displays under Step 2. Click Next (2).

Step 1: If there are conditions you want to apply, select them in the  Select condition(s) list box. If you want to apply this rule to all email messages, click Next without selecting any conditions.

If you clicked Next without selecting any conditions, a confirmation dialog box opens asking if you want to apply the rule to every message you send. Click Yes.

Step 1: Select action(s) list, select the (1) defer delivery by a number of minutes check box. The action is added to the Step 2 box. To define how many minutes to delay sending all email messages, click (2) the a number of link under Step 2.

On the Deferred Delivery dialog box, enter the number of minutes to delay delivery of email messages. Click OK.

The a number of link is replaced with the number of minutes you entered. To change the number of minutes again, click the number link. When you’re satisfied with the rule settings, click Next.

If there are any exceptions to the rule, select them in the Step 1: Select exception(s) list box. We’re not going to apply any exceptions, so we click Next without selecting anything.

On the final rule setup screen, enter a name for this rule (1) in the Step 1: Specify a name for this rule edit box, then (@)click Finish.

The new rule is added to the list on the E-mail Rules tab. Click OK.

All emails you send will now stay in the Outbox for the number of minutes you specified in the rule and then will be sent automatically.

Note: As with delaying a single message, messages will not be sent at the specified time unless Outlook is open.


How to Determine What Type of Email Account You Are Using

If you want to find out what type of account you are using, click the “File” tab on the main Outlook window, then click “Account Settings” and select “Account Settings” from the drop-down menu.

The E-mail tab on the Account Settings dialog box lists all the accounts you’re added to Outlook and the type of each account.

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