How to Know if Your Email is Read in Gmail & Outlook

Have you ever sent an email and wondering whether your recipient(s) has read it? Read this post to know if your email has been read in Gmail.
Receiving confirmation of reading is sometimes necessary, especially when sending important emails for work or to send urgent notices and you want to know if that message was read by the recipient and when. This Read Confirmation is a very important feature found on practically any web email service or email client.

Although this reading confirmation may not be precise (since the recipient must also confirm the sending of the confirmation once the email has been opened), in this guide we will show you how to know if an email sent is read on all the main clients email and web services that support it (Gmail for Business for example).

In the final chapter of the guide we will find other useful tools and extensions to know, clearly and precisely, if the email was actually read or not.

How to Get Return Receipt for Emails Sent

Tracing an e-mail message and obtaining a notification that allows us to know if the e-mail is being read is quite simple and can be done on all the most famous Web mail services, just carefully read the procedures indicated below.

How to track emails on Gmail

To insert the read receipt when we write a new e-mail message on Gmail simply open the Gmail site , log in with our e-mail account or Google account, press the Write button (in the shape of + in the upper left), fill in each field of the email and, before sending it, press the triangle-shaped symbol at the bottom right and then on Request reading confirmation.

gmail read receipt
Unfortunately, this option is not available for all Gmail accounts, but only for those who have an account managed by an administrator of a company, institution or school (with registration for the G Suite service ).

How to track emails on the Microsoft Outlook app

If you have an Outlook account, you can trace an email directly using the Microsoft Outlook mail client, available within the Microsoft Office suite.

First you open the Outlook app on your computer, insert the access credentials of our Microsoft account, write our new e-mail message, go to the Options menu and, in the Verification section press the box Request delivery confirmation or Request read receipt .

confirm outlook reading
This option will remain valid only for the email you are writing; to enable the sending of the read receipt on all your sent emails, press the File > Options menu at the top, go to the Mail menu, scroll to find the Verify section and activate the Delivery Confirmation items in which we inform you that the message was delivered to the recipient’s e-mail server or Read receipt informing you that the recipient has viewed the message.

outlook email read confirmation
If you cannot get a copy of Microsoft Office and consequently Outlook, you can still know if an email sent is read using the Thunderbird email client, available for free and compatible with all email accounts (including Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo! Mail and others).
First you need to download and install Thunderbird on our computer, configure the mail accounts, press on the top right icon on the three lines, then on Options, then press on the Advanced menu and then on Return Receipts.

thunderbird return receipt
In the window that will open we put the check mark on When sending messages always ask for the return receipt, then press OK to confirm.

Other Methods to Track Email Reading

In addition to the methods seen above (based on the most common email clients), we can try one of the following services or extensions to find out if an email sent is read:

  • The extension to know if an email sent with Gmail is opened and read is Streak for Google Chrome browser. Streak will also tell where the email was opened by opening a map and locating the recipients’ location. An eye drawing icon will appear when sending an email using Streak. When the recipient opens the message, the eye icon will turn green, indicating to the sender that the email has been read. The recipient obviously doesn’t need to have Streak installed.
  • A second extension that works well on Gmail for tracking messages is Mailtrack for Google Chrome. The extension requires access with the Google account and works a little in Whatsapp style. When you send an email to someone, the green tick appears next to that message in sent mail. When the recipient reads it, two green signs will be shown which, on mouseover, show who and when they read the message. This application works by inserting a small fragment of code in the header of each email sent.
  • Unlimited Email Tracker is a Chrome extension that adds the tracker to emails sent with Gmail, so that, as soon as the user opens the email, the notification arrives on the desktop that communicates that it has been read.
  • YesWare is a more complex service intended for those who use Gmail for business, for corporate use, within an organization or for a project. With YesWare it is in fact possible to: track emails by receiving the read receipt, share reports and information in real time, without the need to send other emails and create email templates.


Even if it is not as precise as in paper mail, the return receipt or the read receipt can also be used with email accounts, just configure the Outlook or Thunderbird clients so that they always request this receipt from the recipient of the message ( that we remember can always refuse to send this type of confirmation).

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