How to Get a Read Receipt for a Mac Email

By Danielle Fernandez

Use Terminal to enable read receipts on your Mail app.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Have you ever wondered where your email ends up after you click "send?" Some emails arrive as planned and are read without issue, but some must navigate through a maze of spam filters or, worse, get rejected and never end up in the inbox of your intended recipient. To get an idea of where your email ends up, you can request a read receipt, which essentially confirms via a reply email that the message has been opened by the reader. While the Mac Mail application does not have the read receipt feature enabled by default, it can be enabled by modifying the preference file with a few simple Terminal commands.

Step 1

Launch the Terminal app by clicking "Applications" then "Utilities." Alternately, click "Go" at the top of your Desktop then pull down to "Utilities." Double-click on the Terminal icon.

Step 2

Type "defaults write UserHeaders '{Disposition-Notification-To" = "Your Name ";}'" (without the first and last quotation marks). Pay close attention to spaces and capitalization. Replace "Your Name" with your name and "emailaddress" with your email address. Press "Enter."

Step 3

Quit and relaunch Apple Mail if it is already open