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How to read message headers in Outlook

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Phishing and other email scams are increasing. One of the best ways to identify scam emails is to examine the email header for detailed information about the sender. Here's how to do that in Outlook.

Outlook itself provides a basic view of email headers. If that's not enough, there's a free plug-in that breaks the headers to give you a more human-friendly image. We will deal with that too.

Basic Outlook header view

To get a basic view of the e-mail headers, open the e-mail in Outlook and click File> Properties.

 Outlook Properties button for an individual e-mail.

In the Properties window that opens, the header is displayed in the "Internet headers" text box at the bottom.

 The e-mail properties window with the [19659003] This text box is not very large, so we recommend that you select all text and copy it to your desired text editor to make it more visible.

However, the header information is a large block of text, which is not so easy to read, especially if you don't read headers often. To get a more useful picture, there is a free plug-in that you can use.

Using the Message Header Analyzer add-in

If you have never installed an add-in for Outlook, we have written about the earlier processing. The installation process is fairly simple and the add-ons are validated by Microsoft, so they are safe to use.

And if you install the plug-in on the desktop client, as we will show you, the plug-in is also automatically added to the Outlook web app. This also allows you to use it when you are logged into Outlook in a browser.

To start, open Outlook and click Home> Download Add-ins.

 The Start tab with the

Start typing "message header" in the upper right search box and select the "Message Header Analyzer" add-in.

 The add-in search box with the

Click the Add button to install the add-in.


Once the add-in is installed, the Add button changes to "Added". Click the "X" In the upper right corner to close the window.

If you have selected an e-mail in Outlook, the "Show Headers" button is now visible in the menu bar. [19659003]  The

Click this button to view the e-mail headers for the selected e-mail The add-in has the following tabs:

  • Summary: Information (this is it
  • Received: Information about where the message was received from and when.
  • Antispam: Information from Microsoft's Exchange Online Protection anti-spam scan
  • Other: All other header elements subdivided into separate blocks.


Best of all, where there are suitable web pages that relate to on an element, the Message Header Analyzer contains a link to that page at links to the exact section in the email specification, such as verification results, and Microsoft & # 39; s information about the anti-spam elements that they add to emails sent via Exchange.

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