Title pretty self explanatory.

In Windows 7, i was using Outlook and .eml files were automatically associated with Outlook and opened properly.

With Windows 8, they are not associated, and i tried saying "Open with" and pointing to the Windows 8 Mail program, but to no avail.

Can anyone help? I'd rather not use an external program to do this.

7 Answers 7


Change the filename extension from EML to MHT, then try to open it in Internet Explorer. These extensions represent the same format.

  • In this case attachments are not available
    – Sergey
    Mar 12, 2014 at 7:46

My suggestion is NOT related to Windows Mail application at all, but in case anyone else finds this topic looking for just a tiny little program (~236 KB) for free just to view the contents of an .eml file without having to install an unnecessarily large application like myself, I would suggest using ceml:


  • Though the "Input path" in the screenshot might suggest otherwise, this also works when double-clicking an .eml file, which just opens a single message view. Nice.
    – Arjan
    Apr 3, 2014 at 10:30

I managed to use Outlook 2007 to open .eml files on Windows 8 as follows:

  1. Install Windows Live Essentials mail component for .eml
  2. Change the default value for the registry key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WindowsLiveMail.Email.1\shell\open\command to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE" /eml "%1"

That's it. If anyone knows an easier way without installing Windows Live Essentials first please post it here, I haven't found it. You might wonder why I'm still using Outlook 2007? Well, that's not up to me. I hope this is useful for people using the same combination.


To open an .eml with Microsoft Word: File > Open, navigate to the .eml file, choose all files (*.*) and then open the .eml file.


I tried also, seems the Windows Mail for W8 is an app and will not run by executing the application from the program folder, will only run from the Start Screen.

All I can suggest is to install Windows Live Mail (part of Windows Live Essentials), then you will be able to open .eml files using that program.

I did a test install on my windows 8 RTM PC, I had an older version of live essentials 2011 (version 15.4.3502) which I prefer over the newer versions.

It installed and associated .eml files automatically and then could open them by double clicking the .eml file.

If I find a way to open them using W8 Mail, I will edit this post.


I agree, Win8 Live Mail should do the trick for you. Alternatively, to open just a few eml's you can use the online viewer at http://www.encryptomatic.com/viewer.


You may find this very useful:


I'm using it on Windows 8.1. My emails were on Windows Mail and Vista.

Pros: You can also view attachments and images. View your email in different formats (Normal, HTML, Hex, MIME, etc.). Useful for someone with a lot of emails. And it's free!

Cons: You have to tell Windows that you allow the program to make changes to your computer when you first open it and you have to search for your emails to view them.

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