How to Tell If a Gmail Email Has Been Read

by Aksana Nikolai
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Knowing whether the recipient has read your email can be crucial for time-sensitive communications. However, asking in person or calling to find out if someone saw your message is not always possible. Many email clients, including Google’s Gmail, allow you to request a read receipt, which notifies you when recipients open your messages. The read receipt feature is available for Google Apps for Business, Education and Government account users but not for users with personal Gmail accounts.

Step 1

Log in to your Google Apps for Business, Education or Government account.

Step 2

Compose an email message as you normally would.

Step 3

Click on the “Request Read Receipt” box.

Step 4

Click “Send.” Gmail will request read receipts from the contacts you listed in the “To” and “Cc” fields.

Open your "Sent" folder and open the sent message to check the read receipt. This method applies if you are using conversation view in Gmail's Web-based client. Google displays the names of recipients that opened the email below the message body. In other views, Gmail sends the read receipt to your inbox as a separate email. Note that Google will not display the message status in HTML view or mobile Gmail.


  • Although Gmail’s read receipts work across most email systems, you may get a receipt when a user has not read your message or vice versa. Therefore, do not rely solely on read receipts when checking if the recipient opened your message.


Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Aksana Nikolai is a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in language studies and international affairs. Nikolai is currently working in online marketing and communications. She has been writing since 2008, specializing in made-for-Web content and maintaining her fashion and beauty blog.

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