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EML File Format

Related utilities

What is EML file?

EML is a short for "electronic mail" or "email". Files with .eml extension are used for storing email messages in IMF format (Internet Message Format).

The EML format is commonly used to store and move messages between different email clients: Mozilla Thunderbird, Mac / Apple Mail, Windows Mail, and others.

1 EML file = 1 email message.

What is inside an EML file?

An EML file contains all the email data including headers, attachments, and the message body.

EML file content

What opens EML files?

  • Mozilla Thunderbird,
  • Windows Live Mail,
  • Outlook Express,
  • Mac/Apple Mail,
  • IncrediMail,
  • Windows Mail,
  • Spicebird,
  • Mail Copa,
  • The Bat,
  • DreamMail,
  • Entourage,
  • Eudora and others.

Some mail clients work with EML directly, while others can import .eml files into their email database.

Microsoft Outlook uses another format for saving separate messages - MSG, which can be easily converted to EML.

How to create an EML file?

Most email clients that support EML file type automatically suggest to create a .eml file when saving the selected email message. When you drag an email message from the message list to the desktop, the email client creates a file of .eml format.

Microsoft Outlook can't save files with .eml extension or export messages in EML while maintaining the original folder structure. You can work around this problem and export messages from Outlook to EML for using resulting .eml files in other mail systems.

Export Outlook to EML

To copy all your Outlook mailbox which is stored in a PST file, you can easily convert one or more PST to EML files and open them in another mail client.

How to open EML files?

Since EML files are essentially text files, they can be opened in a text editor, e.g., Microsoft Notepad or Apple TextEdit, with no mail app installed. However, you cannot read EML file contents in full. The message might contain puzzling characters since everything's been encoded into text, including attachments. But sometimes you may find date, subject, sender and recipients' addresses, etc.

You can view a file with a .eml extension in most web browsers, including Internet Explorer. To see the text of the message and pictures in their original format when opening an EML file, you might try to change the .eml file extension to .mht. This method's downside is you cannot see and cannot save all attachment files, like documents.

How to view EML files without Outlook and other email clients?

An effortless way to open a .eml message file without installing additional programs is to convert EML to HTML format.

After converting EML to HTML, you can open .html files on Mac or Windows in any Internet browser. It also allows you to save emails to a cloud drive and work with your mail on any device anywhere.

EML to HTML conversion result

Open the HTML file in a web browser to see the sender and recipients' address, subject, and text of the message with the original formatting and links to attachment files. The attachment files are saved in a separate folder next to the HTML files.

Converting from EML to HTML is a convenient way for additional email backups.

Another way to open an EML file with pictures and attachments is to transform it into another universal format: Adobe PDF. Find out how to convert EML to PDF to view EML messages in popular web-browsers and PDF viewers.

How to open EML file in Outlook?

Although opening EML files in Outlook is possible, you can't save Outlook messages to EML format. Files with the .eml extension can be loaded into MS Outlook with certain limitations:

  • While dragging a .eml file into the Outlook folder, a new message is created, and the original EML file gets into it as an attachment. When you drag a .msg file to the Outlook folder, a normal copy of the message is created.
  • Outlook does not work well with large EML files: it takes an exceptionally long time to open them and sometimes results in an error. The problem does not appear with native Outlook format – MSG.
  • EMLs take up more space than MSG files. This can be crucial for backups. To save additional space we recommend you to remove attachments from EML files, having previously saved attachments from EML to the selected folder.

How to import EML files into Outlook?

The utility for importing .eml files is the right way to bulk load EML files to Outlook. It saves all Internet headers of emails during import, including BCC, "blind carbon copy". To open .eml files in Outlook, you can also convert EML to the Outlook-friendly MSG format so that you can use all the Outlook features.

Import EML to Outlook

Outlook uses PST format to store its email database. If you wish to open EML files in Outlook mailbox already sorted into folders, learn how to convert EML to PST.

How to open an EML file from the MBOX database?

MBOX format is used for storing EML databases in a common text file. An easy way to extract one or more .eml files from a common .mbox file when no MBOX viewer is available is to split the large MBOX into separate EML files. After that, you can send them to other users, search or import EML into Outlook or other mail clients.


How to convert EML to PDF?

Use our EML to PDF conversion utility to convert your EMLs to Adobe PDFs keeping the original folder structure:

  1. select the source folder with .eml or .emlx files,
  2. choose the destination folder for the .pdf documents,
  3. run the utility.

How to convert EML to PST?

To convert EML to PST using the convert EML to PST utility:

  1. select the folder with the .eml or .emlx files,
  2. specify the target folder for the .pst data files,
  3. run the utility.

The utility allows to:

  • create one or more Outlook PST data files from a large number of EML files;
  • save all pictures, formatting, attachments, and headers in their original form;
  • preserve the structure of the original folders;
  • split the resulting PST files by size or by year;
  • migrate Outlook email and other data in parts,
  • and many more.

How to open EML files on Mac?

How to open EML file in Gmail?

You can open .eml files in Gmail by following one of these ways:

  1. Send an email via Gmail with EML file attached. After that, you can open the attached .eml file in Gmail. This method's disadvantage is that such an email must be sent directly from the Gmail to a Gmail email address.
  2. An easy way to open several EML messages in Gmail is to import EML files into an Outlook account connected to Gmail. To see the imported messages in Gmail, you need to wait for the changes to sync in Outlook. If there are many messages, this may take some time.

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