What Is an EMAIL File?

Screenshot of several EMAIL files in Windows XP that open with Outlook Express
EMAIL Files.

A file with the EMAIL file extension is an Outlook Express Mail Message file.

Other types of files may also use the EMAIL file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .EMAIL extension, please let me know so I can update this information.

How to Open an EMAIL File:

The easiest way to open an EMAIL file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file.

If no program opens the EMAIL file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit EMAIL files.

Warning: Take great care when opening executable file formats received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See my List of Executable File Extensions for a listing of file extensions to avoid and why.

EMAIL files can be opened by Windows Live Mail, part of the old, free Windows Essentials suite (Note: This suite has now been discontinued by Microsoft but can still be found in some areas.)  An older version of this program, called Microsoft Outlook Express, will also open EMAIL files. You may need to rename the EMAIL file to an EML file before opening.

Tip: Use Notepad or another text editor to open the EMAIL file. Many files are text-only files meaning no matter the file extension, a text editor may be able to properly display the file's contents.

This may or may not be the case with EMAIL files but it's worth a try.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the EMAIL file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open EMAIL files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How to Convert an EMAIL File:

There are two main ways to attempt to convert an EMAIL file to another file type:

The first option involving opening the EMAIL file in its native program is preferable because it's both easier and will probably result in a more accurate file conversion. Of course, if you don't have a program that opens EMAIL files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.

Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the EMAIL file extension) to one that your computer recognizes and expect the newly renamed file to be usable. An actual file format conversion using one of the methods described above must take place in most cases.

Need More Help?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the EMAIL file and I'll see what I can do to help.

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