Spotlight on Exchange 2010: Delivery Reports

Published 06-08-2009 05:42 PM 22.7K Views

Exchange 2010 provides an easy way to verify whether that very important message was delivered to every recipient with a new feature we call delivery reports. Delivery Reports contains delivery information about messages you sent, such as:

  • Why didn't my message go through?
  • Where is my message now?
  • Who received my message?
And about messages you received:
  • Am I a member of any of the groups addressed in this message?
  • Why is this message in a folder and not in my inbox?
Delivery Reports can be accessed by users from Outlook Web Access or by clicking on the "Options" button and then going to "Organize E-mail". Administrators can access Delivery Reports from the Exchange Control Panel on the "Reporting" tab, and if the Administrator has access to the Exchange Management Console, the "Toolbox" section contains a link to "Message Tracking" where they can search for Delivery Reports. The Message Tracking tool included in previous versions of Exchange has been renamed "Tracking Log Explorer".

What information is shown in Delivery Reports?


Who sees it?

Email Submission from the Sender’s Mailbox

Users, Administrators, Helpdesk

Group Expansion

Users, Administrators, Helpdesk

Delivery Success

Users, Administrators, Helpdesk

Delivery Failure

Users, Administrators, Helpdesk

Inbox Rules

Recipients, Administrators, Helpdesk

Transport Rules

Administrators, Helpdesk

Message was read (if enabled)

Users, Administrators, Helpdesk

Hub Transfers

Administrators, Helpdesk

Transfer to External Servers

Users, Administrators, Helpdesk

Transfer to Older Versions

Users, Administrators, Helpdesk


Users, Administrators, Helpdesk


Getting Delivery Reports for messages I sent

If you are interested in seeing the Delivery Report for a particular message in the Sent Items folder, right click on that message and then click on "Open Delivery Report" This will open the Delivery Report included in the image bellow, where you can see that the message was sent to a group that contains 15 recipients and delivery was successful to all of them. You can also see which groups were expanded to make the delivery to a particular user. And your organization has Read Status reporting configured in your organization you would also see if the message was marked as read for a particular recipient. If the message was addressed to a group, and you have the necessary permissions; the "Edit Groups" link will allow you to change the settings as well as remove yourself or others from the group.

Getting Delivery Reports for messages I received:

To track a message you received, you would go to the Inbox or any subfolder and access the Delivery Report by right-clicking on the message in the list view or on the top of the message and then clicking on "Open Delivery Report" In this Delivery Report, you would see only information related to delivery into your mailbox. Delivery information for the other recipients of the message is not shown. You are able to see if any of your inbox rules moved the message to another folder and which groups were expanded so that the message was delivered to you.

Searching for Delivery Reports

If you want to get a delivery report for a message that you were expecting, or you simply can't find the message in your mailbox, you can also search for Delivery Reports. To do this you would have to log into Outlook Web Access, click on the "Options" Button and then click on "Organize E-mail". The "Delivery Reports" Tab is a search console to help you find a Delivery Report for messages you sent or messages that you received or expected to receive. The "subject" filter can be used to refine any search, as a sender or as a recipient, and adding one or more words in the field can improve the search by reducing the number of results as well as the overall time the system takes to find the message you are looking for. To search through all the messages you've sent, you can leave the "Search for messages I've sent to:" field empty, as shown in the screenshot: If you want to search through the messages you've received, you have to specify the sender in the "Search for messages I've received from:" field: As you can see from the image, the search results are listed in the bottom half of the search pane. You can double-click on any row or select one and click on the "Delivery Report" button to view the Delivery Report for that message.

Frequently asked questions:

Do I have to specify a sender when searching for messages I received?

Yes, we need to know who the sender is to get the tracking information. If you are looking for messages that you've sent you can choose if you specify a recipient or not.

Can I search for messages that were sent from users outside my organization?

Yes, you can search for messages sent by a particular user outside your organization that was addressed to a single user inside the organization. To do this you would have to provide the full SMTP address of the sender in the "Search for messages I've received from" field.

How long are Delivery Reports kept?

The Delivery Report tool uses the data stored in the message tracking logs; the default time for maintaining the indexes on those files is 2 weeks.

Can I see what a user did with the email I sent him?

If the administrators in your organization enable Read Status reporting you would be able to see if a message you sent have been marked as read by the recipient's client. More information on this will be given in a future post.

What information is presented to Administrators and Helpdesk?

Administrators can search for Delivery Reports on behalf of other users in the organization. The view presented to them will include some extra information, such as server names and addresses, to help troubleshoot delivery problems. - Alexis Delgado
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Great new feature, and I can't wait to use it, but I gather from this that it is strictly a OWA 2010 and Outlook 2010 feature... any chance at all of a plug-in for Outlook 2007 as well?
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Love it. Can't wait to see what else they add.
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@ GoodThings2Life: I'll look in to it, but i think there is very little chance of having an Outlook 2007 plug-in for this.
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I would love to see it as a plug-in for OWA 2007 also. Apparently this has been a feature in GroupWise for several years. We are currently converting our locations from GroupWise to Exhcange2007 and the Admins are constantly complaining that this feature is not available in Exchange 2007.
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Fantastic! It will be on step closer to GroupWise. Now if we could only have this feature and single instance storage... Am I asking for too much now?
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Thank you, thank you, thank you Exchange Team!  We migrated to Exchange from GroupWise last year, and this is a feature that was sorely missed.  I'm glad this option will be available once again.  As past posters have mentioned, it would really be nice if there is a plug-in for the Outlook 2007 client!
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Thank you for the informative article.  My experience suggests that this feature is a "nice to have" feature.

With the even heavier reliance on CAS servers under 2010, please pleASE PLEASE make sure that client redirection and load balancing are BULLETPROOF.  I'd much prefer to explain why "delivery reports" is flakey than to have the whole conversation (for example, about the Exchange 2007 issue with client redirection when CAS and MB are on the same server; I could keep going on and on here) about the problem with some clients and shared role servers.

Simply said, please make sure the important stuff "just works" instead of cramming "nice to have" features into the product.
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Good to see Exchange finally offer something Novell GroupWise has offered since WordPerfect created its Office product in 1987.  Status messages a.k.a. "Delivery Reports" are automatic with GroupWise, cause no overhead in the system and are widely used by GroupWise users.  Exchange/Outlook have never offered this capability until, I guess this upcoming release.

Nice to see Microsoft "catch up" yet again.
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Russian version of this post is here (русский перевод здесь):
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It's about time.. Made the switch from GW to Exchange 2007 last July.  Was thinking about going back.. I couldn't believe this wasn't already in Exchange.
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Thank you for the informative article.  My experience suggests that this feature is a nice to have feature.once agin Thanks...All the Team
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i want to learn Exchange 2010 technology.
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Good to have this feature available with Exchange 2007 SP2, is that possible to have this in place, just wanted to check. Most of the customers would like to have this turned on with E2K7 until we move to Exchange 2010.
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