More good news from the world’s favorite webmail client, Gmail: Now you can read receipts on the emails you send. Just like with popular messaging platforms like iMessage or Whatsapp, a “read receipt” notification lets you know if your recipient has indeed read your message (or email in this case). Turning on “read receipts” is a powerful feature for any email client, and now Gmail has introduced it so you can know when someone has read your email…well, kind of.

Before you get too excited, there are some important limitations to know about Gmail’s “read receipt” feature. Here is everything you need to know about Gmail’s latest feature, read receipts.

Mind the Limitations

1.  The latest “read receipts”  feature is only available for work Gmail accounts (accounts powered by Google Apps for Business, also known as GSuite). This applies to school and government accounts. So, if your business is powered by Google Apps/GSutie, this is great for you! If you are using a personal Gmail account, it is not relevant (yet).

2.  You can’t request a read receipt on email blasts. It only works when you address the email to individual recipients in the “To” and/or “CC” fields.

3. You need to manually request a read receipt for each message you send; there is no way to automate this feature.

4. Your recipient may have to approve your request for a read receipt, therefore you can’t know for sure that a lack of a read receipt means your recipient has not read your email. They may have just chosen to deny the read receipt.

Ready to test it out? Here is how to turn on Gmail’s read receipt feature:

How to Use “Read Receipts” for Gmail

1.  Open Gmail and start composing a new email message

2. At the bottom right of the compose window, click the small triangle icon next to the trash can for “More Options” (Look for an icon of three dots if you’re on mobile)

read receipts gmail

3. Select “Request read receipt” and send your message. (or schedule the send)

read receipts gmail

4. How will you know if your recipient read the message? That depends: Your recipient may have the option to approve or deny your read receipt request. If they approve it, you’ll get an email notifying who opened your email and when. Below is a screenshot of what recipient might see on their end.

read receipts gmail

That’s all there is to it! If you’re looking for a more reliable tool for “read receipts,” you can add an extension to your Gmail, but most of these services are premium. We recommend the following: MailTrack, MailTag and Boomerang (which is also great for scheduling emails). And don’t forget to check out our top recommended Gmail add-ons that help you power-up your Gmail functionality in all sorts of useful ways.