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frankief

Time Of Email Receipt

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Just got a bit of a dispute with someone about when I received a message from them. Thought someone here in IT might be able to help.

My home email, OE6 run in XP shows received at 8.30 am, but I know for sure I turned on the computer that day to check my emails at a much later time than that.

I did a check by sending myself an email from another account and realised that it's the time it gets to my ISP server (Orange) that is shown.

Checking properties/ details and message source just confirm the server time. I didn't send a receipt, so no record there.

Is it possible to tell the time an email was read? Or is there any update I can apply for future use?

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If the person who sent it adds a read receipt you can voluntarily signal that you have read it. Might be some other ways.

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Sending email across the internet is not a real-time system, I have seen emails take 2 weeks to arrive (though not recently) it is easy to forget this when 99.9% of them do arrive right away.

Proof that something was sent is not proof that it ever got delivered.

A date or time in an email header is not proof that the email was sent or delivered at that time - it is a strong indication but not 100% proof.

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Guest unfunded_liability

afaik there's no universally accepted definition for email receipt date, so it's interpreted differently according the email client application being used. A common interpretation of receipt date is the date the email was received by the last email server in the delivery chain, not the date you downloaded the email from the mail server to your outlook (or whatever app you use).

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Most modern email clients silently discard receipt requests by default. I've used email for almost 20 years and last time I've seen a request for receipt it must have been 1999.

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There is no standard facility for e-mail read receipts. There are some proprietary solutions (like Outlook uses), but nothing with good support. In addition, for reasons of privacy, most e-mail clients, even if they do support read receipts, keep them turned off by default.

As to the original question, what do you mean by time of receipt?

In most e-mail and webmail software, the date and time shown on an e-mail is the time and date that it was sent (as recorded by the software on the sending computer). If someone uses a mail program on a PC with the wrong time/date or time zone, it will appear with the wrong time/date when received by you.

During the process of delivery of e-mail, the various servers that handle the e-mail message add a "stamp" to the headers of the message, stating where they got the message from, and when. You can read this, by selecting "show all headers" in your mail software (this is very, very well hidden in outlook express, but it is there - you'll need to get google to help you, because you won't find it on its own). The problem with the mail headers is that "final delivery" is the delivery of the message to your e-mail folder on your mail server. The headers will not tell you when your PC retrieved a copy of the message.

Some e-mail clients will keep track of the time that a message actually arrived at your computer. I use thunderbird which does this, but it's not universal. I don't know if outlook express does.

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Various versions of Windows irritatingly adjust receipt times of historic emails when switching between BST and GMT. So an eMail that was shown as having arrived at 8.30 suddenly starts showing as having arrived at 9.30 after the clocks are adjusted, for example. It does not interfere with the stored email headers, etc., thankfully, but it is annoying.

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  • 239 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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