How to find the 'email headers' for a particular email message

Learn how to find email headers in many common mail clients

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Written by Dennis Nind

Last published at: February 8th, 2019

The headers of a message are detailed information on the routing of a message. Because they contain information than most would need or want they're usually available but hidden.

Because seeing the headers of a message are such an immense help to troubleshoot email related issues we thought we might share how to find them for some of the more popular mail clients.

When reporting spam that slips past the filters, it is essential that we receive the full message headers from a message. Additionally, sometimes our Support department may request the full headers from an email message in order to troubleshoot mail delivery problems.

Every single Internet e-mail message is made up of two parts the header and the message body of the email. Every single email you send or receive on the Internet contains an Internet Header, a full and valid e-mail header provides a detailed log of the network path taken by the message between the mail sender and the mail receiver(s) (email servers).

Your email client program will usually hide the full header or display only lines, such as From, To, Date, and Subject, see below for more information on pulling headers for your email client:

Outlook 2016

  1. Double click on the email message so that it is opened in its own window. 


  2. On the Message tab, in the Options section there is a little button with an arrow in it. Click on it and you have the message options menu with the internet headers in the bottom section.

  3. This will bring up the Message Options window. The last component of this is the Internet Headers.

  4. Right-click inside the headers and choose Select All, then right-click again and choose Copy.

Outlook 2013

  1. Double click on the email message so that it is opened in its own window. 



  2. On the Message tab, in the Options section there is a little button with an arrow in it. Click on it and you have the message options menu with the internet headers in the bottom section.

  3. This will bring up the Message Options window. The last component of this is the Internet Headers.

  4. Right-click inside the headers and choose Select All, then right-click again and choose Copy.

Outlook 2010

  1. Double click on the email message so that it is opened in its own window. 


  2. On the Message tab, in the Options section there is a little button with an arrow in it. Click on it and you have the message options menu with the internet headers in the bottom section.

  3. This will bring up the Message Options window. The last component of this is the Internet Headers.

  4. Right-click inside the headers and choose Select All, then right-click again and choose Copy.

Outlook Express

  1. To begin, open the email message in a new window by double-clicking on it.
  2. From the File menu, click Properties.
  3. Click the Details tab.


  4. Click Message Source. A new window will open containing all the headers and original message:

  5. Right-click anywhere inside this window and choose Select All.
  6. Right-click again and choose Copy.
  7. Close this window, the details window and the message window (so you are back to the main Outlook Express program).

Outlook 2000 / 2002

  1. Open the message you’d like to view headers for.
  2. Click Options from the drop-down menu.
  3. A box called Message Options pops up.
  4. Near the bottom of the box you’ll see a text area titled Internet headers.
  5. Right-click inside the headers and choose Select All, then right-click again and choose Copy.
  6. Close the Message Source box.

Microsoft Exchange

  1. Click the "File" menu
  2. Click "Properties"
  3. Click the "Details" tab
  4. Click "Message Source"
  5. Highlight, copy and paste everything in the "Message Source" windows

Zimbra

Max OS X Mail

  1. To begin, open the email message in a new window by double-clicking on it.
  2. View > Message > Raw Source
  3. Copy the headers by right clicking, selecting all and then choosing copy.
  4. Close the Message Source box.

Gmail and Google Apps

  1. Open the message you’d like to view headers for.
  2. Click the down arrow next to Reply, at the top-right of the message pane.
  3. Select Show original.


    The full headers will appear in a new window, simply right-click inside the headers and choose Select All, then right-click again and choose Copy.

Yahoo!

  1. Go to Options > General Preferences
  2. Under Mail Viewing Preferences, go to Message Headers, then select ALL.
  3. Hit the small down arrow next to Forward and choose As Inline Text.

AOL

The email files are in an html format. The objective is to save the file in html format. This can be done as follows:
  1. To begin, open the email message by clicking on it.
  2. Click on Details (right above the To: and From: fields) and choose View Message Source.
  3. The full headers will appear in a new window, simply right-click inside the headers and choose Select All, then right-click again and choose Copy.

Hotmail

  1. In the left pane, click Mail.
  2. In the Folders list, click Inbox.
  3. Once in the Inbox, click on the message that you are getting the headers for.
  4. Right-click the message in the message list, and then click View source.
  5. The full headers will appear in a new window, simply right-click inside the headers and choose Select All, then right-click again and choose Copy.

Netscape, Mozilla or Thunderbird

  1. To begin, open the email message in a new window by double-clicking on it.
  2. Choose View > Headers > All 
  3. This will expand the top of your email message and it will now include the full headers.
  4. Right-click again and choose Copy.