How to access the Message Header


Most mail clients allow access to the message header. The following list contains a few popular mail and web mail clients. 
Please refer to the manual of your mail client if your mail client is not included in this list.

 

  • View the Message Header in Google Mail (GMail) Webmail:

    Login to your account on the webpage and open the message (click on it). Click on the down-arrow on the top-right of the message and select Show Original. Now you will see the complete message source.

  • View the Message Header in Yahoo! Mail Webmail:

    Login to your account on the webpage and open the message (click on it). 
    Click on Actions and select View Full Header.

  • View the Message Header in Hotmail Webmail:

    Login to your account on the webpage and go to the message list. 
    Right-click on the message and select View Message Source

  • View the Message Header in MS Outlook:

    Open the message in MS Outlook. Now go to View and select Message Options - or File -> Info -> Properties.
    Look at Internet Headers.

  • View the Message Header in Thunderbird:

    Open the message, then click on View and select Message Source.

  • View the Message Header in MS Windows Mail (and MS Outlook Express):

    Select the message in the list, right-click on it and select Properties and go to Details.

 


 

Standard Message Header Fields


Sample Message Header:

Return-path: <sender@senderdomain.tld>
Delivery-date: Wed, 13 Apr 2011 00:31:13 +0200
(3)Received: from mailexchanger.recipientdomain.tld([ccc.ccc.ccc.ccc])
by mailserver.recipientdomain.tld running ExIM with esmtp
id xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxx; Wed, 13 Apr 2011 01:39:23 +0200
(2)Received: from mailserver.senderdomain.tld ([bbb.bbb.bbb.bbb] helo=mailserver.senderdomain.tld)
by mailexchanger.recipientdomain.tld with esmtp id xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xx
for recipient@recipientdomain.tld; Wed, 13 Apr 2011 01:39:23 +0200
(1)Received: from senderhostname [aaa.aaa.aaa.aaa] (helo=[senderhostname])
by mailserver.senderdomain.tld with esmtpa (Exim x.xx)
(envelope-from <sender@senderdomain.tld) id xxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxx
for recipient@recipientdomain.tld; Tue, 12 Apr 2011 20:36:08 -0100
Message-ID: <xxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxx@senderdomain.tld>
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2011 20:36:01 -0100
X-Mailer: Mail Client
From: Sender Name <sender@senderdomain.tld>
To: Recipient Name <recipient@recipientdomain.tld>
Subject: Message Subject

 

  • Return Path: The email address which should be used for bounces. The mailserver will send a message to the specified email address if the message cannot be delivered
  • Delivery-date: The data the message was delivered
  • Date: The date the message was sent
  • Message-ID: The ID of the message
  • X-Mailer: The mail client (mail program) used to send the message
  • From: The message sender in the format: "Friendly Name" <email@address.tld>
  • To: The message recipient in the format: "Friendly Name" <email@address.tld>
  • Subject: The message subject