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Request or return a read receipt

This feature isn't available for all Gmail accounts. You need to be using Gmail with your work or school. Also, the feature must be turned on for your account.

To find out when people see an email message you send, request a read receipt. When the person opens your message, you'll get an email that shows the time and date of when it was opened.

Request a read receipt

  1. On your computer, open Gmail and click Compose.
  2. In the To and Cc fields, enter recipients as you normally would, and write your subject and message.

    Read receipts aren't returned for messages you send to a group mailing list or alias.

  3. Click More options More options.
  4. Click Request read receipt.

    This option is available only if you’re using Gmail with your work or school. Also, the feature must be turned on for your account. If you manage Gmail for your organization, see Enable read receipts.

  5. Send your message.

    You can see your read receipt when you open Gmail. The person you sent the message to may have to approve the read receipt before you’re notified.

Return a read receipt

If someone sends you a message that requests a read a receipt, and your organization wants you to approve receipts before sending them, here's how to do it:

  1. On your computer, open Gmail and read your mail as usual.
  2. If a message tells you a sender has requested a read receipt, choose an option:
    • Click Send receipts to send the receipt now.
    • Click Not now to send the receipt later. You'll be asked to send the receipt the next time you open the message.

If someone requests a read receipt, but you don't see any message, it means your receipt is sent automatically.

When receipts aren't returned

Read receipts work across most email systems, but you won't get a read receipt if:

  • You send your message to a group mailing list or alias.
  • Your administrator restricts receipts to people within your organization or to specific people outside your organization.
  • The person uses an email program that doesn't sync in real time (like a Post Office Protocol [POP] client that syncs only on demand or a G Suite Sync client).
  • The person returns a read receipt on an email client using Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) and read receipts aren't being sent automatically.

Don't rely on receipts to certify delivery

Getting a read receipt doesn't always mean the recipient read your message. How a receipt works depends on which email system your recipient uses. For example, you may get a read receipt if a person using an IMAP-based email client marks your message as read but doesn't open it. And some non-IMAP mobile email systems may not return receipts at all.

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