Mastering Read Receipts in Mac Mail: A Comprehensive Guide

Guide on enabling and managing read receipts in Mac Mail. How to use Terminal commands or third-party apps for email tracking.

Mastering Read Receipts in Mac Mail: A Comprehensive Guide

Read receipts in email applications serve as notifications that your sent email has been opened by the recipient. While this feature is not supported by default in Mac Mail, there are ways to enable it. This article will guide you through the process.

The Need for Read Receipts

Knowing whether your email has been opened can be crucial in various scenarios. Whether it’s for business correspondence or personal matters, read receipts give you a sense of assurance and help you plan your next steps.

Enabling Read Receipts in Mac Mail

Mac Mail doesn’t support read receipts out-of-the-box, but you can enable this feature using Terminal commands. Navigate to “Applications > Utilities” and launch the Terminal app. Use specific commands to enable reading receipts, ensuring you follow each step carefully to avoid errors.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Errors can occur when enabling read receipts. One common issue is the “domain/default pair doesn’t exist” error. This can be resolved by entering specific commands into the Terminal.

Third-Party Solutions

If the idea of diving into Terminal commands seems daunting, you’re not alone. Many users prefer a more user-friendly approach, and that’s where third-party solutions come into play. These applications are designed to integrate seamlessly with Mac Mail, offering a more straightforward way to enable read receipts.

iReceiptMail: This is one of the most popular third-party apps for enabling read receipts in Mac Mail. It offers a simple installation process and a user-friendly interface. You can track when your emails are opened, where they are opened, and even how long the recipient viewed the email. The app comes with a free trial, so you can test its features before committing to a purchase.

Mailbutler: Another robust solution, Mailbutler offers more than just read receipts. It provides a suite of productivity tools, including scheduling emails, creating follow-up reminders, and more. Its read receipt feature is quite advanced, offering detailed analytics that can be invaluable for business users.

Mailtrack: Primarily known for its Gmail extension, Mailtrack also offers a solution for Mac Mail users. It provides real-time notifications and tracking history, allowing you to see exactly when your email was opened. It’s a good option for those who use multiple email platforms and want a consistent tracking solution across all of them.

ReadNotify: This service offers read receipts but adds features like certifying your email and retracting emails after they’ve been sent. It’s a comprehensive tool for anyone looking to have more control over their email interactions.

Each of these third-party solutions offers a unique set of features, so it’s worth taking the time to explore each one to find the best fit for your needs. Most offer free trials, giving you the opportunity to test their capabilities and see how they integrate with your existing email setup.

Canary Mail: This email client is known for its focus on security and privacy, but it also offers a read receipt feature that many users find invaluable. Canary Mail’s read receipt function is built into the application, so there’s no need for additional plugins or software. When you send an email using Canary Mail, you’ll receive a notification as soon as the recipient opens it. This feature is particularly useful for those who need to track important emails for work or personal reasons. Canary Mail offers a seamless experience for those looking to combine the security of encrypted email with the utility of read receipts.

Tips and Tricks

Read receipts can be a double-edged sword. While they offer the sender some level of assurance, they can sometimes be seen as intrusive by the recipient. Therefore, it’s essential to use them judiciously. Here are some additional tips:

  • Always respect the privacy of the recipient. If someone has explicitly asked not to be tracked, honor that request.
  • Some email clients allow the recipient to disable read receipts. Be aware that you may not always get a read receipt even if you have requested one.
  • There are ethical considerations to keep in mind when using read receipts, especially in sensitive or confidential communications. Always adhere to best practices and legal guidelines related to email tracking.


Read receipts can be a valuable tool in your email management strategy. Whether you choose to enable them through Terminal commands or opt for a third-party app, the functionality can offer peace of mind and additional control over your email interactions.


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