Mail Receipt

Send mail with (more) confidence.

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Mail Receipt requires macOS 10.11macOS 10.13.

Miln Mail Receipt

Request Delivery and Read Receipts

Mail Receipt is a macOS application that adds delivery notification and read receipt requests to your e-mails.

Created by Graham Miln.

Mail Receipt is included with your Miln App Membership:

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What does Mail Receipt do?

Mail Receipt adds requests for delivery notification and read receipts to your outgoing e-mails.

To do this Mail Receipt adds three additional headers to your Mail.app sent e-mails. These headers are:

  • Disposition-Notification-To
  • Return-Receipt-To
  • Bcc

These headers are added to Mail.app by way of the UserHeaders default.

Miln Mail Receipt options

Screenshot of Miln Mail Receipt running on macOS

Note: In macOS 10.14 Apple have changed the way user headers are set in Mail.app's outgoing e-mail. Mail Receipt does not currently work on macOS 10.14, aka Mojave. I reported this problem to Apple as bug #45515555.

The defaults commands below have been updated for macOS 10.14.

If Mail Receipt is important to you on macOS 10.14, become a member, let me know, and help justify my time!

Set Up and Removal

Mail Receipt is free, so one-to-one support is limited. The support page offers help on setting up or removing Mail Receipt.

Will I get receipts?

Maybe. By adding the Disposition-Notification-To and Return-Receipt-To headers to your e-mails, you are asking for receipts but they are not obliged to be sent.

Many e-mail servers will honour the Return-Receipt-To request and inform you that your e-mail has been placed into the mailbox of the recipient. This tells you that your e-mail reached the intended mail account but it does not tell you any more. Alone this automatic reply does not let you know if your e-mail has been read or seen.

Read Receipts

In practice, a surprising number of recipients working for large organisations do honour the request for an automatic read reply. If the recipient's e-mail client supports read receipts, the e-mail software will likely ask the recipient if they wish to acknowledge your request for a read receipt.

There are clear issues of privacy, social expectations, and local culture that surround read receipts. Be aware that not every e-mail you send with these headers will be honoured and that some recipients might take offense. In other cases, recipients may appreciate the ability to automate the quick reply.

UserHeaders

Mail Receipt provides a graphic interface for the following family of Terminal.app commands.

On macOS 10.14, the Terminal.app application must be granted Full Disk Access in System Preferences.app > Privacy & Security before issuing the commands below.

To view existing UserHeaders enter the following Terminal.app command:

defaults read ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist UserHeaders

To set a Disposition-Notification-To header via UserHeaders enter the following Terminal.app command:

defaults write ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist UserHeaders '{"Disposition-Notification-To" = "email@address"; }'

To remove all UserHeaders enter the following Terminal.app command:

defaults delete ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist UserHeaders

After issuing any command modifying the defaults, you must relaunch Mail.app for changes to be noticed.

What makes Mail Receipt useful, is that existing headers are not overwritten. Mail Receipt takes care to read in the existing UserHeaders, merge in your new settings, and only then apply the result.

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