Send Messages read receipts only to selected contacts on macOS

Choose who you send read receipts to when using the Messages app in macOS on the Apple Mac

The Messages app on the Apple Mac is useful for chatting with work colleagues, friends and others. It can send read receipts to everyone or to only those people you select. Here’s how.

The Messages app on the Apple Mac is the macOS equivalent of Messages on the iPhone and iPad. All of your conversations are are synced through iCloud, so messages sent on the Mac can be seen on the iPhone and iPhone chats are on the Mac.

This is useful because it means that if you are working on your Mac you don’t need to keep checking for new messages on your iPhone. You can see them on the desktop in the macOS app. You can even add a status icon to the menu bar - go to Messages, Preferences, General tab, Show status in menu bar.

Read receipts in Messages

Sometimes you send messages to people and they don’t respond. It makes you wonder whether they actually received them. Maybe it got lost somewhere on the internet, so you send a follow-up message asking if you got the first message. Don't, it's irritating!

The messages you send are not likely to be lost. More likely is that the person has not checked the Messages app for new messages.

A read receipt is a very useful feature because it tells the sender of a message that it has been read. As soon as you open a message and look at it, Messages sends a notification back to the sender to let them know.

You won’t know it has sent the notification and it is automatic.

f you see a read receipt and the person hasn’t responded, then either they don’t have the time right now or they are plain ignoring you!

Turn Messages read receipts on or off

There is a setting in Messages preferences that enables you to send read receipts. Go to the Messages menu and select Preferences, then select the Accounts tab.

Select your account on the left and on the right is an option to send read receipts.

Turn it on and everyone gets read receipts when you read their messages. Turn it off however, and you can choose who sees read receipts and who doesn’t.

You might want to send read receipts when your partner or best friend messages you, but not your boss - you can pretend you haven’t seen your boss’s message yet!

Apple Messages account preferences. Turn read receipts on or off

Select a message

Select a conversation you are having with someone and the messages are displayed on the right. Click the Details link in the top right corner.

A message in the Messages app on the Apple Mac

Send read receipts

A panel opens and among the icons and images is an option - Send Read Receipts. When this setting is enabled, this person and only this person will receive read receipts. It means that they can tell when you have read their messages.

Choose who you send read receipts to in the Messages app on macOS

Whether you choose to enable the global setting in preferences to send read receipts to everyone or turn it off and select just a few favourite people is up to you.

 

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