How to Politely Ask for an Update in an Email

You’re here because you’re wondering how to ask for an update in an email. Well, we’re here to help!

In this article, you’ll find some great phrases that you can use to ask for updates in a professional context. So, read on to stay in the know!

You can use one of the 11 phrases below the next time you want to ask for an update in an email:

  • Would you kindly give me an update?
  • Can you please update me?
  • Are there any new developments?
  • Has there been any progress?
  • Can I have a quick update?
  • Can you bring me up to date?
  • How’s it going?
  • I wanted to check in
  • Is everything going all right?
  • Is there anything I can help with?
  • Do you have an update?

1. Would You Kindly Give Me an Update?

If you’re looking for a polite way to ask for an update via email, would you kindly give me an update is as polite as it gets!

This is a great phrase to use in highly formal circumstances. For instance, you can use it in a follow-up email to a recruiter if you want an update on your job application or after an interview.

You probably won’t know them personally, and you’ll want to make a good impression. Therefore, a courteous alternative is the best choice when you’re trying to ask for a reply.

Consider the email example below to see this phrase in practice:

Dear Lilly,

I hope this email finds you well.

If possible, would you kindly give me an update on my application?

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards,
Jonathon Tier

2. Can You Please Update Me?

Can you please update me is the best way to ask for an update if you work in a fast-paced office environment.

 After all, this is a more straightforward alternative for occasions where flowery language is unnecessary. Therefore, you can use it in an email to your colleague when you need a quick work update. Moreover, the addition of “please” ensures that it doesn’t come across as rude or impatient.

So, let’s see this phrase in a sample email:

Dear Mark,

Can you please update me on the meeting schedule for this week?


3. Are There Any New Developments?

You can use the phrase are there any new developments when you’re asking for an update on an important event or situation.

You may use this phrase if you work in journalism. For example, asking your peers or research team for any new developments in a situation helps you stay on top of the current events you’re writing about.

To get a hint about how to use this phrase, let’s look at an email sample:

Dear Jade,

Are there any new developments from the Supreme Court?

I’m about to be on the ground with protestors.


4. Has There Been Any Progress?

If your employees are busy working on a project, this phrase is a good, polite way to ask for a progress report from time to time.

This shows that you are engaged with everything going on within your organization and that you’re ready to provide leadership and guidance as needed. Therefore, has there been any progress is a great way to request an update and stay in the loop.

For example:

Dear Zoe,

Has there been any progress on Mr. Reed’s trust formation?


5. Can I Have a Quick Update?

As a more informal phrase, you should use can I have a quick update when you’re speaking conversationally to your peers at work.

This phrase gets to the point, which is good in a busy office where you’re all in a rush. Moreover, your colleagues won’t bat an eye at it if you tend to keep things casual in the office.

Consider this phrase in an email example:

Hi Brody,

Can I have a quick update on the status of the Heath file?


6. Can You Bring Me up to Date?

If you’re a busy businessperson in a high-stakes firm or corporation, you may not always have the time to keep up with everything.

In this situation, it’s ideal to use the phrase can you bring me up to date in your emails to your employees or assistant.

See the example below:

Morning Ben,

Can you bring me up to date on the Clive account?

Also, please cancel my 3 o’clock – I’ve got to go to my kid’s soccer game.

Blake Richman

7. How’s It Going?

You can request an update by saying how’s it going in casual, informal settings.

For example, you might use this phrase outside of the workplace when checking in with friends and family. However, you may also use it with your coworkers if you happen to have a very friendly and laid-back dynamic at your workplace.

When formalities aren’t necessary, this phrase gets to the point.

So, let’s see how you could employ it below:

Hi James,

How’s it going with the SC article?

Happy to help if you need anything!

All the best,

8. I Wanted to Check In

If you are keen to get an update but the stakes aren’t very high, you can always just check in!

This phrase comes across rather casually, so you should only use it with your colleagues if you tend to keep things rather informal in your department.

However, your coworkers will probably appreciate that you’re taking an interest in the ongoings of the office, so it never hurts to check in and get an update on things!

Therefore, let’s see an email sample including this phrase:

Hi Jolene,

I wanted to check in on the graphics for our campaign.

I hope you’ll let me know if I can contribute in any way!

Warm regards,

9. Is Everything Going Smoothly?

If you’re in charge of your business or organization, it’s essential that you reach out for a status update from your employees as frequently as possible.

Therefore, if your team is in the midst of a task or organizing an event, you can ask if everything is going smoothly. If the response is not a clear “yes,” you’ll know it’s time to step in!

Let’s see an email example with his phrase in tow:

Dear Liam,

Is everything going smoothly at the venue?

If so, I’ll be around this afternoon for a final sweep-over.


10. Is There Anything I Can Help With?

If you’re unsure how to write a follow-up email, you can start by offering your assistance.

In particular, is there anything I can help with would be a great phrase to include if you were trying to follow up with your boss.

Not only can you use this phrase to indirectly get a status update, but it shows initiative. By offering to help with an ongoing project, you are showing that you are competent and reliable – all great traits in a good employee!

Therefore, let’s see how you can employ this phrase in an example email:

Dear Heather,

Is there anything I can help with regarding the Regina project?

Please don’t hesitate to enlist me if I can contribute.

Kind Regards,

11. Do You Have an Update?

Do you have an update is a further straightforward and professional phrase that you can use when speaking to your colleagues at work.

This phrase comes across as a tad less demanding than some of the others on our list. After all, it doesn’t ask for an update – it asks whether there is an update.

If there’s nothing to report, the receiver can simply tell you as much!

Consider this example to see what we mean:

Dear Joyce,

Do you have an update from the software developers?


Kahlan House