Save an Email From Hotmail to Your Hard Disk as EML

Download backups of your email

Emails are securely housed, for the most part, in Windows Live Hotmail and easily accessed through your browser or email program. But, what if you want a specific message in a file folder stored together with all a related project's other documents? Or, what if you want to share an email in full — including all header lines that simple forwarding in Windows Live Hotmail will cut? Perhaps you'd like a copy of a message stored on your desktop for easy and convenient access.

In addition to setting up Windows Live Hotmail in a local email program and exporting the email from there, you can also save any message as an .eml file (a plain text file that contains all message's text and details, is opened by many email clients and can be shared easily).

Save an Email from Windows Live Hotmail to Your Hard Disk as an EML File

To create a .eml file copy of a single message in Windows Live Hotmail (for separate archiving, say, or to forward it as an attachment):

Get Your Message to Save

  1. Open the message you want to save to your hard disk in Windows Live Hotmail.

  2. Select the three dots next to Reply in the message's header area.

    Outlook message open
  3. Select View message source from the menu that comes up.

    Outlook message more options

    You can also click the right mouse button in the message list and select View message source from the context menu.

  4. Press Ctrl+A (Windows and Linux) or Command+A (Mac) to highlight all the message source's text and code.

    Outlook email source
  5. Press Ctrl+C (Windows and Linux) or Command+C (Mac) to copy the highlighted text.

    Outlook message highlighted source

Depending on your web browser, you may be able to save the message directly as a .eml file. You can see which camp your browser falls into by right clicking in the body of your email. If you can Save As a .eml, use the set of instructions directly below. If not, scroll down to the alternative option.

Save Your Message as an EML File

Because of changes in Outlook's design, this one likely won't work in most browsers.

  1. Select File > Save As (or your browser's "save as" command) from the menu in the message source window or tab.

  2. Change the file name to [subject].eml or email.eml or something similar.

  3. Do make sure the file extension is .eml (instead of .aspx or .html or anything else); if your browser insists on using .html or .htm for saving, continue below.

  4. Make sure your browser saves the page source (instead of using, say, the "Web Archive" format).

  5. Save the file to your desktop or any other folder on your hard disk.

Save Your Message With a Text Editor

If your browser didn't support saving the message as an EML file, you can use a text editor, like Notepad, to get the job done.

  1. Open any plain text editor (such as TextEdit, Notepad, or Gedit).

  2. Create a new plain text document.

  3. Press Ctrl+V (Windows and Linux) or Command+V (Mac) to paste the message's source.

  4. Save the document as a plain text file on your Desktop or any other folder with the extension ".eml."

    Save email as EML in text editor

    You can use the message subject, for example, for the file name and save a message with the subject "Sailing next Weekend?" as "Sailing next Weekend.eml."

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