I have received a .msg file as an attachment from a coworker. I am using OS X and there are no default programs to open the file. Does anyone know how I can open a .msg file on my Mac?

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    ".msg" is unfortunately not very well-defined. You seem to be asking about Microsoft's ".msg" file format which is what Outlook produces when you drag a message to your desktop, for example. There are other files with a ".msg" extension which contain completely a different format. People who came here because they googled "msg" should understand this. If you are lucky, you are dealing with what is also called RFC822 format. If you are less lucky, what you have is some legacy format which is even less documented and/or useful than Microsoft's.
    – tripleee
    May 13, 2019 at 12:19
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    (For what it's worth, the Outlook ".msg" format is now ostensibly documented by Microsoft.)
    – tripleee
    May 13, 2019 at 12:20
  • Related: ms office - Opening .msg file in Outlook for Mac 2011 - Ask Different (active six months ago) Dec 6, 2020 at 11:08
  • 7 Ways To Open Outlook MSG Files On Mac (2020) Dec 6, 2020 at 11:46
  • msg2txt - Extract .msg file (Outlook mail file) to a text file. Attachments file can also be expanded. Compatible with macOS / Linux / Windows. Let's try! github.com/YujiSoftware/msg2txt Aug 9, 2021 at 15:19

7 Answers 7


I can recommend the free Java program MSG Viewer, available from Sourceforge.

Msg Viewer is an e-mail-viewer utility for msg e-mail messages, implemented in pure Java. It works on Windows/Linux/Mac platforms. It also provides a Java API to read msg files programmatically.

  • 2
    Please read How do I recommend software for some tips as to how you should go about recommending software. At the very least you should provide more than just a link, for example some additional information about the software itself, for example how it can be used to solve the problem in the question.
    – DavidPostill
    Jul 13, 2015 at 15:24
  • Thank you. I tried it, and even if not perfect, it worked good enough for when I had to open a .msg file.
    – rob
    Jan 23, 2018 at 9:39
  • Worked perfectly, I was able to open the attached PDF from the msg file for free. Thank you !
    – ZedTuX
    Aug 15, 2018 at 9:57
  • Here's a forked version on github: github.com/lolo101/MsgViewer Aug 17, 2023 at 11:21

Many solutions exists, but the simplest I found if you have outlook account is:

  1. Open your outlook online inbox: https://outlook.office.com/.

  2. Attach your .msg file on a draft message.

  3. Click to open it using your browser.

That's it.

Hope this still helps !

  • 1
    This should be the accepted answer.
    – Mark Meuer
    Nov 22, 2021 at 19:38
  • Best answer for people who want to do that once in a year or less.
    – Mateng
    Jan 19, 2023 at 10:44

Outlook for Mac unfortunately cannot read these messages, it seems.

MailRaider is a program that should be able to read those files just fine. It's available for $1.99 on the App Store. It used to be free, so you might find old versions somewhere.

Are you a Switcher? Have you got old e-mails archived somewhere? Have you ever wished that your Mac could read your old Microsoft™ Outlook .msg files? If so, MailRaider could be just what you need.

It should be able to read the files and even save attachments.

Here's a caveat about files that don't originate from Outlook:

Sadly, there are many other programs out there which use the .msg file extension. If your .msg file wasn’t written by Microsoft Outlook then MailRaider won’t be able to read it. If you’re able to open the content in an editor like TextEdit then it may be that the file will open happily in Apple Mail if you just change the extension to .eml.

Other applications you could try include Klammer (non-free).

  • MailRaider is no longer free : "The standard version is available for a small sum of money on the Mac App Store" 45rpmsoftware.com/mailraider.php
    – brian
    Apr 22, 2014 at 16:05
  • @bluevoodoo1 Thank you for the notice. I updated my post.
    – slhck
    Apr 22, 2014 at 16:44
  • FYI Microsoft outlook for Mac, cannot read msg files - at least until now.
    – gred
    Oct 16, 2014 at 15:29
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    @gred Bummer. Thanks for the info; I've removed that statement.
    – slhck
    Oct 16, 2014 at 15:34

Another free and cross-platform tool for extracting the contents of an Outlook msg file from the command line is msg-extractor. It requires Python3 and couple of other Python modules. To extract the contents of a file:

python -m extract_msg example.msg


If you're a Mac user with an Exchange account at your business, or Outlook.com (or whatever they call it these days) account online, the easiest thing to do is probably send yourself a message with the .msg file attached to it. In your webmail interface, you can view that attachment as a message.

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    This does not work for me. When I click on the attachment, it just downloads it and I am back to square one. Any tricks on how to make Outlook Web Access try to read it instead?
    – Markku K.
    Oct 7, 2019 at 21:31

There is a free tool online called MessageViewer Online provided by a company named Encryptomatic which seems to work OK: https://www.encryptomatic.com/viewer/

I used it successfully a single time in October 2016. You click the button "Choose file" and then click the button "View".

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    Can you expand your answer a bit? Good guidance on recommending software here: meta.superuser.com/questions/5329/…. Thanks.
    – fixer1234
    Oct 20, 2016 at 4:34
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    This is a SaaS product, so if it goes online it's likely to be gone. But that doesn't make it invalid, of course. I really don't think a description really provides much, if any, value in this case (the company's name is in the URL), but I added something anyway. If it was either of you who voted to delete the answer (rather than, say, editing it), then I'm ashamed and embarrassed for you on your behalf, as Stackexchange is about community-driven solutions. If you feel strongly, edit answers rather than deleting.
    – Ben Creasy
    Oct 21, 2016 at 5:57
  • Keeps all the Outlook formatting which is great; unlike some other viewers.
    – pelms
    Apr 19, 2017 at 13:00

MailRaider Pro works well - it costs a small amount, but you can get it on the app store or on the 45RPMSoftware website. The version on the 45RPMSoftware website also works as a demo (it won't open your entire email, and it won't extract all your attachments til you've paid for it.)

The developer is very helpful, responding quickly to emails (but the help forum on the website doesn't seem to work at the moment).

Website - MailRaider

Youtube tutorial - Youtube tutorial

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