EML File Extension : All about EML File

A highly common type of e-mail file format is EML files. They are usually attached to e-mail messages when forwarding. An .eml file extension, in its most basic form, is a single e-mail and .eml file can be viewed by using an ASCII file editor such as Notepad. While it can be possible for viewing the.eml file’s unformatted content in some text editor, it might not look convenient. To view a .eml file in all of its formatted version, you can use any .eml file viewer available online.

Open EML File

What is a .EML file?

 .EML files incorporate email file attachments as well as email messages with email meta data (information pertinent to the email). File attachments are text encoded and unrecognizable while accessing source files through some standard text viewer.

The .eml extension, aka the format of RFC-822, was created initially in 1982 as a better version for RFC-733 under the ARPA standards associated with e-mail’s rapidly growing usage. It involved simplifying address standards which were not uniformly accepted at that time by the software industry. But, speaking from a purist sense of the term, there is no direct one-to-one association while talking about .eml files as well as RFC-822.

Microsoft made a range of COM modules, which had been used in its creation of Outlook Express, an extremely popular client of early email. Such modules had also been included then in MS Office Suite. Although the RFC is an open standard, Microsoft went astray from the open standard format to create the .pst file where e-mail information was jointly stored in a very structured database. This was probably a proprietary way for the RFC-822 standard as well. This is because in the absence of these modules, reading the e-mail content or that of their attachments was tough, if not entirely impossible.

The fundamental purpose behind the creation of a .eml file is offline file storage while allowing for e-mail content and their messages. This led to an issue for (non-Microsoft) email clients while getting email forwards from Outlook clients. Thus, the non-standard Outlook email forwards arrived as unrecognizable winmail.dat files.

However, in 2001, the 822 standards were enhanced by getting together various improvements to all 822 specifications, leading to the creation of the 2822 – the currently used Internet Message Format.

Since then, several other programs have been creating e-mails with their .eml extension, saving the file as MIME RFC-822 format. EML files incorporate standard file structure using basic ASCII for writing the main message body and the header. The header of the e-mail includes the sender’s address, the receiver’s e-mail address, the subject text, as well as the date and time of sending the message.

The body of the .eml file contains the main message possibly containing embedded attachments and hyperlinks.

How to open .eml Files?

As of now, there are several programs that can be employed for opening and accessing .eml files. The only mandate is that the e-mail client should be RFC-822 compatible or you might have to download an application that has a default setting for opening.eml extension files. There are several specialized email viewing applications available online that render .eml files accessible.

Email clients, like MS Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird, also open individual .eml files.

Your EML files might not open via Outlook Express, even if it is already installed because another program may be using the EML extension instead. You would then need to reset your file compatibilities for Outlook Express. Follow the instructions given below for doing that:

  • Close Outlook Express.
  • Press the Windows key and ‘R’.
  • Outlook Express’s file associations will be reset. Your file should open automatically upon double-clicking.

Check your File’s Extension

Certain users have said that backups made with Windows Live Mail corrupt EML extensions (rendering it *._eml in place of *.eml). If the EML file does not open, check that the extension is in its place. If it is, then rename the EML file with the *._eml extension by removing the _.

Opening the file in a mail client

EML file using Email Client

EML files are emails but stored in a file form. The best way for opening them is by using an email client like Windows Live Mail, Outlook Express, Outlook, or Thunderbird. In the latest versions, even double-clicking on the file name would open it.

  • Upon opening an EML file using an email client, you can download attachments in the file, while viewing the proper pictures and formatting.
  • If you do not have a pre-installed email client, or cannot open files via your email client, then keep reading.


Change your file extension for viewing through the browser

Open EML file using browser

EML files are similar to MHTML files. Changing the EML extension to *.mht can render it accessible to Internet Explorer quickly. While several other browsers can easily open MHT files, Internet Explorer is the only browser that can correctly format them. This method, however, will not enable you to download attachments.

  • First, all hidden enable file extensions. Check the “File name extensions” in Windows 8, using the View tab of your Explorer window. In previous Windows versions, select the Folder Options and open the Control Panel. Select the View tab and untick “Hide extensions”.
  • Choose “Rename” after right-clicking on the file.
  • Remove the .emlextension for replacing it with .mht. Windows might send a prompt warning to you of possible problems. Confirm if you are certain of changing the extension.
  • Open your Internet Explorer file. This is generally the default MHT files program. Then right-click on the file to select the “Open with” option. Choose Internet Explorer to display the MHT file in the EML file virtually in the mail client.

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