How can I read an E-mail (.EML) File?


An EML file is an e-mail message saved using Outlook Express. These files can also be created using some other e-mail clients. The files contain e-mail messages, and can also contain the attachments or files sent with the e-mail. If you receive an EML file from someone that you cannot open then you have two options by which you can attempt to open the file. The only difference is that the first process will provide a permanent solution, while the second process will have to be repeated every time you wish to open an EML file.


To follow the first process, do the following:

  1. Open My Computer.
  2. Click on “Tools” in the top menu, and then on “Folder Options”.
  3. Click on the tab named “File Types” and allow the list to populate (this may take a while).
  4. Scroll down the list of processes till you find the entry named EML, with the description “Internet e-mail message” given in the right hand column. Click on the option to select it.
  5. Click on the “Advanced” button.
  6. In the new window, the only option given in the box should be “open”. Select it and then click on the “Edit” button.
  7. In the box named “Application used to perform action”, type the following command: “K:\Program Files\Outlook Express\MSIMN.EXE” /eml:%1 (where K indicates the drive where Outlook Express is installed)
  8. Click on Ok in the next two windows.

Using the second process, you can access file extension EML using your web browser. The process is relatively simpler, but as previously mentioned, it is not a permanent process. Here’s what you have to do:

  1. First, place the EML file in a folder. Then open the folder. Click on “Tools” on the top menu, and then on “Folder Options”.
  2. Click on the tab “View”. Scroll down to the option “Hide file extensions for known file types”. Make sure that the box beside this option is unchecked.
  3. Click on the button named Apply, if it is active, and then on OK.
  4. Now open the folder where you have stored the EML file. You should be able to view its extension (.eml).
  5. Right click the file and choose the option “Rename”. Delete the extension and give the extension .mht.
  6. Click “Yes” on the confirmation box, and you are all set. Simply double click on the file and it will open in your web browser.

Simple yet repetitive, this process will have to be performed every time you get an EML file from someone.

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