Set up Delivery and Read Receipts for Emails on MS Outlook


Besides serving as a method of communication, emails can also be treated as formal proofs on discussions. In lieu of the significance it holds to professionalism one has to take utmost care of

delivering messages at the right time

and being able to reply to the most important ones under all circumstances (even if

you are on a vacation


Also, messages of high importance need to be tracked at times (from source to destination). This could ensure that a message has been delivered and/or been read by the right person. MS Outlook (desktop client) features an integrated tool to help you with this.

Note: This works best when both the sender and receiver are using Outlook desktop client. Gmail users may try RightInbox to track messages and Yesware to check who read the messages.

Activating Receipt Requests on Outlook

The simplest way to activate requests for delivery and read emails is to check the respective check boxes while creating a new email message. The choices are available under Options -> Tracking on the new email window.

Standalone Receipt Request

However, this would serve as a singleton request and you would have to repeat the activity for each required instance. For a permanent setting, follow the understated steps:-

Step 1: Navigate to Outlook Tools and click on Options to bring up the setup wizard.

Ms Outlook Tools Options

Step 2: On the Options dialog switch the highlight to Preferences tab. Click on the button reading Email Options under the Email section.

Msoutlook Preferences Email

Step 3: The Email Options dialog will be launched next. Under Message handling you will find Tracking Options. Hit this button.

Message Tracking Options

Step 4: As shown in the image below, tick Delivery receipt to receive confirmation on delivery of messages and tick Read receipt to receive confirmation that your message has been viewed.

Request Receipt Options

Step 5: Click on Ok. Click on Ok for all the dialog boxes that got stacked from Step 2 to Step 4.

With this setup you will have to manually navigate to Options -> Tracking on the new email window only in any special case.

What Happens Next?

I tried testing if the setup worked. I sent an email with the delivery receipt checked and this is what I received in response.

Msoutlook Message Delivered

I tried it again for read receipt and noticed that it was a conditional layer. The receiver must give his/her consent in order to send the read receipt to the sender of the message.

Readers Consent For Receipt

With all the consent, I got a read receipt for my test message as shown in the image below.

Msoutlook Message Read


This is something that you may not require in your day to day life. But definitely, it drags some attention in occasions where you want to ensure and track the progress of things. Do you think this gives you some more edge with your emails at work? Let us know in the comments section.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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