How to Forward an Email as an Attachment in Outlook

Blank red note attached to file folder in row
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Forwarding as an attachment lets you forward full email copies in Outlook.

Why Would I Want to Forward Emails as Attachments?

To report spam, to trace a problem, or to make sure an email is not altered (at least not inadvertently) when you pass it on: forwarding an email as an attachment has its uses. In Outlook, forwarding in that manner is almost as easy as forwarding at all.

(You can also set forwarding as an attachment to be the default in Outlook.

Then, forwarding inline is essentially unavailable.—You can always copy and paste messages' text in a new email, of course.)

Forward an Email as an Attachment in Outlook

To forward an individual message in its full and original state — attached as an EML file (which some email programs such as OS X Mail may display inline) including all header lines — in Outlook using the ribbon and buttons:

  1. Open the message you want to forward in the reading pane or in its own window.
    • You can also merely highlight the email in the message list.
    • To forward multiple messages as attachments at once (and in one email), make sure they are all highlighted in the message list.
      (Use search to get all the desired emails in one place.)
  2. If the message is open in your Outlook's reading pane:
    • Make sure the HOME ribbon is selected and visible.
  3. If the message is open in its own window:
    • Make sure the MESSAGE ribbon is selected and visible.
  1. Click More (or the More Respond Actions icon if only that is visible) in the Respond section.
  2. Select Forward as Attachment from the menu that has appeared.
  3. Address the message and add (for each recipient, ideally) why you are forwarding the original email.

To forward a message as an attachment swiftly using a keyboard shortcut:

  1. Open the email you want to forward in the preview pane or in its own window, or, to forward multiple messages in one go, make sure they are all highlighted in the message list for the folder or in search results.
  2. Press Ctrl-Alt-F.
  3. Add recipients to the message as well as, optimally, a note for each of them how the forwarded email is relevant to them.

Forward as Attachment in Outlook 2003 and 2007

In Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007, you can forward emails as attachments by changing the forwarding default.

(Tested with Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016)