Here's How to Know When Someone Reads Your Email

Set up your Microsoft email client to always ask for read receipts

Is there something there?
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Microsoft's email clients let you set up the program to ask for read receipts when you send mail. What this means is that you'll get notified when the recipient reads your message.

You can turn on read receipts for each message individually if you don't care to know when someone reads all of your emails. However, if you follow the steps below, you can make it a default option so that the program will automatically request read receipts for every single email that you send.

How to Request Read Receipts

The steps for defaulting the program to sending read receipt requests is different for some of Microsoft's email clients:

Outlook 2016

Use these steps to make Microsoft Outlook 2016 ask for read receipts by default:

  1. Go to the File > Options menu.

  2. Choose Mail from the left side of the screen.

  3. Scroll down until you find the Tracking section. Look for the For all messages sent, request: area and put a check in the box next to​ Read receipt confirming the recipient viewed the message.

  4. Click or tap the OK button at the bottom of the Outlook Options window.

The above steps will turn on read receipt requests by default; it will make all sent messages request the receipt so that you don't have to request read receipts on a per-message basis. To turn this off for any message even while the default setting is enabled, just go to the Options tab before sending the message, and uncheck Request a Read Receipt.

Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, and Outlook Express

This is how to set up automatic read receipt requests for all messages sent through Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, or Outlook Express:

  1. Navigate to Tools > Options... from the main menu.

  2. Go to the Receipts tab.

  3. Make sure Request a read receipt for all sent messages is checked.

  4. Click OK.

To turn off a read receipt request for a specific message that you're about to send, navigate to Tools and uncheck Request Read Receipt.

More Information on Read Receipts

Read receipts are sent by the recipient to tell the sender that the message was read, but the recipient does not have to send a receipt even if you request it.

Also, not all email clients support sending read receipts, so you might request a read receipt and never get a response, depending on who you send it to.

Outlook Mail and Live email accounts accessed through outlook.live.com do not let you modify an automatic read receipt request option. Instead, you can only choose whether to automatically send read receipts that someone else has requested from you. You can do this through the "Always send a response" option.