Extracting Mail Headers


Accessing and Extracting Mail Headers

When troubleshooting email issues like bounced messages and delayed messages, you may be asked to provide message headers.

Mail Headers contain a wealth of information about the message's complete path from sender to recipient. A typical message header will contain information such as mail servers and timestamps that were recorded during the email's journey. This information can then be used to diagnose where a bounce-back or delay may be occurring, when it was happening, etc.

Below are instructions on extracting mail headers from the more popular email clients. If you specific client is not represented here however, a quick search on Google for your specific email program should return the proper information.

Microsoft Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007

  1. From your inbox listing, right-click the message and select "Message Options."
  2. The header information will be contained in the window labeled "Internet Headers"
  3. Select all (CTRL-A) Copy (CTRL-C) and paste (CTRL-V) the headers to your trouble ticket

Mozilla Thunderbird

  1. Double-click the message to open it in its own tab
  2. Go to "View" menu
  3. Select "Message Source" (You can also use CTRL-U)
  4. Select all (CTRL-A) Copy (CTRL-C) and paste (CTRL-V) the headers to your trouble ticket

Google Mail (GMAIL)

  1. Log into your Gmail account
  2. Open the message you want to examine
  3. Within the Gmail interface, the message will contain a "Reply" link at the top right. Next to this link there will be a small, downward pointing arrow. Click this arrow and select "Show Original"
  4. A new browser window/tab will open up with the message headers
  5. Select all (CTRL-A) Copy (CTRL-C) and paste (CTRL-V) the headers to your trouble ticket

If your specific email client is not represented here, please perform a search on Google for your specific program. In many cases, you can also try attaching the email (as an item) to your trouble ticket. Please be sure to attach the email as a separate file instead of simply forwarding the message.

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