What Is an MSG File?

An MSG file most likely came from Outlook. Here's how to open, edit, and convert MSG files

What to Know

  • An MSG file is an Outlook Mail Message file and can be opened with Outlook, Encryptomatic.com, or SeaMonkey.
  • MSG files can be converted to EML, PDF, DOC, etc., with Zamzar or another converter tool.

MSG files are created by Microsoft Outlook. This article describes what MSG files are, the various ways you can open one, and how to convert one to a different format depending on what the file is storing (email, contacts, etc.).

What Is an MSG File?

A file with the .MSG file extension is most likely an Outlook Mail Message file. The Microsoft Outlook program can make an MSG file that pertains to an email, appointment, contact, or task.

If the file is an email, the MSG file might contain message information like the date, sender, recipient, subject, and message body (including custom formatting and hyperlinks). Still, it might just be contact details, appointment information, or a task description.

If your MSG file isn't related to MS Outlook, it's probably a file used in the Fallout 1 and 2 video games. The game uses MSG files to hold game messages and dialogue information about the characters.

How to Open MSG Files

Outlook will open MSG files that are Outlook Mail Messages, but you don't have to have MS Outlook installed to view the file. Free Opener, MSG Viewer, MsgViewer Pro, and Email Open View Pro should work too.

SeaMonkey should be able to view the MSG file on Windows, Linux, and macOS. There's also the Klammer app for iOS that opens MSG files.

One online MSG file viewer that works on any operating system is Encryptomatic's Free MSG EML Viewer. Just upload your file to see the whole message in your browser. The text looks like it would in MS Outlook, and the hyperlinks work.

What If the Files Aren't From Outlook?

Fallout Message MSG files location in the \ text\english\ dialog\ and \ text\english\game\ directories of the game. While these files are used by both Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, you don't open them with those programs. The game accesses those files while you are playing it.

How to Convert to Another File Format

Microsoft Outlook can convert MSG files to different formats depending on the type of MSG file being used. For example, if it's a message, you can save the MSG file to TXT, HTML, OFT, and MHT. Tasks can be converted to text formats like RTF, contacts to VCF, and calendar events to ICS or VCS.

After opening the MSG file in Outlook, use the File > Save As menu to choose an appropriate format from the Save as type: drop-down menu.

Another way is to convert the MSG file with Filestar. It's a desktop program for Windows and macOS that supports various export formats, all listed through that link.

An online option for saving your file to PDF, EML, PST, or DOC, is Zamzar. Since this file converter utility runs through your web browser, you can use it on any operating system.

MSGConvert is a command-line tool for Linux that can convert MSG to EML.

You can also convert your contacts to a format usable in Excel or another spreadsheet program. First, convert the MSG file to CSV, then import the contacts into Outlook via dragging and dropping the .MSG files directly into the My Contacts section of the program. Then, go to File > Open & Export > Import/Export > Export to a file > Comma Separated Values > Contacts to choose where to save the new CSV file.

It's unlikely that converting a Fallout Message file to any other format would be useful, but you can probably do so with a text editor. Just open the MSG file there and then save it as a new one.

Still Can't Open Your File?

The file extension ".MSG" is pretty simple, yet might be used by other programs not mentioned above. Chances are, though, any use of the .MSG file extension is for a message file of some sort. Try opening the file in a text editor if the email programs above aren't working for you.

  • How do I open an MSG file on a Mac?

    It's frustrating that the Mac version of Outlook can't open Outlook MSG files if those files were created in the Windows 10 version. Luckily, third-party tools can help. Some of these include MSG Viewer for Outlook, MailRader, and Encryptomatic. Another easy option is to use Outlook.com. Email the MSG file to an Outlook.com email address, then use Outlook.com's MSG viewer.

  • How do I open an MSG file on an iOS device?

    Third-party apps on the App Store will let you view MSG files on an iPhone or iPad. For example, if you download msgLense, you can view MSG files and reply to emails using another email client, such as Gmail.

  • Can I open an MSG file in Windows Mail?

    No. If you don't have Outlook on your Windows PC, you'll need to use one of the MSG file viewing or file conversion tools mentioned in this article.

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