How to Tell If Someone Read Your Email on Gmail? [Instant Receipts via Canary Mail]

There is a Gmail read receipt feature, but it is outdated and is not available on a free Gmail account. That being said, there are some effective ways to track if someone has read your email on Gmail.

How to Tell If Someone Read Your Email on Gmail? [Instant Receipts via Canary Mail]

Sending an email and then waiting for a reply can be very frustrating, especially when the email is important.

Anxiously waiting for a reply, you keep checking your mail repeatedly. And as time goes by, you start to wonder: Did the intended person even receive the mail? Did it somehow end up in spam? Are they just busy? Is it too early for a follow-up?

All of these things run through your head, and then it hits you: How to tell if someone has read your email on Gmail? Is there a Gmail read receipt like WhatsApp?

Fortunately, there is a Gmail read receipt feature, but it is considered outdated and unavailable on a free Gmail account. That said, there are other effective ways to track if someone has read your email on Gmail.

In this blog post, we will explore different methods for tracking email opens, including both built-in and third-party options. We will also discuss the best practices of email tracking.

Whether you are a professional email marketer looking to gauge the interest of potential clients or an individual wanting to know if a friend or an employer has received your email, continue reading.

Gmail Read Receipts

A desktop computer, showing emails popping out

Gmail has a built-in “read receipts” feature that allows senders to request read receipts for their emails. But unfortunately, this feature is not available on the free consumer version of Gmail.

However, there are many third-party options to track email opens on Gmail. But if you wish to receive Gmail read receipts without using a third-party option, you must make an account on Google Workspace, the new name for G Suite—Google’s paid business cloud software.

If you have Google Workspace, here is how to turn on read receipts requests on Gmail:

  1. Log in to the Admin console; on its home page, go to Apps > Google Workspace > Gmail > User settings.
  2. In user settings, scroll down to the “Email read receipts” option and enable the option that best applies to your needs.
  3. Once done, scroll down to the bottom and click “Save.”

Once you have enabled email read receipts for Gmail in the workspace, you can easily request read receipts for individual emails. When composing a new email, before you hit “send,” click on the vertical three dots at the bottom of the compose window and then click on the request read receipt option from the drop-down menu.

Once turned on, you will be notified when someone opens your email.

Limitations of Gmail Receipts

It’s important to note that even with Google Workspace, read receipts in Gmail have certain limitations. For instance:

  • Gmail read receipts are not available to all users. You cannot use this feature if you have a normal consumer email address ending in However, if you have Google Workspace, and an email address ending in or, you will receive email receipts on turning on this feature.
  • While major email platforms like Thunderbird, Outlook, and Canary support the “read receipts” feature, many do not. So, even if you are a Google Workspace subscriber and have turned on the read receipt feature, the recipient’s email client may not send a read receipt back to you.
  • You cannot set your Gmail account to receive read receipts for all your email automatically. Instead, you will have to turn this feature on for every new email before hitting the send button.
  • Read receipts are optional; some recipients may decline to send a read receipt. So, even if you have turned on the feature and the receiver’s email client supports it, you may still not receive the receipt.
  • Read receipts only confirm that an email was opened. They do not provide any other insights about the email. For instance, as an email marketer, you might be interested in knowing how much time the recipient spent on your mail and whether they took any specific action.

Overall, Gmail read receipts feature might provide you with some basic information about email opens, but it is not a foolproof solution for email tracking. In fact, it is not even a comprehensive solution for tracking only email opens.

a man sitting on a sofa is checking something on his mobile phone

How to Know if Someone Has Read Your Email on Gmail with Third-Party Options?

Given the limitation of the Gmail read receipts feature, you might be interested in exploring more advanced third-party options for email tracking that make it easier to track if someone has read your email or not.

Below, we have discussed some of the most efficient options to track email opens in Gmail:

1. Canary Mail

The read receipts feature of Canary Mail lets you know what happens after you have sent a mail. It notifies you as soon as the recipient opens the mail.

Besides making tracking email opens a breeze, Canary Mail acts as your smart AI-powered Inbox Copilot, helps you keep your mail organized and protected from spam, and enhances your overall email communication.

The process of enabling read receipts on Canary Mail is super simple. Just navigate to Preferences > General > Read Receipts; from there, you can enable-disable the feature.

2. HubSpot Sales

HubSpot Sales is another effective email tracking tool that integrates with various email clients, including Gmail. Besides letting you know when your email is opened, it also offers other sales-focused features like email templates and meeting schedules.

3. Mailtrack

Another email tracking option is Mailtrack, which adds a double check mark to sent emails. This check mark turns green when the email is opened. Besides tracking email opens, it also offers advanced features like link tracking.

4. Boomerang

Boomerang is an email productivity tool that also lets you know when the recipient has opened your mail. Besides that, it also allows you to schedule emails to be sent later and set reminders for follow-ups.

To Wrap it Up

Gmail read receipts is a very useful feature that lets you know when the recipient has opened a mail. But the free consumer version of Gmail does not have this feature. It is available with Google Workspace, but it still has many limitations. Therefore, third-party options like Canary Mail, HubSpot Sales, and Mailtrack are used to track email opens, and other actions recipients perform.

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