How to Save a Gmail Message as an EML File

Use an EML file to open messages in another email client

What to Know

  • Open the Gmail message and select More. Select Show original to open it as a text document. The message opens in a new window.
  • Save as an EML file: Right-click Download Original and choose Save link as > All Files. Add .eml to the end of the file name and save it.
  • Or, highlight and copy all the text in the Gmail message and paste it into a text editor. Save the file with the .eml file extension.

This article explains how to save a Gmail email message as an EML file so you can open it in other programs and back it up.

Open Message as a Text Document

If you want to read a Gmail message in a text editor or word processing program, you can download it as a text file easily enough. However, if you want to open it in a different email client, you might need to save it in a different format, specifically as an EML file.

You can also backup EML files, and share them with others without forwarding the original messages. Whatever your reason, Gmail makes it easy to do the conversion.

  1. Open the Gmail message and select More (three dots).

    Gmail message with More (three dots) highlighted
  2. Select Show original to open the full message as a text document.

    Gmail message options with "Show Original" highlighted
  3. The message opens in a new window.

    Gmail original message format open in a new window

From here, you can use one of two ways to convert the email to the EML format; the first is the easiest.

Method 1: Save File as EML File Format

  1. In the text document, right-click Download Original.

    Gmail text message with Download Original highlighted
  2. Choose Save link as.

    Gmail text with Save Link As annotated
  3. From the Save as type menu, select All Files instead of Text Document.

    Gmail "Save as type" dialog with "All Files" annotated
  4. Add .eml to the end of the file name, then save it as you would normally save a file to your hard drive.

Method 2: Convert File to EML Type

  1. Highlight and copy all of the text in the Gmail message. If you're using Windows, press 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.

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

    Notepad with email text pasted in
  3. Save the file with the .eml file extension, as above.

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