How do I Get an Email Read Receipt?

When you send an e-mail to another person, you may not know if that person received your e-mail unless he or she replies to it. To determine if your e-mail was received and/or opened by the recipient, some e-mail programs such as Microsoft Office Outlook provide a "read receipt" option. This option will automatically create an e-mail to you informing you that the email was received by the recipient's mail server and/or opened by the recipient, depending on the options selected.

Launch your e-mail program, for example Microsoft Office Outlook.

Click "New" and then "Mail Message" to create a new e-mail message. Type the recipient's e-mail address on the "To" line. Press the "Tab" key twice and type in a subject for the email message. Press the "Tab" key again and type the body of the message.

Click "Options" to display the message options. Check the box labelled "Request a Delivery Receipt" to receive a receipt e-mail when the recipient's mail server accepts the email. Check the box labelled "Request a Read Receipt" to receive a receipt e-mail when the recipient opens the email message.

Click the "Send" button to send the email.


Microsoft Outlook provides a set-up option that allows users to disable the read receipt functionality either globally or on a case-by-case basis. You will not receive a read receipt e-mail even though you requested it if the recipient has that functionality disabled.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Steve McDonnell's experience running businesses and launching companies complements his technical expertise in information, technology and human resources. He earned a degree in computer science from Dartmouth College, served on the WorldatWork editorial board, blogged for the Spotfire Business Intelligence blog and has published books and book chapters for International Human Resource Information Management and Westlaw.