Is there an application or plug-in that allows viewing .eml E-Mail dumps (that may contain HTML and attachments) in Windows 7's preview pane?

I'm aware of the possibility of adding the file type in the registry but that will give only a plain-text view of the files, not a parsed view.

HTML viewing is a must for what I need, attachments are optional.

Is there some top-notch E-Mail client that introduces this functionality?

Is there a generic way of doing this?


On my Vista x32 the preview of .eml files works fine in Windows Explorer.

In my case, this may be because the .eml file-type is associated with Thunderbird version 2.

If the Preview pane doesn't show for your folder, you will have to customize its type.

If you are using Windows 64-bit and have installed Thunderbird 32-bit, then you should know that you have two versions of Explorer : 32-bit and 64-bit. By default, you use of course the 64-bit version, while Thunderbird 32-bit has installed its handler into the 32-bit version of Explorer. If you cannot find a 64-bit version of Thunderbird, the 32-bit Explorer can be invoked by the following :

%Systemroot%\SysWOW64\explorer.exe /separate

If the Thunderbird installation worked correctly, you may find that it can display .eml files.

  • 1
    Interesting, my eml is supposed to be associated with Thunderbird as well! I will double-check whether something is wrong with that. – Pekka Jan 13 '11 at 10:41
  • Are you on Windows 64-bits ? – harrymc Jan 13 '11 at 12:20
  • @harrymc yes, I am. Aha! Is that the reason why it doesn't work for me? Looks likely. Off to install the 64-bit version. – Pekka Jan 18 '11 at 16:47
  • There is only an unofficial 64 bit binary for Thunderbird. I don't want to put that on top of my current (working) install. I will try this out on a different machine later. As I think it is highly likely this is the reason why it doesn't work for me, I'll award the bounty. Cheers! – Pekka Jan 18 '11 at 16:53
  • Thanks for the bounty, and I have added some more info above. – harrymc Jan 18 '11 at 19:59

I don't know about a plug in, but have a look at this software


  • 2
    "standalone utility" – harrymc Jan 13 '11 at 8:54

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