How to View the Source of a Message in Mac OS X Mail

Apple MacBook
The source is more than a black screen on your Mac. © Maurizio Pesce; CC BY 2.0 license

In OS X Mail, you can take a look at the source code data for any email quickly.

Why Examine an Email's Source?

Be it for identifying the origin of spam, be it for fun, having a look at the raw source of an email message can be interesting.

View the Source of a Message in Mac OS X Mail

To display a message's source in Mac OS X Mail:

  1. Select View | Message | Raw Source from the menu.
    • Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Option-Command-U (think source).
    • In Mail 1.x, the menu item is Message | Show | Raw Source.

    The same keyboard shortcut also takes you back to the original message in Mac OS X Mail 1–5, or you can choose View | Message | Original Content (Message | Show | Original Content) from the menu.

    In OS X Mail 9, close the source window.

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