I'm using gmvault to backup all my gmail messages which leaves me with a folder full of .eml files.

I know I can open these in Opera/Firefox/IE etc if I change the extension to .mht, but I'd like to be able to just double click and open them in Opera etc without changing the extension

Anyone know if this is possible?

I've tried changing the default handler for .eml files to Opera, but it when it launches it just downloads the file.


I found a solution to this problem a few days ago and wrote a tutorial about it. As many Windows users will know if we used the Windows Live Mail program we could preview saved emails with the extension (.eml) directly from within the Windows Explorer Preview Pane. Unfortunately if like many you stopped using that program you can no longer preview these kinds of files and have to open them one by one in another email program such as the Windows 10 Mail app which isn't always practical, especially if you have a folder full of saved emails to preview.

Fortunately I stumbled upon a useful tool which allows the user to re-associate the .eml file extension back to the Context Menu Handlers, thus allowing previewing of emails with the .eml file extension directly from within the Windows Explorer window.


You can read my tutorial here: [Tip] How to Enable .eml (Email) File Previews in Windows 10 Explorer

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  • You're welcome! I know it doesn't address your original question exactly but it's a good alternative solution ;) – Slinky Grafix Jul 6 '18 at 13:43

I have Win 10 + Chrome 71.0.3578.98 64-bit Chrome opens eml file without any trouble.

I can set up chrome as default app for .eml files by standard "Open with -> Choose another app" mechanism.

Before associating extension and app I could easily open the file by dropping it onto a Chrome page.

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Right-click on an EML file ans select Open with >. Click on Select another app. Pick the specific browser; you may have to search for it if it is not in the list. Check Always use this app to open .eml files and click OK.

Viola! The file should play in your browser. ["Voila", if not using Vivaldi]

Selecting default app

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  • 2
    as I stated in the question, I've already tried this and it does not work. I'm trying to open the file in the browser not an email client as you've shown in this screenshot. when you do this and choose, for example, opera, the file is just downloaded locally - not opened – roryok May 19 '17 at 9:40
  • Sounds like that's an Opera setting. Check the default hgandling of .EML in Opera. – DrMoishe Pippik May 19 '17 at 15:36

One thing I found when researching this same issue, is that the problem is with Gmail's preview app like you noticed.

By changing the file extension only, from .eml to others, Gmail handles the file in different ways.

.eml - Forces you to download the file .msg - Forces you to download or connect third party app .doc - Will not open it and asks you to connect another app .mht - Will not open and it asks you to connect another app .txt - Opens in preview, headers are present .xml - Opens in preview and handles things a little better, headers are still present

So the best thing I found is to just make sure the email comes over as an xml file.

Hope this helps you.

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