Software

Resend an Outlook message

Don't forward Outlook e-mail when what you really want to do is resend it. Use this simple approach instead.

If you're like me, you sometimes do things the hard way because you just don't know any better. For years, I've been forwarding e-mail messages when what I really wanted to do was resend them. Forwarding a message requires you to enter an address. Why should you do that if you want to resend the message to the original address? Well, you shouldn't.

To resend a message, locate it in the Sent Items folder (or the folder where you store sent messages). From the Actions menu, choose Resend This Message. In Outlook 2007, you can find this in the Actions group.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

29 comments
mpsycho
mpsycho

Hi, sorry for my imperfect english. If I open a mail for resending, it remains opened after doing it. Can we auto-close the original message after resending? Thanks in advance AD

wadeduncan
wadeduncan

There is no 'Resend This Message' in Office/Outlook/Actions.

pflores
pflores

Why wouldn't you just "reply"?

larrybell_2000
larrybell_2000

I guess I'm missing something here. I see WAY different reasons for 'FORWARDING' a message versus 'Resend' or 'Reply'. To me, 'Forwarding' a message is used to send a message to a person who was not a recipient of the original message (as far as you know). And of course this requires you typing in the new address. 'REPLYING' to a message implies to me that you will be adding your thoughts or response to the contents of the original message. And of course you could always include additional person(s) not part of the original message. But like 'Forward', you still have to type in that new address, as well as your new content/reply to the message. 'Resend' as I see it being used here, is that you are simply resending the message previously sent to you, or one that YOU sent to someone, without making any additional changes to the original message. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THAT ??!?!! If you are going to use 'Resend', and add additional remarks to the message you are 'resending', what is the difference between THAT and REPLY ?? No, you don't have to type in the orginal sender/recipients address (big deal). Yes, you will have, or have to remove the 'RE:" from the subject line if you don't like it. But again, to me: Big deal. And if you are going to 'resend', and include another person(s) not in on the original message, yep, you have to type their address in too. If for some reason you use 'resend' to save a few keystrokes by not typing in the recipient address, you are being too lazy. And if you are just resending a message without adding content, I'd say you just wasted time and clogged up the network with a pointless message. I don't get resend, and it wasn't correctly explained here why in the blue-blazes it would ever be used. A pointless command.........

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You don't get a 'Resend' option on the Outlook Actions menu if the message is in the Inbox. However, if you open the message, you can select 'Resend this message' from the bottom of the Actions menu of the message itself.

mwb78
mwb78

I discovered this method a while back. I like it, too, for the same reason. No hassle with filling in the To: line. But I also like that it doesn't add the "FW" in the Subject: line.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

That is true in my Outlook 2003. If you open the message however, then choose actions from the menu in the message you should see the option. It works on my 2003 anyway.

ssharkins
ssharkins

When I click Reply, the To control contains my Email address, not the original recipient's.

nadinec
nadinec

I like this tip, and thanks! I "think" I've read all these comments, and I don't believe I saw anyone mention attachments as being one of THE BEST reasons to use Resend. When you Reply, you lose the attachment, and when you Forward, you retain the attachment but have to enter all the addresses again. I just tried Sending an e-mail with an attachment and then Resending it again - works perfect, and I added additional information in the new e-mail as well. I will be using this a lot, and it's definitely not "pointless."

n4aof
n4aof

Larry, your age is showing -- apparently you (and I) come from a generation that understood the meaning of words, the importance of specific actions, and even the reasons for different formats in correspondence. Today we have a generation of adults who have been taught that grammar and spelling are unimportant -- a generation raised to believe that "self-esteem" is more important that actual competence. We have business and government "leaders" who love bullet lists, because they don't have the attention span to finish a simple sentence. And, of course, you and I are two of the last five people in the world who know the difference between a "to" addressee and a "cc" addressee.

Cloudberry
Cloudberry

I have been useing resend for years. When I have written a really great instructions or advices for user and someone else have same problem so I simply change the recipient and resend the message. No need to write again hole story. Time saving feature:-)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I keep a folder with messages I'm expecting replies to. If I haven't received a reply in what I consider to be a timely fashion (this varies with the content), I resend it.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I often have to resend messages that never make it -- they just disappear into the ethers. Before, I went to the Sent folder and forwarding the original message and had to reenter the email address. Now, I just resend -- for me, it is easier and I do use it.

larrybell_2000
larrybell_2000

I should also have mentioned that by 'Forwarding' a message to a person (who wasn't part of the original recipient list), you are indicating by having the 'FWD:' at the start of the subject line that this message thread didn't originate with you. A specific indicator of the messages origination. Likewise, 'Replying' or perhaps 'Resending' of a message with the 'RE:' at the start of the subject line, lets EVERYONE in the "TO:" field know that you are adding a response to an original message or message thread. And with a reply/resend, including at least the original or the last several messages of a thread, allow the recipient of your message to be reminded of what was being discussed. That way, it reduces the "What the H@%# are they talking about" if it ends up being days between the original message and a reply. Still can't a reson for 'resend'......

Phil N DeBlanc
Phil N DeBlanc

Anytime an e-mail is opened in Outlook - even if it is from someone else the "Resend" drop down is available from the Actions menu. Caution - the resend will go to everyone so if there is a group address everyone will get that sending. Engage brain before sending.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Thanks for mentioning that -- totally forgot to.

cnet
cnet

And in that case I use Reply All. If I don't want a copy I remove myself. Resending is better, but it's not a great big button on my toolbar as Reply All is.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I disagree with you. I have adult children and while they're not all computer savvy, they're all pretty smart cookies and certainly not what I would term lazy. One of them was working 2 jobs and going to school when she was just 17 -- i didn't approve, but she had this goal... I disagree with you on the bullet lists -- they are efficient. I can't imagine why you've come to associate them in such a negative manner. Of course, I would agree that you shouldn't overdo them, but used correctly, I think they're marvelous. Read enough of this blog and you'll see that's true -- I use a lot of bullet and number lists. Language changes and I approve of changes that make communicating easier. But, I wouldn't use the popular text messaging lingo in a business report -- at least, not quite yet! ;)

C.Ann.C
C.Ann.C

Now that you helped clear this up, which should have been the originator's specifics in explaining this reason, I can see why "resend" is used, as I've done the same on messages that didn't go thru. Reading the originator of this "tip" made me feel dumbfounded as to the reason why to use the "resend" while in the Sent msgs. folder - why waste time doing that unless you get a "Mail daemon" msg saying the message didn't get to the recipient(s)? Then you'd have to make sure the addresses are current and correct and would then have to either retype them in or just try the "resend" msg again, which mostly everybody already knows to do - why post up a tip when this is already known? Is the originator trying to get a credit for a "new" but old tip? Go figure.

larrybell_2000
larrybell_2000

OK, you're right. I have seen that happen, and I forgot about that. THAT is the only reason for using RESEND instead of REPLY. And I believe that I too have used it for that reason. And like you said, I too believe I have used Forward to resend something that just didn't make it, and ya, then it seems a pain to have to reenter the recipients address. The original posts in this thread never indicated that reason for using resend.

wxyzz
wxyzz

I've known and used the resend option from the sent folder, for what seems to be forever. However, I didn't know about the resend from inbox, something I'll be using more all the time, as it is faster than finding it in the sent folder.

larrybell_2000
larrybell_2000

Susan Harkins: I would like to offer my (hopefully) final thoughts on the use of ?RESEND? feature in OUTLOOK, and maybe redirect some thoughts and comments back to the original post of using ?RESEND?. But first I would like to add my thoughts on some of the other comments. Susan: Your comment in Post #13: ?I don't think people really intend for their comments to sound the way they do sometimes. They don't understand the circumstances or they're just popping off quickly -- the intention to insult really isn't there.? I will admit that, in my case, those comments are probably at least partly true. I think written words seldom come across the way they would if spoken. And yes, I was somewhat ?popping off quickly?. My first posts (#6 and #7) were written while thinking ?that?s stupid!?, as a first quick reaction to the information in YOUR original post of the Tip. If your REASON for using RESEND versus REPLY or FORWARD (Post #8) had been in your original Tip, I seriously doubt I would have posted on the topic at all (post #9). But then, I try to re-read my messages before hitting ?send?, just to make sure I haven?t left an important fact or thought out. And I usually do find some important word or thought that I have left out of my message that would make a difference in the thought that I was trying to convey. I found one just in this last sentence. You had an accident, and left out some important details from the original post. ?Stuff? happens, and sometimes it just happens to be more important than at other times. But while I was thinking ?idiotic? when I first posted, I wasn?t trying to be THAT mean in my post. I simply couldn?t understand WHY use ?Resend?. But thanks to the 1st Amendment, I have the right to think ?idiotic?. Consider it an ?animated? discussion versus a personal attack, backed up with explanations or examples of the use of Forward and Reply. :) Regarding C.Ann.C@...?s comment in post #10: ?Is the originator trying to get a credit for a "new" but old tip? Go figure.? Please understand that was NOT my thought at all. I understood that you were trying to impart a useful bit of information, that?s all (Post #11). Cloudberry?s suggestion in post #15 was kind of a ?I could?ve had a V-8? moment! GREAT IDEA for the use of ?Resend?!! I?m stupid enough to use ?Forward? in that situation. Resend would be FAR better, as it would tend to look to the new recipient as a new personal message sent to them, versus a ?canned? response that was sent to tens or hundreds of others. In Post #16, I took what n4aof@... said as a compliment! It gave me a good laugh too! I don?t hide the fact I consider myself ?an old fart?, months away from 50. Heck I figure I can use it as an excuse in case I make myself look stupid, or when I?m wrong ;-). But Susan, I don?t think he was singling you out with his remark ?Today we have a generation of adults who have been taught that grammar and spelling are unimportant?. It may be a bit generational, but I too think that, in today?s society of mostly single-parent families, the educational upbringing of today?s youth is lacking many of the fundamentals of generations past. It seems today?s youth speak as casually in a business setting and in correspondence as they would if they were speaking to their friends or family. And that casual style is not always appropriate in business correspondence or in a business setting, nor should it be. And I am with you Susan on the use of bullet points or number lists (my favorite). I think they are very appropriate when highlighting several points without going too in depth on any of them. And I agree that they shouldn?t be over done. I would think no more than six at any one time. BUT BACK TO THE POINT of the thread here: Susan, your tip about the use of ?Resend? over ?Reply? or ?Forward? in specific situations does have merit. The only failure was not clearly specifying the reasons why or when you would use ?Resend? over the others in the original post of the tip. And I (note my polite bowing) apologize for presuming or implying you to be an idiot, and bringing on the negative comments. That was not the intent. AND I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I LIKE YOUR TIP ON KEEPING PEOPLE FROM PRINTING AN EXCEL SPREADSHEET!! I thought that was pretty cool. I would like to learn more about using macros in Excel. I learned quite a bit about Excel functions in the past 18 months to write a decent application for a place I worked.

SAStarling
SAStarling

I truly appreciated it. As adept at "tips & tricks" as I usually am, I did not know this one myself. And I didn't find it necessary to ponder your justification for writing this tip. Signed, Someone whose thong is NOT in a wad ;-)

cshoultz
cshoultz

I am a power user by most standards. This tip I see as being quite helpful. I never knew this function existed. I thought the reason for resending was obvious.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I appreciate your support! ;) I don't think people really intend for their comments to sound the way they do sometimes. They don't understand the circumstances or they're just popping off quickly -- the intention to insult really isn't there. I like to err on the side of caution in this area, just in case. My all time favorite though was years ago when I was first freelancing -- I tried a small online/phone support business. This lady sent me her an entire database and wanted me to debug it. When I explained that I didn't provide that service, she was furious and said something like, "I guess it's true what they say, those who can't, write about it..." Whoa... :) Now, she meant to insult me. :) Then, there was the lady from Japan who wrote, "You call yourself a professional? You're an idiot!" Also, she meant to insult. :) I am so fortunate though; I get so few of these types of comments. Almost, without fail, people are polite -- even though who disagree with something I've suggested.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Um... I'm th originator of the entry. I'm sorry you didn't see the point of the tip at first. Sometimes that happens. Asking questions is always good. As for my motives -- "Is the originator trying to get a credit for a "new" but old tip? Go figure." -- My only motive is to share information. I'm not sure what you mean by credit -- there are no "original" tips left -- everything's been written about tenfold already. I do discover things for myself, but that doesn't mean it hasn't already been discovered and discussed before -- it surely has, somewhere. Sorry you didn't like that tip, but there are plenty -- hopefully you'll find something useful.