Control incoming read receipts in Microsoft Outlook

Follow these steps to customize your Microsoft Outlook mailbox so that you can see at a glance which email messages have read receipts attached:

  1. Open your Microsoft Outlook inbox. On the View menu, select Advanced Toolbar.
  2. On the Advanced Toolbar, click Field Chooser.
  3. In the Field Chooser drop-down box, select All Mail Fields.
  4. Scroll down until you see Receipt Requested.
  5. Click Receipt Requested and drag it onto the column heading in your inbox. The double red arrows indicate where the column will be placed when you release the mouse.
  6. Close the Field Chooser box.

You'll now see a Receipt Requested column in your inbox that will have a "Yes" in it when the message has a read receipt request attached and a "No" if it does not.

You can avoid triggering a read request by using the preview window in Microsoft Outlook. Be sure to have Automatic Message Reading turned off by doing the following:

  1. Open your Microsoft Outlook inbox and click Tools -> Options and then choose the Others tab.
  2. Click on the preview pane options.
  3. Uncheck the "mark messages as read in preview window" box.
  4. Uncheck the "mark item as read when selection changes" box.

Using these simple steps, you can avoid sending a read receipt back to the sender. You can preview the email without triggering the receipt. Once you finally open the email message in your mailbox, the

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read receipt will be returned to the sender.

Note: 'Reading' the mail message can be done either by double-clicking on the selected email in the mailbox, highlighting the desired piece of email and pressing Enter on the keyboard, or by right-clicking on an unread piece of email and selecting "mark as read".

This tip was submitted by member Muhammad Shafiq Abdullah. Let other users know how useful it is by rating the tip below.

This was first published in August 2002

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