Skip to content

How to know if an email has been received

Rate this post

How to know if an email has been received: You are about to establish an important contact via e-mail and it would be useful for you to understand when your interlocutor actually reads the e-mails you send him, so as to avoid unnecessary reminders and consequent bad figures. This is the reason why, a few days ago, you started wondering how to know if an email has been received and you started looking for a solution to this problem.

Before taking action and understanding how to activate receiving or reading notifications for emails, it is good to clarify a couple of fundamental points. First of all it must be said that this type of service is not infallible: it may happen, for example, that the email application of the email recipient blocks the notification of receipt or that it is not able to manage it at all, so it will still be impossible. understand if the message has been received or not. Furthermore, in some cases, the recipient displays a message regarding the request for notification from the sender before it is even sent: as regards this possibility, the latter can manually choose whether or not to send the confirmation, responding in a manner affirmative or negative to the above message.

Finally, except for very few scenarios (which I will talk about later), the receipt / read notification can only be requested through e-mail management programs and not through web clients, unless you resort to browser extensions which, often, they are not the best in terms of privacy. Still on the subject of privacy : remember that tracking emails sent to other people without warning them could represent incorrect behavior and a violation of their privacy. I take no responsibility for how you will use the solutions listed below.


How to know if an email has been received: PC

Now that you have all the relevant information and recommendations, it’s time to take action and figure out how to send a read notification from your computer: below I’m going to illustrate the most popular e-mail programs that allow you to make use of this possibility.

How to know if an email has been received Gmail

To get a read receipt for an email sent with Gmail , you need to subscribe to a Google Workspace paid plan and activate a special function in the settings menu of your account: you can find the complete explanation in my tutorial on how to put the read receipt on Gmail .

If, on the other hand, you use Gmail’s free personal plan, you can only count on unofficial solutions; more specifically on a Chrome extension that allows you to get the same results without spending a cent: ‌Mailtrack . I would like to reiterate, however, that since this is an unofficial solution it constitutes a risk to privacy . For more details, you can read the Mailtrack privacy conditions .

If you’re convinced you still want to use the extension, open Chrome and install the extension from the Chrome Web Store . Then, log in to your Gmail mailbox by clicking on Connect with Google ; finally click the Allow button which allows the extension to access your account data.


Now click on Sign up for free , if you want to use the free plan of Mailtrack, otherwise you can choose the one from 1 € or 2.5 € per month that offer additional functions. For this tutorial I will use the free plan, as I think it is more than enough, but this type of evaluation is purely subjective.

At the end of the steps the site tells you that the installation is complete, so you just have to click on the Go to Gmail button to be transported directly to your inbox. Here you will find, at the top right, the Mailtrack icon and, by clicking on it, you can activate or deactivate it using the lever next to the Mailtrack enabled writing .

To see if an email is read or not, all you need to do is send an email and, once done, go to the Sent box and look at the ticks next to the message. If the email has been read you will find two green ticks ; if it was only received, one green and one white.

How to know if an email has been received: Outlook (Windows / macOS)

How to know if an email has been received from PC - Outlook

The first “offline” mail client I want to tell you about is Microsoft Outlook , which is included in the Microsoft Office suite and is available for both Windows and macOS.

To activate the read notifications in Outlook for Windows , start the program by recalling it from the Start menu (accessible by clicking on the flag icon), then, if this is the first time you use the program, you must configure your account. email.


To do this, enter the name to be associated with the account and press the Ok button , then enter your e-mail address and click the Connect button . If the email address is the same associated with the computer you are using, the operation ends here, otherwise you will have to enter the password associated with that particular domain.

If this procedure does not have the desired result, or if you have an email account that Outlook is unable to configure automatically, I urge you to consult my specific guides on how to configure Outlook and how to configure Outlook with Gmail.

Completed (if necessary) the configuration phase and started Outlook, presses the New e-mail message button located at the top left to access the message composition screen, and fill in the various items ( To … , Cc … , Subject , body of the message and any attachments ) to create the e-mail message you want to send.

How to know if an email has been received

Once this is done, click on the Options item located at the top, put the check mark next to the boxes Request delivery confirmation (to find out when the recipient receives the message) and Request reading confirmation (to know when the message is read), then presses on the Send button located on the left to send the message.

This way, when the recipient downloads / reads the message, you will receive a notification message (if you have Windows 10 or Windows 11) or a “fake mail” from Outlook.

How to know if an email has been received

Remember, as I have already explained to you, that in some cases the recipient may see a message relating to the confirmation request, and possibly block its sending: if so, you may not receive the reception / reading notifications at all, despite the fact that the email is actually been downloaded and opened.

If you are using a Mac and have activated a subscription to Microsoft 365 , you can also activate the read receipts by going to the options menu . More info here .

How to know if an email has been received: Thunderbird (Windows / macOS / Linux)


If you do not have Office available and therefore cannot use Outlook, I suggest you give Thunderbird a chance : it is an excellent free, open source and multi-platform email client (it is available for Windows , macOS and Linux ) .

The procedure for requesting acknowledgments of messages in Thunderbird is practically the same for all software platforms. However, for clarity, I inform you that in this guide I will refer to the Windows version.

Having said that, to get to work immediately, first download Thunderbird by going to the official website of the program and pressing the Download button . Then start the downloaded file and proceed with the setup by following the instructions you see on the screen: if you are on Windows , for example, all you have to do is click on the Next button twice and then on the Install and Finish buttons .

How to know if an email has been received

As for macOS , on the other hand, you have to drag the program to the Mac Applications folder , and start the program from there by right clicking on its icon and selecting the Open item from the proposed context menu (this operation must be carried out only at the first start).

If this is your first time using the program, you need to configure your e-mail account within it. Enter the credentials related to the profile such as name and surname, address and password then click on the Continue button , wait for Thunderbird to detect the optimal settings for the requested email address, then put the check mark next to the IMAP box and click on the Done button . Depending on the provider you use, you may need to go through additional identity confirmation steps, so proceed according to the directions you will receive.

If the settings are incorrect or you should see any error messages, you can proceed with the manual configuration of the account by clicking on the Manual configuration button and filling in the next form with the settings relating to your e-mail service. More info here.

How to know if an email has been received

After completing the configuration phase and accessing the main Thunderbird screen, click on the Write button (located at the top left) to access the message composition window and fill in all the fields with the information required to form the email to be sent.

Finally, to activate the delivery and reading confirmations, click on the Options item and select the Delivery status notification item from the proposed menu, then repeat the operation by selecting the Return receipt item ; Once this is done, you just have to click on the Send button (located at the top left) to send everything.

When the recipient receives and / or reads the email you sent, Thunderbird will take care of notifying you via an email message. Keep in mind that, even in this case, the effectiveness of the procedure may depend on the program used by the recipient of your e-mail message and whether or not to confirm the sending of the requested notifications.

How to know if an email has been received: Apple Mail (macOS)

How to know if an email has been received

If you have a Mac available and do not intend to rely on third-party programs to manage e-mail, you can request the sending of receipt notifications through the Mail program , applying a little “trick” from the Terminal. Before proceeding, however, I want to warn you that you will have to repeat this procedure each time you send an e-mail message for which you intend to view the read notification.

Also remember, as I have mentioned several times in this guide, that the recipient is not always able to manage this notification: for example, if the recipient of your message uses Mail in turn, you will not receive the return receipt under any circumstances. , since the program can send (after modification) but is not capable of handling similar messages.

Having said that, it’s time to get to work: first, start the Terminal by recalling it from the Other folder of the Launchpad , then type the command inside it defaults write UserHeaders '{"Disposition-Notification-To" = "Nome &lt;indirizzo@email>"; }', taking care to replace Name <address @ email> with the name of the recipient and your e-mail address, and press the Enter key on your computer keyboard.
Once this is done, start the Mail program by recalling it from the Dock (the stamp -shaped icon ), click on the New Message button located at the top left, compose the email to be sent by filling in the required fields and send it by pressing the buttonSend (the button denoted by the paper airplane ): When the recipient reads the message, you will receive a second e-mail containing the acknowledgment of receipt.

To disable the return receipt request for the last recipient set, open the Terminal once again and type the command inside it defaults delete UserHeaders, always followed by Enter .

How to know if an email has been received: smartphones and tablets

Do you have a smartphone or tablet and want to activate read receipts for your email messages? Do not worry, in this section you will find what is right for you: below, in fact, I will show you how to use some free and easy-to-configure apps for this purpose.

How to know if an email has been received: Android

How to know if an email has been received on Android

If you have a terminal equipped with the Android operating system, you can contact the K-9 Mail email client available on the Play Store and alternative stores.

Once the installation phase is complete, start the app and configure the e-mail account used by you: press the Next button at the bottom; when requested, enter your e-mail address and the password to access the latter and tap the Next button again to allow K-9 Mail to detect the optimal settings.

If the app is not able to automatically set everything, tap the Manual configuration button and fill in the following fields with the required information: if you do not know how to proceed, I invite you to consult the guides that I have reported to you in the relevant section . to the Thunderbird computer program.

Once the e-mail account has been imported, choose the account name and the one to view, press the Done button and you’re done. The app takes you directly to the inbox screen then, to write an email, tap the pencil at the top right, grant the application (if necessary) permission to access contacts by pressing the Allow button , and dial the your message.

How to know if an email has been received

Once this operation is completed, press the button located at the top right and select the item Read notification from the small menu proposed, then tap the button in the shape of a paper airplane to immediately send your message: when this will be opened by the recipient , K-9 Mail will automatically send you a notification.

Always keep in mind, as repeated several times in this guide, that the recipient of the message may block the sending of the notification or have a client not compatible with it.

How to know if an email has been received: iOS

How to know if an email has been received on iOS

As for iPhone and iPad , the app that I recommend you use to find out if an email has been received , responds to the name of iTrackMail : working in “collaboration” with the Mail client, already installed in iOS, this app allows to obtain receipt notifications by automatically inserting an image in the sent message.

Consequently, when the “tracer” image is downloaded by the recipient, the app is able to understand if the message has been received and to send a notification to the sender. Before going further, I want to warn you that the free version of iTrackMail inserts a real image into the message, while its paid version (downloadable upon in-app purchase at a price of 4.99 euros ) makes the tracking banner completely invisible. .

Having made this necessary premise, it’s time to take action: to begin with, download and install iTrackMail directly from the App Store (or from this link , if you are reading my tutorial from iPhone or iPad) and proceed with the installation as usual. Once this is done, start the app and press the Allow button to allow it to send notifications, then tap the composition button located at the bottom left (the icon in the shape of a sheet with a pencil ).

How to know if an email has been received

At this point, type the subject of your message in the form immediately following , then proceed to compose using the next screen (which, in fact, is that of Mail ); when the message is ready, tap the Send button located at the top right and you’re done: when the recipient downloads the message, iTrackMail will automatically send you a notification on the screen.

Furthermore, by selecting one of the messages sent from the main screen of the app, you will be able to view other statistics relating to the email in question (e.g. the number of times it has been read or the program / app used by the recipient): Please note, however, that this information is not always accurate.

Other ways to know if an email has been received

How to know if an email has been received

If you have made it this far, it means that you have finally acquired the basic notions to know if an email has been received or not, however you keep asking yourself if this possibility is also available for Webmail , i.e. for email boxes that can be consulted. via the browser.

I’m sorry to tell you that the answer, in this sense, is mostly negative: most of the free mail services, in fact, do not provide this possibility either in sending or in receiving. As already mentioned, for Gmail , only some services offer solutions of this type, but for a fee; otherwise you have to rely on unofficial browser extensions and dubious security from the point of view of privacy.

Finally, I have a fundamental clarification to make you: the confirmation notifications received through one of the techniques mentioned above cannot in any way assume legal value. The only way to obtain this type of result, however, is to rely on Certified Electronic Mail (or PEC ): it is in fact possible to activate a special service of notification of receipt for messages sent through this type of email. In this case, the notifications of receipt relating to messages sent via certified e-mail take on the same value as the acknowledgment of receipt of a “classic” registered letter with return receipt .

If you find yourself in a situation of this type, and you need further clarification regarding the creation of a Certified Mailbox, I invite you to consult my in-depth analysis on how to create a PEC email: I’m sure you will find what you have need.