How to View a Message in HTML With Express and Live Mail

Learn how to quickly view any email message in HTML

You can view your Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, or Outlook Express emails in HTML, even if you chose to always display the mail in plain text. Sometimes, it's easier to read a message with its full HTML formatting.

You don't have to disable the plain text mode protection to view a specific email in HTML. These email programs let you decide, on a per-message basis, which format to view.

Windows Live Mail and Outlook Express were discontinued by Microsoft. This article is retained here for archival purposes.

How to View Email in HTML

Here's how to read a message with HTML formatting in Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, or Outlook Express:

  1. Open the plain text message that you want to view in HTML.

  2. Go to the View menu.

  3. Choose the Message in HTML option to see the HTML version of the email.

This method doesn't convert the email to HTML, as you might find with a file converter program. Instead, you're requesting the original email without stripping away the formatting.

Keyboard Shortcut to Switch to HTML Emails

If you swap a message to HTML frequently, it's quicker to use a keyboard shortcut instead of opening the View menu, as described above.

The other option for viewing the message in HTML is to use the Alt+Shift+H keyboard shortcut. Press and hold the Alt key and the Shift key together, and then press the H key once to toggle to HTML mode.

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