Question: Is it possible to check if a message has been read, even when the sender forgot to check the box “Request a Read receipt for this message”?

Question: Is it possible to check if a message has been read, even when the sender forgot to check the box “Request a Read receipt for this message”?

Answer: Yes, if you have configured your Exchange 2010 organization to enable the tracking for read status for messages, by using the Exchange Management Shell cmdlet Set-OrganizationConfig.

Let’s see…

ReadTrackingEnabled: False

By default, when you run the EMS cmdlet Get-OrganizationConfig, you will notice that the tracking for read status for messages is not enabled.


Thereby, when you use the Exchange Control Panel, to track the delivery of a message, you won’t see any info if the message has been read or not.

To see the delivery report of a message, you can use both Microsoft Office Outlook 2010, or OWA, or go immediately to ECP itself.

Using Outlook 2010, go to Sent Items, select your sent message, click File in the toolbar, and there you can select Open Delivery Report underneath Info:

Pic0198 This will open up your default browser, and connect to the Exchange Control Panel, and show you the Delivery Report:


You can see the message was successfully delivered, but not information about the read status.

Set-OrganizationConfig –ReadTrackingEnabled:$True

Now, let’s enable the tracking of read status 🙂

Use the Exchange Management Shell, and enter the line below:


And let’s check again if we can see if our message has been read:



Please Note:

This feature is NOT a replacement for the Read Receipt summary in the Outlook Tracking tab, a sender can always choose to request a read receipt, and depending on the recipients choice to issue one or not, the sender will receive this, independent of the organization wide config of enabling the tracking of message their read status!

More Information:

For more information about delivery reports in Exchange 2010 using the Exchange Control Panel, have a look at these links:

Spotlight on Exchange 2010: Delivery Reports


Exchange 2010 Delivery Reports


Comments (12)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the great article.

    It works well in Outlook but can you do this in powershell too?

    I was trying with Search-MessageTrackingReport and Get-MessageTrackingReport but RecipientTrackingEvents is only showing if message is delivered or not. I'm interessted to see if message is marked as "read".

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Bill C. says:

    Thanks for the great article.  Unfortunetly, it's not working for me.  I'm at Exc 2010 SP1.  I entered the Set-OrganizationConfig –ReadTrackingEnabled:$True statement and checked to see if read tracking was enabled… it was.

    But I'm not getting the information in my delivery report that the message has been read.  Is there some other setting that needs to be made in the Exc system?

  3. Sahin Boluk says:

    Same for me, not working for me either.  I am in the same situation as Bill C.

  4. G Wall says:

    Reboot your server and it will work

  5. tm says:

    Can you enable for specific mailboxes rather than globally?

  6. Saaj says:

    I am only interested to know if there is a way to find out read emails on a specific date using PS.

  7. Chris says:

    I have this enabled the report is good, however I would like to "Count" the number of read receipts rather than seeing John Smith Read it, Julie Brown hasn’t read it. I want something like 1200 emails delivered, 902 Read messages? Any idea via powershell
    , gui , outlook etc. The delivery report is good, i just need to be able to count them (not manually!) thanks in Advance.

  8. tracey says:

    How about if the message was sent in outlook 365?

  9. Jennifer says:

    This seems to be for administrators only? We don’t give our end-users access to ECP, and they are the ones who are going to need to see who accessed the email in a user mailbox set up as a Shared Mailbox. How can this be enabled for the end user?

  10. Davidg says:

    Same a Saaj, is there`s a way to confirm that a email has been read with PowerShell ?
    Will it show in get-messageTrackinglogs ?
    Get-OrganizationConfig is still working under exchange 2013 so I assume it will be working also.

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