How to Avoid Sending Emails to the WRONG person

By: standss , Nov 1st, 2010

This happened to me yesterday. I used Outlook’s auto-complete feature to select an email address while addressing my email and selected the wrong person. I ended up sending the email to completely the wrong person.

My Outlook is configured to send out emails automatically and I wasn’t able to stop it … although I realised my mistake within seconds of clicking Send.

While autocomplete can be a time-saver, it’s not without its pitfalls. Autocomplete might suggest an email address that closely resembles your intended recipient. If you accidentally choose the wrong one, a confidential message could land in the wrong inbox, causing a data breach.

Luckily for me, the content of the email wasn’t confidential so there was no real damage done. But things could have been worse …

In this blogpost, I will show you how you can avoid accidentally sending emails to the wrong person.

Option 1: Disable the Send Immediately function (not my preferred option).

You can setup Outlook to only send out emails according to your preset schedule or when you click Send & Receive.

Click File > Options, and then click Advanced in the left pane.

Scroll down to the Send and Receive section and uncheck the Send immediately when connected check box.

Click the Send/Receive button. The following dialog box will open up. Uncheck both the checkboxes as shown in the screenshot.

Close the dialog box and click OK to close the Outlook Options dialog box.

Disabling automatic send/receive in Outlook can have a few downsides:

  • Out-of-the-loop feeling: You won’t be notified of new emails immediately. This could mean missing urgent messages or deadlines.
  • Manual checking becomes a chore: Having to constantly check for emails can disrupt your workflow and become tedious.
  • Potential for missed opportunities: If you rely on email for quick communication or collaboration, delays in receiving emails could slow things down.

Option 2: Disable Auto-complete in Outlook

For Outlook Desktop Client:

  1. Click File> Options.
  2. Navigate to the Mail tab and click on the Editor Options button.
  3. Go to the Advanced tab.
  4. Clear the check mark next to Show AutoComplete Suggestions.
  5. Click OK.

For Outlook on the Web:

  1. Click on the Settings icon at the top of the page.
  2. Choose View all Outlook settings.
  3. Go to Mail > Compose and reply.
  4. Under Text predictions, uncheck the box for Suggest words or phrases as I type.

Turning off autocomplete can reduce the risk of data loss but it also introduces new challenges:

Reduced Productivity: Typing out entire email addresses, especially frequently used ones, can be time-consuming. Auto-complete helps save time and effort.

Increased Risk of Mistyping: Without auto-complete’s suggestions, users are more likely to make typos in email addresses, which could lead to emails being sent to unintended recipients.

Option 3: Delay all outgoing emails in your Outbox

Delaying emails can serve as a safety net. It gives you a brief window to retract the message or make necessary corrections before it reaches the recipient’s inbox. You get the chance to reliably recall emails if there was a mistake in your email.

In Microsoft Outlook, you have the option to either delay the delivery of a single message or use rules to hold all messages in the Outbox for a specified time after you click Send.

However, I do not prefer to set up rules to delay emails. This adds complexity to my email management system and managing multiple rules, especially if they overlap or conflict with each other, can become cumbersome.

Instead, I use Delay Guard feature in SendGuard for Outlook.  Delay Guard will keep emails in your Outbox for a preset time before it is actually sent out. This gives you a cooling off period after you have clicked Send in which you can change your mind and Cancel the send.

You can still send urgent emails immediately by ticking the Send Now checkbox on the Ribbon or Send Confirm Screen (you confirm recipients and attachments in this prompt).

Delay Guard can be configured to give you the level of protection you want:

  • Delay all emails
  • Delay emails to certain domains or email addresses
  • Delay only emails outside your company’s domain etc



Delay Guard comes bundled with the SendConfirm module of SendGuard. SendConfirm displays confirmation prompt to check that email is being sent to the correct recipients with the intended attachments.

Learn more about SendConfirm

How to delay emails using Delay Guard

You will need to download SendGuard. There is trial for 30 days- no credit card information needed.

Once you have installed SendGuard- open Outlook and navigate to Standss Outlook addins tab on the Outlook ribbon.

Click on SendGuard and then click Settings to open the Settings screen.

Click on the Delay Guard tab.

Once you have configured your settings you click Apply > OK.

Special features for deployment and support in corporate environments

  • Delay Guard can be deployed with customized settings using the Standss SenGuard Admin portal, Customized MSI and Intune, GPO (ADMX/ADML), SCCM etc
  • Settings can be locked to prevent changes by users (administrators can still make changes if required)
  • Delay Guard is supported in Classic Outlook, New Outlook and OWA version.
  • Discount Volume Pricing
  • Full White glove service

Contact Standss

You can contact Standss on sales@standss.com to schedule a demo or to learn more about using Delay Guard in your organisation.

SendGuard for Outlook


Image Credit:

Image by wayhomestudio on Freepik

2 Replies to “How to Avoid Sending Emails to the WRONG person”

  1. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a
    little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch as I found it for him
    smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

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