Tech Q&A: Finding out if your email was received is harder than it sounds

Q: If I ship an email, is there a method to know if the recipient obtained it? I’m as a result of some folks to whom I’ve despatched an email say they by no means obtained it (not even of their spam folders.)

—John Wezowicz, Suffield, Connecticut

A: There are methods to trace whether or not an email has been received, however none of them are very dependable and one is broadly thought-about to be an invasion of privateness.

The “good” methods to see if your email has been received are to ask for a “learn receipt” or a “supply receipt” if you ship the message. Mail packages that may try this embody Microsoft’s on-line mail service, the PC based mostly Microsoft Outlook mail program and, to a lesser extent, the Gmail methods which might be utilized by faculties and companies.

A learn receipt is only a message that asks the recipient to reply if she or he reads the email. But responding is voluntary. If the recipient fails to answer, you will not know if your email was received. To make issues extra difficult, some recipient email methods might not enable the usage of learn receipts. As a end result, learn receipts would possibly or won’t work.

A supply receipt is slightly extra refined. It tells your email server to ask the recipient’s email server to verify that the email was received. But not all recipient email servers will reply to those requests. So, supply receipts additionally would possibly or won’t work. (To study extra about email learn receipts and supply receipts, see

The “much less good” method to see if an email has been received is to place a “monitoring pixel” within the email. Tracking pixels are small, barely noticeable photos which might be downloaded to your email message every time a recipient opens it. Tracking pixel software program tells you who opened the email. (For extra particulars, see and

However, there are two issues with utilizing monitoring pixel software program:

Because the expertise is broadly utilized by spammers and email entrepreneurs, many individuals take into account its use to be an invasion of their privateness.

Some email methods can block monitoring pixels (see They try this by not permitting an incoming email to show any photos. As a end result, a monitoring pixel cannot reveal if an email was opened. (However, if the email recipient asks to see the photographs, the monitoring pixel can do its work.)

Q: What’s one of the best ways to transform my household movies on VHS tape to digital pc recordsdata? I’d love to do the work myself, however I’d take into account paying an organization to do it.

—Dave Urban, Dassel, Minnesota

A: It’s sensible so that you can do the conversion work your self. Whether it’s cheaper than paying somebody to do it will depend upon what number of VHS tapes you must convert.

You’ll want a VHS-to-digital conversion system (new for US$25-US$175/RM104-RM733, see and a VCR (used for US$130/RM545) and up on eBay or Amazon.) Cables might price further. For easy instructions, see this text from Forbes ( This Tom’s Guide article ( is a bit extra technical, but additionally lists companies that can do the conversion for you for about US$20 (RM83) per tape. – Star Tribune/Tribune News Service

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