MSGTAG: Got the message?

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Frequently Asked Questions




What is MSGTAG? What does it do?
MSGTAG (pronounced "message tag") is a new desktop application that lets you know when your email messages to your friends are received and viewed.

Who uses MSGTAG?
The uses for MSGTAG are as diverse as the people using it. It's perfect for anyone who has ever wondered if and when their emails are being received. For instance, if you've emailed your friend at a different college but haven't received a reply yet, MSGTAG will tell you whether your friend simply hasn't got around to writing back, or if she hasn't received the message at all. MSGTAG is particularly useful when it's important to know that the messages are getting through, or when you can't wait for a reply.

Where can I get MSGTAG?
You can download a free version of MSGTAG from this website.

How does MSGTAG work?
As the name suggests, MSGTAG adds a small tag to your outgoing email. When your friend opens the email, the tag notifies the MSGTAG server, which in turn lets you know that the message has been viewed. MSGTAG notification tells you four things: That the message has been opened, the time that it was opened, the time it was sent, and what the delay has been in between.

How does MSGTAG differ from the Read Receipts I use in Outlook?
MSGTAG differs from standard read-receipts because it works regardless of the email program being used by the recipient. Standard read-receipts don't work if someone views your email in web-based email programs like Hotmail or Yahoo!, and some desktop email programs can't process them either. Even when an email program does support them, they can be so irritating to the recipient that they're permanently ignored. MSGTAG works automatically, without bothering the recipient.

I already use a similar product, why should I switch to MSGTAG?
That's great! We don't need to convince you how useful this technology is. MSGTAG works in a slightly different way to other similar products because it doesn't send your email through our servers in order to tag them. Your messages go straight from you to your intended recipient, just like they always have. Not only does this keep the body of your messages away from prying eyes, but it means that even if our servers were to go down — however unlikely an event this is — your mail will still get through. After all, we're in the business of helping email, not adding another point of possible failure.

MSGTAG also allows you to tag your messages without changing anything about the way you send email. You don't need to modify email addresses, or compose your messages in another application.

Finally, we're interested in peace-of-mind, not spying. That's why MSGTAG only tells you that your message has been opened, and at what time. We won't tell you how long it was looked at, how many times it has been looked at, the physical location of the recipient or their IP address, because we think this is an invasion of privacy. Not to mention dangerous.

Why is there a free version of MSGTAG? What's the catch?
We've discovered that most people are resigned to the uncertainty of email, and are unaware that solutions exist. We hope to raise awareness of this technology throughout the internet public, and the best way of doing this is by making it free! This is why MSGTAG Free adds a small MSGTAG footer to the end of each tagged email — so that your friends can know about MSGTAG as well. Other than that, there's no catch. It won't stop working after 30 days, nor infect your computer with a mass of spyware. We're not going to submit your email address to a myriad of spam lists, and we won't cause your computer to inexplicably explode if you don't purchase one of our other products. All we do ask is that you send as many tagged messages as possible, so that other people can learn about MSGTAG too.

Does MSGTAG contain any spyware?
Absolutely not. We respect the privacy of our users. If we want to know anything about you, we'll simply ask. For more information you can check out our comprehensive privacy policy.

Does MSGTAG breach the privacy of the recipient?
Absolutely not. MSGTAG doesn't track where the email goes after it's read the first time, and it doesn't track how long it was opened or how many times. It tells you only when the email was opened.

Can I create a link to MSGTAG? Do you have an image I can use?
You're quite welcome to link to MSGTAG from your website if you wish. We've provided some buttons and images in our friends of MSGTAG section.

I have a suggestion for a new MSGTAG feature, who can I tell?
Wonderful! We welcome all feedback about MSGTAG products and will consider all suggestions, so long as they're good ones! Drop us a note through our feedback form.

Do you have any translated support pages?
Phillipe, of, has very kindly made a French translation of the manual for MSGTAG. Please check out his great work!


Will my recipient know that I am tagging my email?
For reasons explained above, MSGTAG Free adds a small MSGTAG footer to all your tagged messages, stating something to the effect of "The sender has been notified that you have read this message". Your friends will be able to see this, and by clicking on it can visit our website to learn all about MSGTAG.

By upgrading to MSGTAG Status, you can remove this footer so your friends won't know you're tagging your mail. This is only one of the features of our higher-level products; be sure to check out our products page to learn about the rest.

Why can't I use MSGTAG with my Hotmail or Yahoo! email?
Web-based email programs such as Hotmail and Yahoo! don't send email using the SMTP protocol that MSGTAG needs to utilize. They use their own special protocol to communicate. You can use a web-based email account to receive your receipts, but MSGTAG cannot send tagged messages from a web-based email service. You can still send tagged messages to Hotmail and Yahoo! email addresses.

Why can't I use MSGTAG with my AOL email?
AOL doesn't send email using the SMTP protocol that MSGTAG needs to utilize. It uses its own special protocol to communicate. You can use AOL to receive your receipts, but MSGTAG cannot send tagged messages from an AOL account, even if you are using an email client like Outlook Express. You can still send tagged messages to AOL email addresses.

Does MSGTAG work with Pegasus Mail?
Yes and no. You can send tagged messages using Pegasus Mail but, if the recipient is using Pegasus Mail, the tag will not be triggered. If you are using the latest version of Pegasus (version 4.11), you will need to configure MSGTAG manually. For instructions on this, see the manual settings section of entering your mail settings.

Why won't MSGTAG work on my computer at work?
Most likely because your workplace is running Microsoft Exchange mail server. MSGTAG does not currently run under an Exchange environment, although you can still receive tagged messages.

Can I change the message in the MSGTAG footer?
MSGTAG Status allows you to edit your message footer to say whatever you like. Some ideas are:

  • Your business signature and contact details
  • The URL of your website
  • A joke, ditty or catchphrase
  • Song lyrics (an oldie but a goodie)
  • Your favourite chocolate cake recipe
  • Nothing at all — simply switch the footer off.

    Why are there no MSGTAG footers in my outgoing emails?
    The first thing to do is check that you have tagging enabled in the MSGTAG application. Check that the 'enable tagging' button is depressed, or, if the person you're emailing is in your contact list, that the relevant group settings have tagging enabled.

    Next, ensure that your email client is correctly set up to use MSGTAG. Click on the following links to find out how to check your settings in your email client.

    Why are my sent messages not appearing in my MSGTAG Status dashboard?
    Check that the 'enable tagging' button is depressed or, if the person you're emailing is in your contact list, that the relevant group settings have tagging enabled.

    If you're using a version of MSGTAG prior to version 2 you should check that you're not sending the messages to groups - version 1 of MSGTAG Status does not support sending messages to more than one recipient. If you want to find out more about version 2, head to the information page.

    Next, ensure that your email client is correctly set up to use MSGTAG. Click on the following links to find out how to check your settings in your email client.

    Where's my notification? I'm sure they've read my email!
    It may be an incompatibility with some aspect of the recipient's mail configuration. While MSGTAG works reliably in almost all situations, some mail clients, firewall and mail configurations may be incompatible with MSGTAG-enabled emails.

    A small number of email users have text-only email clients, which do not trigger tagged messages due to the fact that MSGTAG relies on an embedded image in the tagged message. Some email security products designed to filter out spam and viruses also inadvertantly block the tags produced by MSGTAG.

    Don't worry, this will not stop the recipient from receiving your email!

    What is 'UTC' time? Can I make the time on the read receipts match my time zone?
    UTC is the universal time zone, (equivelent to GMT). All other time zones are defined relative to UTC. For more information about time zones, or to work out how to convert UTC into your time zone, visit

    Unfortunately you can't change the time zone on your read receipts, simply because the MSGTAG server doesn't know which time zone you're in. If you're finding it confusing to convert UTC to your local time, you may like to try MSGTAG Status. Status displays the sent and received times of messages in your local time.

    Why is the sent time on MSGTAG Status different from the time on my computer?
    In order to provide accurate time information for read receipts, MSGTAG sets the sent time according to the universal atomic time that the MSGTAG server is synchronised with. If you noticing some slight differences to your system clock, we suggest setting your computer's clock to the atomic standard. We recommend the AboutTime software for keeping your computer's time accurate.

    Can I attach a tag to a group email?
    Version 2 of MSGTAG Status has full support for multiple recipients so we recommend upgrading to that version straight away!

    Does MSGTAG work if my email has an attachment?
    It sure will. MSGTAG will be able to tell you when a message with an attachment is opened, but it won't tell you when the attached file is viewed.

    Can I run MSGTAG on two computers using the same MSGTAG account?
    We strongly advise against it. While it is possible to use the same account on two copies of MSGTAG, it will cause some notifications to go astray, which somewhat defeats the purpose of running MSGTAG in the first place.

    Imagine you're running MSGTAG at work and at home. When you're running the work copy all notifications for emails sent from your home copy will be sent to your work copy. However, since the work copy has no knowledge of the tag being sent in the first place, it will ignore the notification and you won't be alerted.

    If you want to send tagged messages from one place, and be able to check them from another place, we suggest you set up MSGTAG to send your notifications to an email address with web-access, such as a Hotmail or Yahoo! address. (Yes — you can receive notifications to these addresses, you just can't send them!) That way you can check for notifications from both places.

    If you want to be able to send tagged messages from both work and home, you will need to use two different email addresses, to receive your notifications. Since each MSGTAG license can only send notifications to one email address, you may need to purchase additional copies, or use MSGTAG Free with one address.

    Can I use digital certificates with MSGTAG?
    No, the changes MSGTAG must make to add a tag, invalidate the certificate. Digital Certificates are designed to show that an email has not been modified or tampered with after it has been sent. They are added as the message leaves your mail client, so before passing through MSGTAG. Any changes made to it after this point will invalidate the certificate.

    If you do send a message with a digital certificate through MSGTAG, the message will arrive and be readable (for most kinds of certificate), but the recipient will see that the certificate has been invalidated.

    If you wish to send a particular email un-altered and verified by a certificate you will have to disable MSGTAG's tagging when sending that message.

    I think my anti-virus software is interfering with MSGTAG. What can I do?
    If you are using a virus scanner that automatically scans outgoing email for viruses, and are experiencing connection problems such as time-outs or 'host not found' errors, this extra scanning could be the problem.

    The email message may even be passing through the virus scanner twice if MSGTAG is configured to use port 25 as the listening port. This is because these virus scanners 'hijack' all communications to port 25 and then take some time to process the mail before passing it on to the mail server.

    Because scanning can use a lot of system resources, this is more likely to be a problem on slower machines, older versions of Windows, or machines with slower internet connections.

    It is a recognised problem that sometimes these scanners can cause problems with other email utilities that work in conjunction with mail clients, so email scanning often needs to be disabled as it is a resource intensive process.

    To disable such automatic scanning to see if it is causing a problem in your case, the instructions for Norton AntiVirus 2002/3 and AVG follow:

    Norton AntiVirus:

    1. Locate the Norton Antivirus icon in your system tray (next to your computer's clock).
    2. Right-click on this icon and select "Configure Norton Antivirus" (NOTE: If you can't find the Antivirus icon, you can get to where you need to go by locating the Norton Antivirus group in your Programs folder, and opening Norton Antivirus, then clicking on the "Options" button at the top of the program window)
    3. You will be taken to the Norton Antivirus Options. Under the Internet heading on the left side, click on Email.
    4. Uncheck the "Scan outgoing Email (recommended)" boxes.
    5. Click OK.
    6. You may be prompted to confirm and save your settings to the options/config file. If you are, click Yes.
    7. You're all set. If you are prompted to restart your computer, do so. If you still cannot get your email, restart the computer anyway.


    1. Open the AVG control Centre.
    2. Select the "Email Scanner" tab.
    3. Select "Advanced".
    4. Unselect all of the options available on this panel.
    5. Click OK.
    6. Back under the "Email Scanner" tab, Unselect all options to completely disable the email scanner.


    Why should I update my version of MSGTAG?
    We're constantly tweaking, fixing and improving MSGTAG in response to feedback from our users. These tweaks and fixes are incorporated into version updates which are released, on average, every few months.

    A version update will generally fix bugs that may appear in certain situations, improve usability for certain users, and may run more efficiently than older versions. If you're having problems with the software, downloading the latest version should be your first response. Even if MSGTAG is running perfectly, we still suggest you keep up to date with upgrades, since newer versions will always be more stable under different situations.

    How will I know about MSGTAG updates?
    We'll keep you informed of updates and fixes through our email newsletter. If you choose not to register for the newsletter when you sign up with MSGTAG, you will need to check our update page regularly. Remember that MSGTAG version updates are free, and that although your current version of MSGTAG will continue to work, newer versions will fix any problems that have come to our attention, and will, therefore, be better. We strongly recommend staying up-to-date with your version of MSGTAG.

    How do I update my version of Status?
    Instructions for updating your version of MSGTAG can be found here.


    How do I buy MSGTAG Status?
    Either visit the products section of this website, or click options > help > upgrade from the MSGTAG console. Click the appropriate 'buy' button, and follow the instructions from there.

    I want to upgrade to MSGTAG Status. Is there an upgrade discount?
    Yes. Send an email to to receive your discount code.

    I want to purchase more than one copy of MSGTAG Status. Are there discounts available for multiple copies?
    Yes. Send an email to and we will arrange a bulk discount for you.

    What payment methods do you accept?
    When you click on a 'Buy' button, you are taken to a page where you can choose your preferred method of payment. We currently accept:

  • Visa or Mastercard
  • PayPal
  • Check or money order

    Can I purchase MSGTAG Status without a credit card?
    Yes you can, by selecting "Check or money order" on the payment page. You'll be taken to a printer-friendly form which you can then print and post with your check or money order to the address given.

    Once your order is received and payment processed, you'll be sent information on how to get your copy of MSGTAG. Note: While you'll be able to download MSGTAG before your payment has been processed, you won't be able to begin using that version of MSGTAG until we authorize your email address. You should allow 2-3 weeks for postage and processing.

    Which company handles the credit card verifications and payments?
    We use WorldPay, a leading payment processing company based in the United Kingdom. You can visit their website at

    How does the registration key work? Do I need to write it down?
    You receive your registration key when you purchase a version of MSGTAG. It can only be used once, for one email address. Your registration key tells the MSGTAG server that your particular email address is allowed to use the product you've purchased. It acts as your 'key' to the MSGTAG service, rather than the key to unlock the software.

    For this reason, you only need to enter your registration key once to unlock the service for your email address. When you download updates or reinstall the software, you won't need to enter the registration key again, provided you're using the same email address.

    I have formatted my hard drive and want to reinstall MSGTAG. How do I get back my upgraded version?
    Simply go to the MSGTAG updates page and download whichever version of MSGTAG you were using and install it as normal.

    When you enter your email address, MSGTAG will recognize that you've already paid. Because this information is noted on the MSGTAG server rather than on your computer, you don't need to enter your registration code again.


    Which operating systems does MSGTAG run on?
    MSGTAG runs on Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista.

    Windows Vista users should make sure that the SMTP Server setting in their email program is updated from "localhost" to "" so that the new Vista Mail works with MSGTAG.

    What are the minimum requirements for running MSGTAG?
    Windows 2000, XP or Vista (with latest service packs)
    32MB RAM (64MB recommended)
    8MB free HDD space
    A mail program that sends mail using SMTP (ie. NOT a Hotmail, Yahoo!, AOL or similar email services)
    An account with an Internet Service Provider
    A method of connecting to the Internet

    Does MSGTAG run on a Mac?
    Unfortunately we don't have a version for the Mac just yet. However we do expect to have a Mac version in early 2010. Please let us know if you'd like to be informed when it's available.

    Which email clients does MSGTAG work with?
    MSGTAG works with all email clients that use the standard SMTP protocol. That includes Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, Eudora, Netscape Mail and Pegasus Mail.

    How do I download MSGTAG?
    [Option 1] On the MSGTAG website, click on the appropriate download button. A box will appear asking if you want to 'Save to disk' or 'Run from location'. Click on 'Save to disk' and then press 'OK'. A new box will appear asking where you want to download the file to. Select your location and click 'Save'. [This might change]

    [Option 2] On the MSGTAG website, click on the appropriate download button. A box will appear asking if you want to 'Save to disk' or 'Run from location'. Click on 'Run from location' and then press 'OK'. After the MSGTAG file has downloaded, the Install Wizard will install MSGTAG for you.

    How do I install MSGTAG?
    Double click on the downloaded MSGTAG file and the installation will begin. When the installation is finished a box will appear asking if you want to start the program file. If you click OK, MSGTAG will start.

    I've downloaded and installed MSGTAG, how do I get it to start tagging?
    MSGTAG will usually start up as soon as you've finished installing it, and will run automatically each time you start your computer. If it doesn't, you can run MSGTAG by going to your Start menu > Programs > MSGTAG.

    MSGTAG will then tell you whether tagging is enabled or disabled:
    MSGTAG Status will display a green arrow in the top control panel when on, and the other down-line options will be available. When off, Status will display an orange 'off' symbol, and all other options will be unavailable.

    Select whether you wish to enable or disable tagging, and then send and receive mail as you normally do. If you have tagging enabled, MSGTAG will tell you when your messages are opened. Remember that to disable tagging, you simply need to switch MSGTAG to its 'off' state — you don't need to exit the program.

    What should my MSGTAG settings be?
    MSGTAG usually sets everything up for you, however sometimes you might need to enter your settings manually. We've made a handy little page that will work out what settings you should use to get MSGTAG set up for your email account.

    Click here to work out what your settings should be (Status2 only)

    What SMTP settings should I use when I have accounts from different providers or multiple accounts?
    MSGTAG will automatically import the settings from your mail programs and configure your mail programs so that you can send tagged messages from more than one mail account. If you wish to configure MSGTAG and your mail programs manually, MSGTAG needs to be listening on a different port for each mail account.

    The SMTP server for each mail account should be the same as the SMTP server it was using before you installed MSGTAG. Please consult your Internet Service Provider (ISP) if you don't know the name of your SMTP server.

    How many accounts can I have?
    You can have as many accounts as you want, although you don't need to enter the same SMTP settings more than once (you can just use the same MSGTAG account for mail accounts that use the same SMTP server.) Remember that MSGTAG needs to be listening on a different port for each account.

    How do I change my notification sound?
    MSGTAG Status plays a sound alert when you receive a new read notification — regardless of whether your email client is open or not. To change this sound alert, open the Sounds and Multimedia panel in your Control Panel (Start > Settings >Control Panel > Sounds and Multimedia or My Computer > Control Panel > Sounds and Multimedia).

    Scroll down the list of sound events until you reach MSGTAG. Select "Readnotification" (which should have a sound icon next to it) and click "Browse". Select your new notification sound (Any .wav file) and click "OK". To test your new notification sound, click the "play" button (next to the "browse" button). Click "OK" and your new sound should play when you next receive a notification!

    How do I remove MSGTAG from my computer?
    To remove MSGTAG from your computer, right-click on the MSGTAG icon in your system tray and click 'Exit'. Alternatively, on MSGTAG itself, choose 'Options' >> 'Exit'. Choose 'Yes' to close down MSGTAG (your settings will automatically be restored when you do the next step).

    Then go to

    'Start' >> 'Settings' >> 'Control Panel' >> 'Add/Remove Programs'

    Select MSGTAG and click 'Change/Remove'.


    Is there a MSGTAG affiliate program?
    Yes! MSGTAG's Affiliate Program is a great way to turn your site traffic into extra income. You will receive a 37% commission for each sale of MSGTAG originating from promotions on your website or in your newsletters.

    We supply you with all the marketing material you need, such as marketing copy, banner ads, animated cartoons, and buttons.

    Click here to find out more about the MSGTAG Affiliate Program. .

    Is there a size limitation in the MSGTAG Status footer?
    You can make your MSGTAG Status footer almost any size you like. The longest MSGTAG footer that we're aware of, is by Ray Harris from Gorgeous Gear in Australia.

    Ray's footer uses a variety of font colours to great effect, and his footer includes contact & website details, product & sales information and various other messages. Ray says: "Quite apart from the many other benefits of using MSGTAG, our footer is also an extremely effective marketing tool. It works a treat for us."

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