How to retrieve Email Header information

E-mails are made up of two parts: the header and the message body of the email. Every email you send or receive contains a header which provides a detailed log of the network path taken by the message between the mail sender and the mail receiver(s) (email servers).

Your email client program (Outlook, Gmail etc…)  will usually hide the full header or display only some information such as From, To, Date, and Subject. Below you’ll find ways to retrieve the full header information from an email using various popular email clients.

When reporting spam, hacking, phishing or spoofing, it is essential that we receive the full email header information in order to troubleshoot mail delivery problems. If you are receiving bounce backs when you try to send email, the email header information is also helpful to the HostPapa support team.

How to view header information in third party email applications:

Apple Mail

  1. Open Apple Mail.
  2. Double-click to open the email message.
  3. Choose “View” at the top menu and select “Customize Toolbars.”
  4. Drag the “Full Headers” or “Long Headers” icon into your toolbar and save changes.
  5. Now, you can click on “Full Headers” or “Long Headers” to the top of the toolbar.

Outlook 2010

  1. Open Outlook 2010.
  2. Select the email message for which you’d like to view the headers.
  3. Click on File
  4. Click on Properties
  5. The new window contains the headers.
    Outlook 2007

    1. Open Outlook 2007.
    2. Open the email message.
    3. Under the Message tab, in the Options group, click on the Dialog Box Launcher icon.
    4. In the Message Options dialog box, the headers appear in the Internet headers box.

    Outlook 2000, 2002 and 2003

    1. Open Outlook.
    2. Double-click to open the email message in a new window.
    3. Select View > Options from the message’s menu.
    4. All header lines appear under Internet Headers at the bottom of the dialog box.

    Outlook Express

    1. Open Outlook Express.
    2. Right click on the message and select Properties.
    3. Choose the Details tab and select the Message Source button.

    Microsoft Entourage

    1. Open Entourage.
    2. Double-click to open the email message.
    3. Select View from the menu and click on Internet Headers.
    4. You may need to use your mouse to pull down on the line below the header so that the entire header is visible.

    How to view header information in third party email clients:


    1. Log into Gmail.
    2. Open the message.
    3. Click the down arrow next to Reply, at the top-right of the message pane.
    4. Select Show original.
    5. The full headers will appear in a new window.


    1. Log into Yahoo webmail.
    2. Open the message.
    3. Click Full Headers at the top of your message.
    4. The full headers will appear above the message text.

    MSN Hotmail

    1. Log into MSN Hotmail.
    2. Click into your Inbox.
    3. Hover (do NOT click) over the email for which you want to see the headers.
    4. Right click to get a new menu of options.
    5. Choose the “View message source” option.
    6. Now, the full headers for the email you were hovering on will be displayed.

    Windows Live Hotmail

    1. Log into Windows Live Hotmail.
    2. Click on the desired message in the list with the right mouse button.
    3. Select View source from the menu.
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