Open EML Files in Windows Live Mail or Outlook Express

File folders with pen

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If you have troubles opening an EML file in Windows, there are a few things you can try. The most probable situations where you might have difficulties is if someone sent you an EML file in an email but opening it doesn't do what you want, or maybe you have some old EML files on a backup drive that you need to open in a specific program.

There are two ways to go about this. You can either open the email program first and then, from there, open the EML file, or you can change a specific setting on your computer so that double-clicking an EML file opens it in the program of your choice.

You might choose the first option if you have more than one EML viewer installed and want to be able to choose which program opens it, something that's good to know if you like to switch between different viewers or editors. However, the second method is useful if you always want the EML file to open in the same program when you double-click it.

Method 1: Manually Open the EML File

There are two possible ways this could work, but if neither do, then move on to the second method below.

  1. Locate the EML file you want to open. If it's inside of an email attachment, right-click the attachment and choose to Save it to your computer. Pick a folder where you can easily find it again soon.

  2. Open the folder where you saved the EML file and also open the email program you want to use for viewing the EML file.

  3. Drag the EML file directly from the folder onto the email program.

  4. If the EML file doesn't show up, use the File menu to find an open or import menu where you can browse for the EML file and open it that way.

Method 2: Change a System Setting

Windows lets you pick which program will open an EML file when you double-click it.

Keep in mind that you could have lots of programs on your computer that can open EML files since there are several EML file openers available. For example, if you decide that you want Mozilla Thunderbird to use the EML file instead of a Windows email client, you can do that, too.

More Information

There might be an extra step you need to take if you want to re-associate EML files with Outlook Express. If the steps outlined above do not work, try this:

  1. Change the working directory to be the folder where Outlook Express is stored, which is usually C:\Program Files\Outlook Express. To do that, type:

    cd "C:\Program Files\Outlook Express"
  2. Once the above command completes, enter:

    msimn /reg
  3. That's it, you're done!