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

close up of HTML code

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

Fortunately, 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 you want to view.

How to View Email in HTML

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

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

  2. Navigate to the View menu.

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

This method is not "converting" the email to HTML as you might find with a file converter program. Instead, you're just requesting the original email without stripping away the formatting.

Keyboard Shortcut to Switch to HTML Emails

If you swap a message to HTML frequently, you might find that it's much quicker to invoke a keyboard shortcut instead of always 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. Just hold down the Alt key and then the Shift key together, and then press the H key once to toggle to HTML mode.