Is it Rude to Request a Read Receipt?

A read receipt is a response that you get back from a sent email that lets you know when the email was opened. 

Depending on the read receipt service you use, the recipient of the email or message may or may not be sent a notification that a read receipt was requested.

But, is it rude to request a read receipt?

Read on below and get the scoop on this curious question!

Is it Rude to Request a Read Receipt?

Requesting a read receipt is rude sometimes, and sometimes it isn’t. 

The truth is that it all depends on who you’re dealing with, whether it is work-related or not, and more including exactly why you decide to request a read receipt.

For the most part, it isn’t considered rude to send a read receipt if the email is a crucial work-related message. 

Sending a read receipt with your messages to family and loved ones are is often considered rude because it often implies a lack of trust in the person you are communicating with.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, requesting a read receipt rates 5

The bottom line is that asking for a read receipt isn’t always rude, but it does come off as untrusting sometimes (hence, we’ve rated it five points of rudeness).

Even when you don’t mean anything out of the way, or rude, when you ask for a read receipt, it is easy for others to take it in a negative light.

A better choice is to follow up with the person after a short period of time has passed (in case they offer up a read receipt without your having to ask them for it).

Why is it Rude?

Requesting a read receipt with every email you send someone is considered rude. 

After all, if you trust the person, or work with them regularly, there is little need to see precisely when they open their email. 

Further, if the person is notified that a read receipt has been requested, they may feel as if you don’t trust them or have little faith in them.

Why it isn’t Rude

The truth is, sending a read receipt doesn’t always mean you are in a hurry for someone to open your email, or that you don’t trust the person.

Sometimes people request a read receipt in order to not forget that they’ve sent a message to someone (and that it has been read).

In these cases, once the original message has been read, and a read receipt is sent back to the sender, they are likely to follow up with another email quickly.

Common Questions

Are read receipts manipulative to ask for?

Read receipts are only manipulative to ask for if you are not notifying the person you are requesting the read receipts from. 

In other words, asking for read receipts, without letting someone know, is something like spying.

Is it rude to list read receipts in Outlook?

Depending on your record-keeping habits, and why you are saving read receipts, it may or may not be rude to save a list of them in Outlook. 

The main time that posting read receipts on Outlook is acceptable is when it is work-related.

What happens when you request a read receipt?

Each read receipt service you opt to use functions slightly differently. 

Some of these services automatically notify the recipient of the email, while others only notify you when the email has been opened (hiding the entire business from the email recipient).