How to Save a Gmail Email as an EML File

Create an EML file from a Gmail message to save it offline

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You can download a Gmail message as a text file easily enough, and that's adequate if you're just going to read it in a text editor or word processing program. If you want to be able to open it in a different email client, however, you might need to save it in a different format — specifically, as an EML file.

So why would you want to download messages in the first place? One reason is to back them up. Another is to share them with someone else, rather than forwarding original messages. Whatever the reason, Gmail makes the process easy.

  1. Open the Gmail message.

  2. Click or tap the small downward-facing arrow next to the Reply arrow at the top right of the message. If you're using Inbox by Gmail, use the button with three horizontal dots (next to the time) instead.

  3. Choose Show original from that menu to open the full message as a text document.

From here, you can use either of two ways to get the email in the EML file format; the first is the easiest.

Method 1:

  1. Save the message with the EML file extension by choosing Download Original.

  2. When asked how to save it, pick All Files from the Save as type menu instead of Text Document.

  3. Add .eml at the end of the file.

  4. Save it somewhere memorable so you can find it later.

Method 2:

  1. Highlight and copy all of the text in the Gmail message. If you're using Windows, click Ctrl+A to highlight all of the text and Ctrl+C to copy it. If you're on macOS, use Command+A to select the text, and Command+C to copy it.

  2. Paste all of the text into a text editor such as Notepad++ or Brackets.

  3. Save the file with the .eml file extension, as above.