Let your users request or return read receipts

If you have the legacy free edition of G Suite, upgrade to Google Workspace to get this feature. 

Important: This feature is available only for work and school Gmail accounts. It is not available for regular Gmail accounts.

As an administrator, you can let users in your organization request or return read receipts. A read receipt is an email notification delivered to the sender when a recipient opens an email. To make it available for users in your organization, turn it on in the Admin console.

You can limit which senders your users return receipts to. For example, you might allow them to return receipts only to senders within your organization. You can set up Gmail to send the receipt automatically when a message is opened, or specify that recipients approve sending the receipt first.

Read receipts don't verify mail delivery

Don't rely on read receipts to verify email delivery. Read receipts generally work across email systems. However, it's possible to:

  • Get receipts for unread messages.
  • Not get receipts for messages read by recipients.

Set up read receipts for your users

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGmailand thenUser settings.
  3. If you've created child organizations in your Admin console, under Organizations on the left, select the organizational unit you want to set up. The Organizations section isn't available if no child organizations have been created. For details, visit Tailor Gmail settings for your organization.
  4. In the Email read receipts section, specify the senders your users can return receipts to:
    • Do not allow email read receipts to be sent: Turns off requesting and returning read receipts.
    • Allow email read receipts to be sent to all addresses in my organization as well as the whitelisted email addressesRestricts responses to addresses in your domains and any external addresses that you specify. Separate external email addresses with commas. You can enter up to 100 addresses; each address can have up to 256 characters. If you don't include addresses, users can return receipts only to other users in your domains.

      Check the box Prompt the user for each read receipt request to ask users each time they open an email if they want to send a receipt. Uncheck the box to automatically send read receipts.

      Allow email read receipts to be sent to any email address: Allows read receipts to be requested and returned from email addresses inside and outside your organization. Users are always prompted to send a receipt.

  5. At the bottom, click Save.

It might take up to 24 hours for your changes to apply to individual user accounts. You can track prior changes in the Admin console audit log.

How read receipts work

  • Read receipts work across most email systems, so that users can get notifications from recipients using other email systems that support read receipts. However, the behavior of the receipts might differ depending on the recipient's email software and how they open the message. For example, the receipt might be sent automatically (without recipient approval) if the recipient opens the message with an IMAP, POP, or Google Workspace Sync client. Some non-IMAP mobile email systems may not return receipts at all.
  • To protect users' email addresses, Gmail only delivers read receipts for messages sent to the user's address, not for messages sent to group mailing lists or aliases.
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