How to Request Read Receipts in Microsoft Outlook

Make sure your message has been received

Microsoft's main email client is Outlook, which is available in several versions, some of which offer a read-receipt-request option. If the sender accepts the read-receipt request, you'll be notified when your recipient reads the message. Here's how to turn on read receipts in Microsoft Outlook.

This article covers read receipts for the Microsoft Outlook email client, including Outlook for Microsoft 365, Outlook for Microsoft 365 for Mac, Outlook for the web, and Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010. Other Microsoft email clients, such as Outlook.com and Microsoft Mail, don't have read-receipt functionality.

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Request Read Receipts in Outlook

Outlook is Microsoft's full-featured personal information manager. While it's used mainly as an email client, it also has calendaring, journaling, contact management, and other functions. Outlook is available as part of the Microsoft Office suite for Windows PCs and Macs as well as Microsoft 365 online.

Here's how to request read receipts for your Microsoft Outlook emails on a Windows 10 PC or a Mac.

Request Read Receipts for All Messages in Outlook on a PC

With Outlook on a Windows 10 PC, you have the option of requesting read receipts for all messages you send or just individual messages. Here's how to set your default for read receipt requests on all messages:

These instructions apply to Outlook for Microsoft 365, Outlook 2019, 2016, 2010, and 2013.

  1. From the main menu, select File > Options.

    From the main menu, select File > Options.
  2. Select the Mail tab.

    Select the Mail tab.
  3. Scroll down to the Tracking area and find the For all messages sent, request: section.

    Scroll down to the Tracking area and find the For all messages sent, request: section.
  4. Place a check in the box next to Read receipt confirming the recipient viewed the message.

    Place a check in the box next to Read receipt confirming the recipient viewed the message.
  5. Select OK. Your future messages will request email receipts.

    Even with this setting, you may not get read receipts from everyone. Your email recipient doesn't have to send a read receipt, and not all email clients support read receipts. For better results, try requesting read receipts on individual emails only when it's important.

Request Individual Read Receipts Using Outlook on a PC

If you prefer to request read receipts for individual messages, here's what to do on a Windows 10 PC:

  1. Open and compose a new email message.

    Open and compose a new email message.
  2. Select the Options menu.

    Select the Options menu.
  3. In the Tracking area, place a check in the box next to Request a Read Receipt.

    In the Tracking area, place a check in the box next to Request a Read Receipt.
  4. When your message is ready, select Send.

    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.

Request Read Receipts Using Outlook on a Mac

Outlook for Mac doesn't have the ability to set read receipt requests as a default, but you can request read receipts for individual messages in Outlook for Microsoft 365 for Mac or Outlook 2019 for Mac version 15.35 or later.

There are a few other read-receipt caveats with Outlook on a Mac. They only work on an individual basis with a Microsoft 365 or Exchange Server account, and read receipts aren't supported for IMAP or POP email accounts, such as a Gmail account.

  1. Open and compose a new email message.

    Open and compose a new email message.
  2. Select Options.

    Select Options.
  3. Select Request Receipts.

    Select Request Receipts.
  4. Select Request a Read Receipt.

    Select Request a Read Receipt.
  5. When your message is ready, select the Message tab and then hit Send.

    When your message is ready, select the Message tab and then hit Send.

About Receipts for Outlook.com and Outlook on the Web

Outlook.com is the free webmail version of the Microsoft Outlook email client. There's no option to request a read receipt, either by default or individually, in a regular Outlook.com account or Outlook on the web via a personal Microsoft 365 account.

You can, however, request read receipts if you have an Exchange server account as part of your Microsoft 365 setup when accessing Outlook on the web. Here's how:

The terms Outlook.com and Outlook on the web can be confusing. Outlook.com is a free webmail client, while Outlook on the web is the version of Outlook you'll use when you have a Microsoft 365 account and access Outlook via a web browser.

  1. In a new message, select Menu (three dots) from the message-compose pane.

  2. Select Show message options.

  3. Select Request a read receipt, and then send your message.