This question has already been asked here; but the answer only gives advice on how to view the email header not the actual html source of the email.

There is another question here, which I think may be caused by the same issue as mine, but does not have a satisfactory answer (the answer does not work for the person who posted the question)

If I right click on the bottom of an email I can see the option to 'view source' but when I select it nothing happens.

I have done a bit of research and came across a post for a much earlier version of Outlook that suggested adding something into the registry. I applied this advice, but it made no difference; but I'm pretty sure that applying this solution correctly for my circumstances will do the trick. When I first received this machine it had a demo version of UltraEdit installed. I uninstalled UltraEdit and installed Notepad++ instead. I am convinced that there is a registry entry that is pointing to UltraEdit as the default view for 'view source' in my email and I need to replace this entry with a reference to Notepad or Notepad++, but I don't know how to do this.

Any suggestions?


11 Answers 11


Open the email on the Message Ribbon and go to Move > Actions > Other Actions > View Source


It invokes Notepad and shows the full html source.

  • It doesn't work for me :-( See what I have added about a missing reference in my registry above. Mar 16, 2012 at 8:46
  • 1
    What application do you have associated with .htm & .html files in Windows? Do both filetypes open up properly when opened via Explorer?
    – Lunatik
    Mar 16, 2012 at 9:36
  • 1
    They were both set to Chrome and I have changed them both to Notepad++ Both open fine in Notepad++ when doubleclicked Mar 16, 2012 at 10:37
  • I still can't find anything in Outlook anymore.. ribbon search should be available by default as it is in chrome's chrome://settings/ page. Nov 23, 2015 at 18:14
  • You have to double click and open email or not actions menu will be visible stackoverflow.com/a/69681119/10634638
    – estinamir
    May 5, 2022 at 14:00

Double click on the mail, this will open it in a new window.

After that, then click on File > Properties. You will be able to see the header information from there.

For the "view source", right clicking on mails that have a source will by default open it in notepad.

For mails that aren't formatted (in HTML etc), the "view source" option will be greyed out.

  • This was perfect. Excellent answer.
    – Mully
    Aug 28, 2014 at 18:33

In 2010 you do the following: (step ONE is very important)

  1. Open the email...

    ( do NOT try to add the command at the top level of outlook, it will NOT show "view Source")

  2. Right Click the ribbon -> Customize Ribbon

  3. Select All Commands (since you are on an email, the "view source" will show)

  4. Select "View Source" in and drop it in a new Group.

  • 2
    I had to create a custom group, and then I was able to add "View Source." Oct 13, 2015 at 23:42
  • 1
    in German/Deutsch: "Menüband anpassen" => "Quelltext anzeigen" (in new custom group) Jun 13, 2016 at 7:22
  • 1
    "Code anzeigen" (German - show code) or "Quelltext anzeigen" (show source) can be added to the ribbon, but they are always deactivated :-((( (Office 14?) Jun 13, 2016 at 7:44

Best option if you need to do this more then once. Click File > Options > Quick Access Toolbar > Choose commands from "All Commands", In the list, find View Source, Add it and click OK

Now you have an icon to always view the source no matter what kind of email.

If the icon is grey-ed out, it means the email type is txt and has no source. Found in http://www.outlook-tips.net/tips/view-message-source-outlook/

  • 4
    There is no "View Source" to add.
    – nshew13
    Feb 26, 2013 at 17:55
  • @N13, did you select "All Commands" from the drop down? It defaults to popular actions
    – jsims281
    Nov 27, 2013 at 10:39
  • 1
    same here - no "view source" even when "all" is selected
    – webwesen
    Feb 11, 2014 at 17:44
  • Worked for me where the other right-click options didn't
    – pelms
    Apr 29, 2014 at 12:03
  • 1
    @N13 You only get the "view source" option on emails that have been sent, not ones you are composing.
    – user115383
    May 23, 2014 at 7:13

I have this issue also. I am sure headers and source were available for most (if not all) messages I received when running Outlook 2007, now it seems to be the exception to the rule.

I have found http://email.about.com/od/outlooktips/qt/How_to_View_the_Complete_Message_Source_in_Outlook.htm that I have only just implemented, so can't say for sure if it will solve the issue for new e-mails.

There is also this interesting article, that while I also haven't been able to verify, might help someone else finding this page. It seems that depending on where you right click in message contents (A method in 2010 to view the source) matters as to whether you get the option to view source, in HTML messages - http://www.outlook-tips.net/tips/view-message-source-outlook/

  • 2
    That article explains just how picky the right-click can be, and why seeing a "View Source" depends on where you click.
    – nshew13
    Feb 26, 2013 at 18:02

I am using Outlook 2010 for MAC and right clicking (or control clicking) on the email from the inbox list (not the actual email itself) gives me a view source option

  • That works for me as well (in Outlook 2011). I searched everywhere in the other menus to no avail.
    – neu242
    Nov 24, 2014 at 7:01

Be sure to double click on the message to open it separately and that you are not looking at it in the preview pane. If you single click and the message shows below or to the right of the email list you are in the preview pane. You cannot select view source in the preview pane. Once you have opened it separately, you should be able to select view source. I had this problem and solved by opening the email and not just previewing it.


In the latest version of Outlook you right click in the email and choose: view source.


For plain text mail, it is impossible to "view source" and hence view source option is greyed out.

To get full header and source for plain text mail, convert to eml file by using third-party tools such as Super User: OutlookMessagesExportEML.


The easiest & ONLY way for me on my #Mac using #Outlook.

Right Click on the Email Directly in the middle column.

This is the only location I found it, there is no option menu to add or select from. I am also unable to customize the ribbon.

I hope this helps.

Right Click on the Email Directly in the middle column.


There is a command view source... in outlook 2010 (office home and business) version

Click the ribbon --> add commands ---> more commands --> all commands --> view source...

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