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Let users request read receipts

Who this article is for

This article is for Google Workspace administrators who want to let people in their organization send read receipts from their work or school Gmail accounts. Read receipts don't work with personal Gmail (gmail.com) accounts.

As an admin, you can let people in your organization request or return email read receipts. A read receipt is an email notification delivered to the sender when a recipient opens a message. Learn more about how read receipts work.

When you turn on read receipts for your organization, your users can Request or return a read receipt.

Important: We don't recommend that you rely on read receipts to verify message delivery. Generally, read receipts work across email systems. However, it's possible for read receipts to be sent for unread messages, and sometimes read receipts for opened messages aren't sent or delivered as expected.

Read receipt options

You have options to manage how read receipts are used in your organization:

  • You can limit the senders who get read receipts from your users. For example, you might allow read receipts only to senders within your organization.
  • You can set read receipts to be sent automatically when a message is opened. Or, require that message recipients approve sending read receipts each time they open a message.

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. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGmailand thenUser settings.
  3. To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit.
  4. In the Email read receipts section, select options for your organization:
    • Do not allow email read receipts to be sent: Turn off read receipts for your users.
    • Allow email read receipts to be sent to all addresses in my organization as well as the allowlisted email addresses: Limit read receipts to to addresses in your domains and any external addresses that you enter in this setting. For addresses you enter in the setting:
      • Separate external email addresses with commas.
      • Enter up to 100 addresses.
      • Each address can have up to 256 characters.
    • Prompt the user for each read receipt request: To require users to approve read receipts before they're sent, check the box. If this box isn't checked, read receipts are sent automatically when a message is opened.
    • Allow email read receipts to be sent to any email address: Allow read receipts to be requested and returned from email addresses inside and outside your organization. When you select this option, the Prompt the user for each read receipt request box is disabled and users must approve read receipts before they're sent.
  5. Click Save.

Changes can take up to 24 hours but typically happen more quickly. Learn more

How read receipts work

Read receipts behave differently based on the email program you use to open messages. For example, a read receipt might be sent automatically, without recipient approval, if the message was opened with an IMAP or POP email client. Some non-IMAP mobile email apps don't support read receipts.

If the sender's email program doesn't support read receipts, the receipt might not be sent. 

Gmail delivers read receipts only to individual user email accounts. Gmail doesn't sent read receipts to groups or other mailing lists.

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