If you’ve ever sent an email and instantly worried about whether or not it was read, there’s a way to find out. While deleting an email, it turns out that it will remove all signs of the message from your sent folder. So the recipient can still see when they were last opened – just not who by.
How do I tell if someone read my email on Gmail?
Have you ever sent an email and then wondered if it was read or not? Maybe your email included a pdf that required download, and sometimes the email might get stuck in the “Outbox” before it goes through. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to see when your email is opened on Gmail, but some indicators can tell you whether or not someone opened the email.
Option 1: Track email opens outside of Gmail with email tracking tools.
Google doesn’t provide you a way to tell if someone opened your email. There are, however, paid email tracking services that can help you see when the email was opened and from what IP address. These email trackers work on all email clients, not just through Google services. Here are some popular email trackers you can pay for use: MixMax, Bananatag, Yesware, Streak.
Option 2: Look for email notifications
As an alternative to email tracking, email clients, including Gmail, will sometimes send back email notifications when the email is opened. For example, if your email included a PDF attachment and you have information turned on within the accessible version of Gmail, it can tell you when your email has been viewed or downloaded by someone. To turn this feature on within Gmail:
- Click the “Gear” icon at the top right corner of your inbox
- Select Settings from the menu
- In the General tab, scroll down to the “Email Notifications” section
- Enter your email address to receive email updates
- Select what kind of notifications you want within this window
- Under “When I get an email,” select
Option 3: Look for email “Read Receipts” within Gmail
If you receive an email from someone else and want to know when it was opened, open that email and click the blue “View Read Receipt” button at the top. This will let you see all of the times your email has been read, but unfortunately, it doesn’t tell you who read it or where they were when they viewed it. If this email is a work email address using a company email domain, there isn’t a way to turn on reading receipts so only the email sender can see them.
The best way to check if an email was read is usually an email tracking service like MixMax. These services combine email tracking with email scheduling and email automation, so they’re accommodating when you need to send the email at the right time or want to track when the email is opened. These email trackers work with Gmail and in any email client.
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What are read receipts and delivery receipts?
Email is an email service that allows users to send and receive email messages to and from other people.
The email inbox can be viewed by checking email on the Internet or through email software such as Microsoft Outlook. Emails typically consist of one or more email addresses, subject lines, and message bodies.
Read receipts and delivery receipts are email applications in which email recipients will know when and if their emails have been read by the sender(s) of an email thread. An email recipient can also request a read-receipt for sent emails in case they want confirmation that the emails sent were received by the intended recipient(s).
Is email read receipt and delivery receipt the same thing?
This is a very common question, and email read and delivery receipts are two different email tracking options. While they both allow you to track whether the email has been opened or not, there’s another significant difference between the two: email delivery receipts let you know that your email was delivered to its intended recipient.
In contrast, email read receipts tell you only that someone has viewed the email. Email delivery receipts typically work by adding a line of text at the top of your email asking people to confirm their successful delivery, such as “Please reply to this message if you have received this email.”
This kind of email doesn’t tell you anything about whether somebody read it or not, however. Emails with email read receipts will typically let you know when the email is opened, as well as who has opened it.
Request a return read receipt
If you email a colleague and you allow them to read the email but don’t receive a response, it may be beneficial to request a return receipt email. This kind of email will let you know when your email has been opened and that your recipient read it. You can ask them directly or use an email tracking service like Yesware.
While this may seem like a good idea in some cases, there are serious privacy and security issues involved with requesting return receipts. Particularly, if the person receiving the email does not want to give over their private information or reveal it when they open their email, asking for a return receipt will likely upset them.
In addition, any time you send an email contains personal information such as bank statements. Email should not be used to share personal information.
- An email delivery receipt tells you that the recipient’s ISP received the message (the person who checks their email). Not all ISPs support this service. You can request it, but there are privacy and security issues involved.
- An email read receipt lets you know when your recipient opens your email later, while an email delivery receipt does not. Some ISPs will let you set up read receipts for outgoing messages in some cases, though they are less common than delivery receipts. Be aware of the serious privacy and security concerns with requesting return receipts if the person doesn’t want to give out their personal information or reveal it when they open their email. If someone sends you personal emails, it’s best not to request return receipts.
- You cannot tell if someone opened an email at a specific time unless the ISP records the information for you. However, this is usually only true with delivery receipts. Many ISPs and email tracking services will date and timestamp your emails so that you can see when they were read, but this is less common with reading receipts.