Delivery and Read Receipt Confirmations in Outlook

Most of us spend our days firing off emails without much consideration for how or when they are delivered. If we get a response, that usually suffices. But if you have an important message it can be useful to know whether the message has been delivered and/or read.

Outlook provides the capability to track emails and get delivery and read receipts for all emails you send and for single messages. The video above shows these methods, and you can also find instructions below.

The difference between delivery receipts and read receipts

Read receipts will indicate whether the email was opened, and are sent directly from the user who opens the email. Delivery receipts will indicate that your email was or wasn’t delivered to the recipient’s mailbox; it will show you that the message reached their email server, but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in the user’s inbox.

The recipient has the option of declining the sending of receipts, and not all email programs support delivery and read receipts, so it’s best to use these only when necessary and when you know the recipient has the capability of sending receipts–like when your recipient is a colleague and you’re both using Outlook with Exchange.

In Outlook on the Web

  1. From your new email, click the icon.
  2. Select Show message options.
  3. Click the checkbox for Request a delivery receipt and/or Request a read receipt.

In Outlook 2013/2016

To apply to a single message:

  1. From your new email, click the Options tab.
  2. In the Tracking section, click the checkbox for Request a Delivery Receipt and/or Request a Read Receipt.

To apply to all messages:

  1. Go to the File tab and select Options.
  2. Select Mail.
  3. Scroll down to the Tracking section, and click the checkbox under For all messages sent, request: Delivery receipt confirming the message was delivered to the recipient’s email server and/or Read receipt confirming the recipient viewed the message.

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