Gmail Read Receipts: A Keeping Guide (2023)

Email management is important for workers, teams and individuals who want to be more productive with their time. When you send a significant email, it’s often desirable to know whether that email has been received or read, and you’ll be interested in an email provider that offers this capability.

Many individuals are already using Gmail to manage their email, and might be wondering whether Gmail can offer read receipts. Of course, using the software that we are already most comfortable with is the best way to get the most out of email and ensure that we are hitting our goals.

Asking recipients whether they have read your email means you can rest assured that your email has hit their inbox. You don’t have to worry that it somehow got lost, ended up in spam, or failed to deliver, and then hopefully your recipient will follow up with a response.

Relying on Gmail read receipts means you can move on to the next task, confident that your email is on its way.

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What is a Gmail read receipt?

A Gmail read receipt is a confirmation message that is returned to the sender after the recipient has received and opened your email. It tells you that your email has hit the mark and allows you to make an informed decision about whether to follow-up.

Usually, a Gmail read receipt is optional so it is possible that someone receives your message but they don’t send a read receipt. This can be confusing because you don’t know whether your email has been read or not, so read receipts are not a perfect solution by any means. Gmail users can use them to assess the probability that your email has been read but avoid using them as a guarantee.

On the other hand, a Gmail read receipt can provide assurance that your email has not ended up in the spam or junk folder by mistake, and gives you more confidence that the email is being dealt with by the recipient. A read receipt does at least tell you that your email has ended up in the right place.

Note that Gmail read receipts are not available for every user – more on this later.

Why are read receipts important?

Read receipts in Gmail are important because you can find out whether your message has hit its target. This gives better accountability for your work because you then know that the channels of communication are open, and there are no roadblocks to delivering your message.

As long as the recipient has received your message, you can rest assured that your job has been done. If you know the message has been read, you can make an informed decision about whether to follow up and if further communication is required – if you might need to drop them a phone call, for example.

If you request a Gmail read receipt, you can obtain confirmation that the email hasn’t been missed among a busy inbox, ended up in spam, or arrived in the junk folder. With users receiving hundreds of emails a day, sometimes it’s nice to have the assurance that they have noticed your email and that they will attend to it.

Gmail users who are marketers and salespeople in particular may be very interested to know whether their recipients have read their email in order to analyze the success of their campaigns. If an email has not been read, this can influence the messaging that you choose in your follow-up emails.

That all being said, there is no guarantee that a recipient has read your email even if they confirm your read receipt request.

Why is there no read receipt option in Gmail?

As it stands, read receipts are only available if you are using Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) as part of an organization enabled by an administrator. Personal Gmail accounts do not have the option to confirm read receipts as this is considered an advanced feature that requires a professional plan.

Even if your account is controlled by an administrator, you still might not be able to see the option to request read receipts because the administrator has not enabled it. Your administrator must turn on this function in the control panel before you can ask for a read receipt for your emails. Once they’ve updated the user settings, you should be able to send read receipts when you compose new emails.

Administrators have the choice of deciding whether to turn on only for email addresses within the organization or allow them for every email address.

What tools can I use to know if an email has been read?

If you are a user with a personal Gmail account, there are several third-party tools you can integrate with Gmail to obtain the functionality of a read receipt. With these software solutions, you can keep using Gmail but add those extra features which you consider vital to your workflows.

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Boomerang is a popular third-party tool for Gmail that offers a host of features. One of these features is a request read receipt, with ten complementary credits you can use each month to track your emails. Boomerang read receipts also tell you whether recipients have clicked on the links you included, making this a top choice for marketers and salespeople.

Right Inbox

Right Inbox is another tool you can use to integrate with Gmail by downloading the Chrome extension. Right Inbox’s Email Tracker feature lets you see whether an email has been opened by a recipient, the links they’ve clicked, the device they used and their location. If you want a detailed rundown of your recipients, then Right Inbox is a good solution.


MailTrack offers a free browser extension for Gmail which you can turn on to see whether your emails have been read by looking at the ticks next to your message. Much like WhatsApp, the double ticks shown by your message turn green when your message has been read, and you can also use MailTrack to see how many times an email has been read.

How do you check if an email has been read?

Usually, if you have turned on read receipts in Gmail then you will receive an email once your recipient has confirmed the email has been read. As confirmation is optional, you may find that someone has read your email but they haven’t sent a read receipt. This is one of the limitations of read receipts in Gmail, since it is important that recipients retain freedom in how they respond to emails.

Sometimes, a provider will allow the recipient to mark an email as read without actually opening it, which will affect the accuracy of your read receipts when this happens. It’s important not to rely totally on your read receipts to tell you whether someone has read your email, and to follow up in good time if you don’t hear from them.

Read receipts are an indicator, not a guarantee, and should be used with caution.

How do I put a read receipt on an email?

Before following these instructions, you need to make sure that your administrator for Google Workspace has turned on the read receipt function in the administrative console. If it is not turned on, the option to request a read receipt will not appear in your emails.

To request a read receipt in Gmail:

  • Make sure you are logged into your Gmail account.
  • Select the “compose” button to write your new email, which you can see at the top-left-hand corner of the screen when using Gmail on a desktop.
  • Compose your email as you would normally and get ready to send.
  • Select the down arrow that you can see next to the blue “Send” box. Further options will appear.
  • Select “request read receipt” to turn on the read receipt.
  • Hit “Send” to send your email with a read receipt requested.

Note that you have to turn on “request read receipt” every time you compose and send a new email, and that there is no way to enable this option automatically. You should always remember that a recipient can also confirm read receipt without actually reading the email, so this process is not always a guarantee.

It’s also the case that when sending bulk emails, you will not see the option to see read receipt.

How do you tell if an email has a read receipt in Gmail?

In Gmail, you can’t tell whether an email has a read receipt without using a third-party plugin to track opens. You simply have to wait for a confirmation email to land in your inbox confirming read receipt, otherwise you won’t know whether a recipient has opened your email. As a result, emails requesting a read receipt look no different to those that have not had a read receipt requested.

If you are receiving an email, the message will tell you whether the sender has requested a read receipt and you can choose from the following options:

  • To send the receipt now, select “Send receipts”.
  • To send the receipt later, select “Not now”. Your mail provider will prompt you to send the receipt the next time you open the message.

If you send a receipt, the recipient will receive an email telling them that you have read the message.

Can you get read receipts by email?

Getting read receipts by email is the only way to receive a read receipt in Gmail, unless you use third-party software such as MailTrack which will show you whether or not your email has been read next to your email. The third-party solutions all have different ways of indicating whether an email has been read, compared to the standard email confirmation that Gmail uses.

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(Video) How to Tell if an Email Has Been Read in Gmail

How do I turn on read receipts in Gmail?

As we’ve mentioned, being able to turn on read receipts in Gmail requires you to be an administrator for your organization. If you are using a personal Gmail account, this step won’t work.

The administrator is required to turn on the setting for read receipts in Gmail for their organization. Follow these steps to turn on enable read receipts:

  • Make sure you are logged into your Google Workspace admin account by visiting
  • Select “Apps” on the homescreen.
  • Select “Google Workspace Core Services”.
  • Next, select the Gmail icon (avoiding the checkbox located next to it).
  • Select “User Settings”.
  • Finally, edit the “Email read receipts” option. You can choose from “disallow all”, “only allow between addresses at the organization and whitelisted addresses”, or to “allow them to be sent to any email address”.

Now, your Gmail read receipts will be turned on and users can start sending them to their recipients using the read receipts feature.

Does regular Gmail have read receipts?

Unfortunately, regular or personal Gmail does not currently offer read receipts to its users. It is considered an advanced feature that is only available to users who are part of an organization, and must be turned on by an administrator. Gmail doesn’t offer a way for you to upgrade to utilize this feature so your only option is to adopt a third-party plugin that does this for you.

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Luckily, there are a host of options for you to choose from that will extend the function of Gmail to include read receipts or the equivalent. You can choose a provider that tracks your recipients in your preferred way, so you can monitor their activity without intruding on their email experience.

What are the limitations of Gmail read receipts?

Although the Gmail read receipt option is highly useful, it does have some limitations that you need to watch out for.

  • Recipients can avoid giving you a read receipt – Gmail read receipts are optional, so users may actually read your email but fail to send you a receipt. This leaves you in the dark about whether your email has been read and wastes valuable time.
  • Read receipts can quickly clog up your inbox – if you request too many read receipts, they will start to fill up your inbox as many participants are confirming that they have received and read your email.
  • Read receipts don’t necessarily guarantee that the recipient has read your email – some providers will allow the user to mark an email as read, which will send a read receipt even when they haven’t read it. Users might also open and send a read receipt while ignoring the body of the email.
  • Read recipients don’t mean that a recipient will reply to your email – it’s all well and good getting a read receipt, but what if the recipient doesn’t actually take any action? You may still be setting yourself up for disappointment.
  • It can be hard to keep track of your read receipts if you get a lot of email – Gmail’s way of tracking read receipts is to send you an email, which can get lost in your inbox if you receive a lot of mail.

Wrapping up

Ascertaining whether or not someone has read your email is an important part of managing email. Sometimes, having accountability is part of your job and you’ll need to demonstrate that your emails have reached their intended target. Naturally, you can’t control whether someone actually replies to your email but at least a read receipt gives you some idea of whether your message has hit the mark.

Personal users of Gmail shouldn’t despair if they don’t have the option to confirm read receipts in their account. The availability of third-party plugins means that Gmail can be customized to suit your needs. Many teams still rely heavily on email to communicate with stakeholders so confirming a read receipt can be a crucial way to analyze the success of your messages.

Communication can be difficult and the Gmail read receipt option provides a way of streamlining the process.

It’s important to use read receipts judiciously as some people may find them intrusive, so opting for third-party software that tracks whether email has been read can be a better solution.

See for yourself

Keeping is the fastest, simplest way to manage a shared inbox right inside Gmail.

(Video) How To Disable Or Enable SEND Read Receipts In Google Messaging App For Text Messages

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Gmail Read Receipts: A Keeping Guide? ›

If you want to know when someone reads your email in Gmail, Mailtrack is the only reliable way to do that. With a simple extension, you can see who opened your email and when. It works with both free and Google Workspace Gmail accounts. The free version of Gmail doesn't allow you to request a read receipt.

Can I tell if someone requested read receipt on Gmail? ›

If you want to know when someone reads your email in Gmail, Mailtrack is the only reliable way to do that. With a simple extension, you can see who opened your email and when. It works with both free and Google Workspace Gmail accounts. The free version of Gmail doesn't allow you to request a read receipt.

Can I turn off read receipts in Gmail? ›

Sign in to your Google Admin console using your admin account. In the Email read receipts section of the Google Workspace app, you can specify which users you would like to enable read receipts for. You have several options, including: Disable all requesting and returning of read receipts for your users.

How do you know if an email has been sent successfully? ›

If your email has already been sent through Gmail, you will see a green check mark next to its name. To learn how to check if email has been delivered in gmail, click on the "Details" tab that appears after you have clicked on an individual message.

Can you refuse a read receipt? ›

A read receipt confirms that your message was opened. In Outlook, the message recipient can decline to send read receipts. There are other scenarios where read receipts are not sent, such as if the recipient's email program doesn't support read receipts. There is no way to force a recipient to send a read receipt.

How can you tell if someone read your text without read receipts? ›

The recipient may have turned read receipts off if you don't see the 'Seen' text or the eye icon. Try sending the person a DM. If they respond and you never saw the 'Seen' feedback, they've turned their read receipts off.

Why are my read receipts on when I turned them off? ›

Your iPhone May Be Sending Message Read Receipts Even If You Turned Them Off. A recurring iOS bug that makes Apple's Messages app send read receipts despite the setting being disabled appears to be on the upswing again, based on reports from users running iOS 15.

How do I stop receiving read receipts? ›

Go to Settings > Messages, then turn Read Receipts off.

How do I change the read settings in Gmail? ›

How to Enable Gmail's Reading Pane
  1. Open Gmail, and login to your account.
  2. Click on the Settings gear in the top-right corner of the page.
  3. Select See all settings.
  4. Go to the Inbox section.
  5. Head to Reading pane, and check the box next to Enable reading pane.
  6. Scroll down, and select Save Changes.
Dec 12, 2022

How do you know if your email is ignored? ›

If they are consistently not opening your emails, then it is likely that they are ignoring your emails. If they are opening your email and you receive a read receipt, you now know they are definitely ignoring your emails.

What happens when an email is sent but not received? ›

The main reason is because of spam filters.

Here are a couple of reasons: Because of an unknown domain name in the From field, it occasionally happens that legitimate emails are being blocked or moved to the Junk folder by e-mail service providers.

Are read receipts rude in emails? ›

Asking for a 'read receipt' often comes across as unprofessional and rude. It may also show that there is a lack of trust from your side. Instead of asking for a read receipt, it's always better to send a follow-up email after allowing a reasonable gap for the recipient to reply.

Can you tell if someone read your email? ›

1. Request a read receipt. A read receipt, sometimes called a return receipt, is a notification confirming that the recipient received and opened your email. Most popular email providers such as Gmail and Outlook offer the option to request a read receipt when you send an email.

Why do people request read receipts on emails? ›

Read receipt pros

Especially in a business setting or when you are sending important and time-sensitive information, a read receipt can tell you whether your message has been received or if you need to send a follow-up email – or reach for the phone.

Does turning off read receipts work for status? ›

Disable the Read Receipts Feature

You can toggle the 'Read Receipts' option to off. This method works for both Android and iOS devices. Now, when you view someone's status, they will not receive a notification that you have seen it.

What happens if you read a text and turn off read receipts? ›

If you turn read receipts off, the senders will not know if you opened their messages. Also, with read receipts off, you cannot know if the recipients opened your messages. So read receipts are a kind of trade-off.

Can someone tell if you opened their text? ›

Look for the checkmarks: A single gray checkmark indicates a successfully sent message. The appearance of a second gray checkmark shows your message was delivered to the recipient's phone. The two checkmarks will turn blue if the recipient has viewed your message.

Why would anyone turn on read receipts? ›

Read receipts help set boundaries around a conversation. If you've read it, it can be assumed that if the text requires a response, it'll be coming shortly.

Why would a girl turn off read receipts? ›

Sometimes people only have time to glance at a message and not enough time to respond. The message shows as having been read, but they don't answer, and some people can't handle that. They impatiently demand an answer. Turning off read receipts entirely is one way to deal with that.

Why are my read receipts on for one person? ›

Users can universally enable or disable read receipts in the Settings app by heading to Messages > Send Read Receipts. They can also enable or disable read receipts individually by clicking on an individual contact in the Contacts app, hitting Info, and adjusting the toggle next to Send Read Receipts.

Why are my Gmail emails not showing as unread? ›

To list unread emails, go to Settings > See all settings > Inbox > Inbox type > Unread first. Adjust settings in Inbox, then Save Changes.

Has Gmail settings changed? ›

Google started rolling out the updated Gmail interface in November 2022, allowing it to keep up with the times. This interface update was optional until now, but starting February 3, 2023, Google will enforce the new design for all users.

Is ignoring an email rude? ›

Ignoring email is an act of incivility. “I'm too busy to answer your email” really means “Your email is not a priority for me right now.” That's a popular justification for neglecting your inbox: It's full of other people's priorities.

What does ignore mean in Gmail? ›

Muting an email means that the email conversation will be silenced. You can effectively do a Mute (ignore) on any message and push the entire conversation to the archive folder.

Why do people ignore your emails? ›

While you may know, rationally, that there are plenty of good reasons for someone not to respond to a text or an email—they're busy, they haven't seen the message yet, they're thinking about what they want to say—it doesn't always feel that way in a society where everyone seems to be on their smartphone all the time.

Why are my emails showing as sent but not delivered? ›

There are two common explanations for this: The email is sitting in a spam or junk folder in the recipient's inbox. The email was placed in a quarantine area by a security filter. In this scenario, the email was filtered after being received by the server but before it was placed in the recipient's personal inbox.

Is there a problem with Gmail? ›

Gmail is up and running

All services are online and currently available.

When an email says sent does it mean it went through? ›

SENT = Message has been submitted to the cellular network or carrier for delivery.

Can you request a read receipt in Gmail app? ›

Now go to Apps >Google Workspace >Gmail. Then select User settings on the right-hand side, where you'll find an Email read receipts section.

Can you tell what device an email was sent from? ›

Find an IP address from an email

The first place to start tracing an email is to look for the source IP address , the string of numbers that identify devices connected to the internet. Check the email header, which contains information about the sender, receiver, subject, and time the message was sent.

Is there a Gmail extension to see if someone read your email? ›

How to get a read receipt in Gmail [2021]
  • Get your MailTrack extension.
  • Upgrade your plan to start using “Campaigns” (send individual trackable emails up to 200 recipients) and also you can get “GMails Receipts” for your important emails.
  • More information about MailTrack PDF GMAIL Tracking Certificates.
Oct 7, 2020

How do you ask for an Acknowledgement in an email? ›

You can say,
  1. “I am sending you the below attachment as a reminder.”
  2. “I would like to confirm if you have received it.”
  3. “Can you please confirm that you have received this email?”
  4. “Please confirm receipt of this email.”
  5. “Confirm that you have received this email.”
  6. “Confirm that you have received this message.”
Apr 20, 2022

How do you tell if an email has been read on iPhone? ›

On an iPhone, Apple's Messages app lets you know if your recipient has read your message — but the sender and recipient must be using iMessages on an iPhone or iPad, too, and have read receipts enabled. To turn this on, open Settings, tap Messages and enable Send Read Receipts by flipping the switch so it is green.

Can you tell if someone is monitoring your email? ›

Most server side trackers send their email or website URL along with the email, you can look for it to check for tracking. To detect if your email is being tracked through this method, go to your email service and look for Show Original Message option that shows server side data.

Can you send a Gmail anonymously? ›

Gmail isn't anonymous because Google tends to collect your data and serve you ads. However, it's possible to keep some degree of privacy with the Gmail account by using a fake name, location, birth date when registering, and always using a VPN with it.


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