How to Know If Someone Has Read the Email You Sent Them

By Emmanuelle Douglas

Sending an email to someone is only half of the communication. Sometimes you want to know if he read the email. This can be done by using read receipts. Read receipts are included in some email software, while other software use tracking codes to send read receipts. Depending on the software, the receipt may have to be confirmed by the person reading the email. This can cause a conflict with the read receipt. If the individual declines the receipt, you will not know if he read the email. The best way to know may be to ask if he actually read the email or include follow-up questions within the email.

Step 1

Turn on read receipts in Microsoft Outlook by accessing your tracking options. Within your options, you can activate read receipts and delivery receipts. These receipts can be processed as you open your email. You know if the person has read the email because you receive an email with the following subject "Read:" or "Not Read:" followed by the subject of your original email.

Step 2

Check your read receipts in your inbox. They will be sent as regular emails. Be warned that sometimes you may get a false "Not Read:" message because the person read the message in her preview pane. Because she didn't open the email completely, Outlook may send the wrong receipt.

Step 3

Verify that the recipient has this feature turned on. Receiving no read receipts may also indicate that he has turned off this feature in his Outlook or Internet email. If he is using Internet email, he can choose to decline the read receipt completely by selecting decline at the read receipt prompt.