Mail app request read receipt?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by capoeira4u, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2008
    Bangkok, Thailand
    I don't understand why the Mail app doesn't have a "request read receipt". Is there a way to enable it through terminal or by 3-rd party add-on? If there's no way, I'm going to have to switch back to MS Outlook :(
  2. macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2009
    Noted previously

    This activates read receipts for ALL outgoing messages - regardless of the address from Apple Mail
    I forget the source - but it works.

    • Quit Mail
    • Open Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/)
    • Enter the following text (make sure to keep all quotes exactly as is!)
    defaults write UserHeaders '{"Disposition-Notification-To"="your@address";}'
    (of course, using your correct email address instead of "your@address")
    • All future messages sent with Mail will now include the Disposition-Notification-To header which is the one asking for a return receipt.

    If you wish to turn off this feature in the future, type the following in the Terminal:
    defaults delete UserHeaders
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    A small rural village in western Poland
    Since most SMTP servers strip these headers in their default config anyway, setting the read-receipt to ON is pretty much useless.
  4. macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2009
    I do not believe that to be true.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2011
    It isn't. However, no client apart from maybe Outlook sends read receipts by default. Most don't support it at all.

    Read-receipts are basically just a courtesy e-mail sent by a client in response to a specific header being set. You really shouldn't use them because they tell you nothing anyway.
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2008
    Bangkok, Thailand
    It tells me that my email to a student was read, and that he'll have no excuses when he comes to class without his assignment next week.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2011
    Except it doesn't tell you that at all.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2009
    Planet Earth, Old World
    You don't understand read-receipts.

    First of, who says "you shouldn't use them"? You? Sure, then I'll take the advise.

    Second, who says most clients don't support them? You? Well you sure don't know what you are talking about.
  9. macrumors G4

    Jul 17, 2002
    Receipts are an artifact of the early days of America Online. To the extent that they do anything at all, they are most effective within a single domain. By this, I mean those cases where the sender and recipient are on a single domain. That said, I have to agree with CyBeRino. Receipts do not tell you that your recipient read your email. From the perspective of a recipient, receipts are annoying and are a clear indication that the sender does not trust you.

    So you send a message. You get a receipt. The recipient denies ever receiving the message. What are you going to do about it? Pout? Seethe in anger? You have not solved your problem, but you are angry at your recipient and you are angry at yourself. Is it really worth it? I think not.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2010
    Getting the receipt back only tells you that it was sent to you. It proves the message was opened, but not necessarily that it was read. Your students can't deny receiving it though, but they can deny it if they opt not to send the receipt.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    Messaging and read receipts have been around a long time before AmericaOnline was launched.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2011
    I'm a UNIX system administrator, but I guess I probably have no idea about e-mail.

    All a read receipt says, if it's even generated, and assuming it was generated by an e-mail client and not something else, is that an e-mail was opened. Not that it was read, not that it was opened by the person you sent it to.

    You send someone such a message and their client has stupidly decided to send the requested receipt, but the receipient denies ever reading the message. What are you going to do about it? The receipt proves nothing, because it has no way of telling who read the message. Maybe it was someone else who opened it by accident. Maybe someone was trying to prank the other person by opening and then deleting the message. You may have even sent it to the wrong person entirely, and that person opened and then deleted it.

    Read receipts prove nothing and are useless.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2011
    If Apple Mail is, what is Outlook 2011?

    I did this and it works! Thanks ssmed. Could you substitute the file name for Outlook 2011? Would it be
  14. macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2012
    Muti Addresses


    I'm a little late to this thread but have an important question.

    Must the code be inserted for each mail address, if there is more than one? Can that be done?
  15. macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2012
    Read receipt is useful in same domain!

    I've used MS Outlook in our company for many years and read receipt is indeed a useful tool when it comes to everybody being in the same domain and you know that the receiving mail server returns read receipts. The way I, and many others, have used it is that we wait to call up a colleague until he/she has opened his email.

    I have just started to try to use a Mac in our MS dominated corporate environment (actually against IT responsible's advice... ;-) , and that I cannot request a read receipt for certain emails that I'm keen to discuss ASAP over the phone with the recipient, that is very frustrating and annoying! So even if the usefulness of read receipt is doubtful for private mails via Internet, I'm sure that many working in corporations that use MS Exchange environment with MS Outlook find it useful!
  16. macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2008
    Multiple Mailboxes

    Thanks for the tips and insight. One question still unanswered is how UserHeaders behaves for multiple mailboxes...

    1. Does the defined userheader get applied to all mailboxes (when sending)
    2. When sending a mail from a particular mailbox, does the "Disposition-Notification-To" need to match the email address of the mailbox, and only that particular part of the userheader is sent?

    This is important since I am sure that we don't want to publish all of our email addresses in a single outgoing email.

    It would be great if someone can give an explanation on how it works.

  17. macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2008
    answering my own post, it seems the header is applied to all emails. so therefore a read receipt does not necessarily need to go back to the email address it was sent from....

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