How to Write an Email About Missing a Deadline

In the professional world, deadlines are crucial. Unfortunately, there may come a time when you must write an email about missing a deadline. This article will guide you through how to write an email about missing a deadline, offering step-by-step guidance and practical advice.

What To Do Before Writing the Email

Before you start writing your email, there are several preparatory steps to take:

  • Acknowledge the Situation: Accept that you’ve missed the deadline and need to communicate this.
  • Gather Information: Understand why the deadline was missed and gather any supporting details.
  • Plan your Message: Decide what you want to communicate in your email.

What to Include In the Email

When crafting your email, it’s crucial to include specific components for clarity and professionalism:

  • Subject Line: Make it clear and concise, indicating the project or task and that there’s a delay.
  • Apology: Admit your mistake and express sincere regret.
  • Reason: Briefly explain why the deadline was missed without sounding defensive.
  • Proposed Solution or New Deadline: Propose a new deadline or solution, showing your commitment to resolving the issue.
  • Request for Understanding: Ask for understanding or forgiveness from the recipient.

Email Template

Here’s a basic template you can customize:

Subject: Delay in [Project/Task Name] - New Deadline Proposal

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I regret to inform you that there has been a delay in completing [Project/Task Name]. I apologize for this oversight and any inconvenience it may have caused.

The delay occurred due to [Brief Explanation]. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to meet the original deadline.

To rectify this situation, we propose a new deadline of [New Deadline]. We are committed to ensuring that this task is completed by then with the highest level of quality.

I hope you understand the circumstances that led to this delay and accept our sincere apologies. We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding.

Best Regards,
[Your Name]


Writing an email about missing a deadline can be daunting. However, with honesty, sincerity, and a clear plan of action, it can be handled professionally. The key is not to panic but to communicate effectively and promptly.

To write an email about missing a deadline, acknowledge the situation, apologize sincerely, briefly explain the reason, propose a new deadline or solution, and request understanding.