How to Show Email Headers (Windows Live Mail, Outlook Express, etc.)

See hidden message details in an email's header

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If you need to track an email error or analyze and report email spam, the easiest way to find this information is to inspect hidden details stored within the header.

By default, Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, and Outlook Express display only the most important header details (like the sender and the subject).

How to Show the Mail Header

You can display all of the header lines of a message in any of Microsoft's email clients, including Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, and Outlook Express.

Here's how to show Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, and Outlook Express headers:

  1. Right-click the message for which you want to see the header.
  2. Choose Properties from the menu.
  3. Go to the Details tab.
  4. To copy the headers, right-click anywhere in the text area that holds the header lines, and choose Select All. Right-click the highlighted text to copy it.

You can also display the HTML source of a message (without any headers) or the complete message source (including all the headers).

Microsoft Outlook

Find Microsoft Outlook header information from the message's Properties window, accessible through the Tags menu in the Message ribbon.

Outlook Mail (Live.com)

Are you looking for the header of a message you've opened from Outlook Mail? Then you'll want to learn more about how to see full email headers in Outlook Mail.  

Using a Different Email Service?

Most email providers and clients let you view a message's header. You can do this not only in Microsoft's email programs but also through Gmail, macOS Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, Yahoo Mail, etc.