How to Add and Request Read Receipts in Microsoft Outlook

With the flood of emails most people are receiving on a daily basis, it can happen easily to oversee an important one. Especially in the case of a time-sensitive, important message, waiting for a response can be quite frustrating and makes one wonder if it has been received. To avoid sending unnecessary follow-up emails, Microsoft Outlook offers the read-receipt request option. In contrast to a delivery receipt, which only informs you was delivered to the recipient’s mailbox, a read receipt shows whether a message has actually been opened. Keep in mind that the recipient can decline to send read receipts. In the following, you’ll learn how to turn on read receipts in Microsoft Outlook. Thereby, you can turn it on only for individual messages or for all outgoing emails. Moreover, you’ll learn how to set up a rule that Outlook requests read receipts for emails only when certain conditions according to your needs are met.


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Turn on Read Receipts for All Messages in Outlook

 Step 1: Open Outlook, click File, and then Options at the bottom left.

Step 2: In the pop-up window, click Mail.

Outlook Options pop up window Mail section

Step 3: Scroll down to the Tracking area. There, you’ll find the For all messages sent, request section. Click the Read receipt confirming the recipient viewed the message box.

Tracking window turn on read receipts

Step 4: Finally, click OK.


Turn on Read Receipts for Individual Messages in Outlook

You might want to turn on the read receipts for important, time-sensitive messages only. Thus, you have to request the read receipts for such messages individually.

Step 1: Open Outlook and compose the email you’d like to request the read receipt for.

Step 2: Go to the Options menu.

Step 3: In the ribbon at the top, you’ll find the tracking area. Check the box Request a read receipt.

Picture shows tracking section in top ribbon of outlook email

Step 4: Click send once you finished composing your message. The receiver will be requested to confirm the read receipt for the email.


Create a rule that turns on read receipts depending on certain conditions

 In case you want read receipts only to be requested automatically if certain conditions are met or with specific contacts only, you have the option to create a rule; this way, you avoid having to turn it on individually for each email. Learn how to set a rule according to your needs.


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Step 1: Open Outlook, go to the Home tab, and select Move Group. 

Step 2: Press Rules, then select the Manage Rules & Alerts option from the Rules drop-down.

Step 3: Select the Email Rules tab in the pop-up windows and click New Rule.

Shows pop-up window Outlook rules to create a new Rule

Step 4: Choose Apply rules on messages I receive or Apply rules on messages I send, then Start from a blank rule section, and finally click Next.

Picture shows how to select

Step 5: Now, you can choose conditions according to your needs from the suggested list. For example, you can choose that only emails marked as important will request a read receipt.

Step 6: Click on the link (the underlined value) below the list of conditions and click Next.

Step 7: Now that the list of actions appears, tick the box notify me when it is read.

Step 8: Click Next, and in case it is necessary, you can add any exceptions for the rule. You can also specify a name for the rule.

Step 9: Finally, click Finish and Apply in the Rules and Alerts window to set up the rule!

What is your opinion on read receipts? Let’s discuss this in the comment section!

See you soon,

Aline & the Lookeen team

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