If you deal with emails frequently, you can have certain situations where you may need to see when your emails are read.

Using the read receipt feature of Gmail can let you know whether or not your email has been opened. By getting notifications in real-time, you can proceed appropriately with the next step and at the right moment.

Let’s learn more about this Gmail feature.

How to get a Read Receipt in Gmail

It’s worth noting that the feature of read receipts is not available for personal accounts (accounts that end in @gmail.com). Gmail allows read receipts only for Google Workspace accounts.

Google Workspace accounts are work or school accounts that subscribe to Gmail and are provided by an administrator. The administrator of your organization’s Google Workspace account can allow users to request or return read receipts.

If the administrator enables read receipts, then they can be sent and returned by all email addresses allowed by the admin. However, the admin can also make the Return Receipts feature optional.

In case you are the administrator, you first need to enable the feature for read receipts in Gmail for accounts of your organization. Here are the steps:

  1. You have to log in to your Admin account at https://admin.google.com.
  2. Go to Apps > Google Workspace Core Services.
  3. Select Gmail > User Settings.
  4. Edit the “Email read receipts” option according to your preferences.

Request a Read Receipt

To find out when your email was opened, you can request a read receipt. You need to follow the below steps to request a read receipt:

Step 1: Head over to your Workspace account on a browser.

Step 2: Click “Compose” and then draft your email.

Step 3: At the bottom right of the screen, click More options > Request read receipt.

How to get a Read Receipt in Gmail

Step 4: Send your email.

Any read receipts that are there will appear in your inbox. The recipient of your email may have to approve the read receipt for you to get notified.

Return a Read Receipt

If you receive a message requesting a read receipt which you have to approve:

  1. On your computer, open your Workspace account and browse through your inbox.
  2. If a message appears telling you that the sender has requested a read receipt, proceed as follows:

    • To send the receipt, click “Send Receipts“.
    • To send it later, click “Not now”. You’ll now be asked to send it the next time you open the email.

Note: If the sender requests a read receipt but you aren’t notified, your receipt has probably been sent automatically.

When Receipts Aren’t Returned

You won’t get a read receipt if:

  • You’ve sent the message to a group mailing list or alias.
  • Your administrator restricts receipts to users within the organization or to specific people outside it.
  • The email program used by the recipient doesn’t sync in real-time. For example, a Post Office Protocol [POP] client or a Google Workspace Sync client syncs only on demand.
  • The recipient returns a read receipt to its client using Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), where read receipts aren’t sent on their own.

Do remember that getting a read receipt doesn’t necessarily mean that the recipient read your message. A lot depends on the email system that’s being used by your recipient.

For instance, you will receive a read receipt if someone using an IMAP-based email client marks your message as read, but doesn’t open it. On the other hand, some non-IMAP mobile email systems may not return receipts at all.

Final Words

Given above are the various ways to use the read receipt feature in Gmail. While it’s still unavailable for users of personal Gmail accounts, this feature for a group of Google Workspace accounts requires the approval of the administrator.

We are quite hopeful that this article will help you out, do let us know if you have any questions.

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