How to request and return read receipts in Gmail to see if your email has been read
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  • Post published:15/10/2021
  • Post last modified:15/10/2021
  • You can send read receipts on Gmail if you have a work or school Gmail account.
  • If your administrator requires it, you may have to manually approve read receipts sent to you.
  • There are also third-party options if you can’t access the built-in read receipts feature in Gmail.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Sometimes you have to know for sure that your email has been received. That’s when read receipts come in handy. If you have Gmail, you may have access to the read receipts feature. 

However, be aware that unless you have a work or school account that’s set up by an administrator, you won’t have access to this built-in tool. That said, there are third-party options that you may use instead.

Here’s how to request and return read receipts in Gmail.

How to request a read receipt on Gmail

1. Go into your Gmail account.

2. Click Compose, located toward the top-left corner of the window.

Compose your email as you usually would.
Devon Delfino

3. Write your email.

4. Click the down-caret, located in the bottom-right corner of the draft, and choose Request read receipt.

Click the down-caret and, if read receipts are available on your account, select the option in the pop-up.
Devon Delfino

5. Hit Send.

How to return a read receipt on Gmail

Sometimes a read receipt will automatically go out to the sender when you open an email. But if your administrator requires you to approve read receipts, you’ll have to approve them manually. Here’s how: 

1. Go into your Gmail account and open the email with the read receipt.

2. You’ll see the option to return the read-receipt request — click Send receipts if you want the sender to know you’ve gotten their email, or select Not now to skip that option.

Why aren’t my read receipts being returned?

There are a few reasons why you might not be getting read receipts back. For example, the recipient may have chosen to not send the read receipt back, since that’s an option they’ll have when they open the email. Or, if you sent it to a group mailing list or to someone whose administrator or platform restricts read receipts, your read receipts won’t work. 

Third-party read receipt options

If you don’t have a Gmail account that qualifies for read receipts, you can use a third-party service to access the feature. A few examples of these include:

  • Mailtrack: This browser extension tells you if your email has been opened, how many times, and if you’ve received an email with a read receipt attached. The free plan gives you unlimited tracking, and you can opt for a paid plan to access more features like real-time notifications and group email tracking.
  • Boomerang: In addition to seeing if your email has been read, you can also see the number of times it’s been opened and which links have been clicked with this tool. You can get up to 10 message credits per month with the free plan. The paid options add features like unlimited message credits, inbox pause, and premium support to the mix.
  • Glassmass: This email marketing tool lets you do things like schedule messages, see reports on opens, clicks, and replies to your emails. For a single person, the cost is $12.95 per month for the standard plan or $19.95 per month for the premium plan. There are also team plans available, with varying prices depending on the number of users.

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