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Reading message headers in Outlook

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Phishing and other e-mail scams are on the increase. One of the best ways to identify fraudulent emails is to check the email header for detailed information about the sender. This is how it works in Outlook:

Outlook itself provides a basic view of the email headers. If that's not enough, there's a free add-in that breaks down the headlines to give you a more human view. We will also deal with it.

Outlook's Basic Header View

To get a basic header view for an email, open the email in Outlook and click File> Properties.

 Outlook's Properties button for a single email.

In the following Properties window, the header is displayed in the "Internet Headers" text box below.

 The E-Mail Properties window with the [19659003] This text box is not very large. We therefore recommend selecting the entire text and copying it into the desired text editor to make it more visible.

However, the header information consists of a large block of text. This is not easy to read, especially if you do not read headlines often. For a more useful view, there is a free add-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 the following before processing. The installation process is fairly straightforward, and the add-ins have been validated by Microsoft so they can be safely used.

And if you install the add-in on the desktop client, we'll show you the add-in will also be automatically added to the Outlook Web App. That way, you can also use it if you're signed in to Outlook in a browser.

First, open Outlook and click Start> Get Add-ins.

 The Home tab with the

In the search field, enter "Message Header" in the upper right corner and select the "Header Analysis" add-in.

 The add-ins 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" button at the top right to close the window.

If you selected an email in Outlook, the Show Headers button appears in the menu bar.

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

  • Summary: Information ( This is the default tab when you open the add-in.)
  • Received: Information about where the message was received and when.
  • Antispam: Microsoft Exchange Online Protection information, Antispam scan of the email.
  • Other: All other header elements are divided into individual blocks.


If there are suitable web pages related to an item the Message Header Analyzer provides a link to the This includes links to the exact sections in the e-mail specification (eg. Authentication results) and Microsoft information about the anti-spam items added to emails sent through Exchange.

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