Outlook Express and Thunderbird both support the .eml-file format. Somehow Outlook does not.

Is there any way to save mails into into an .eml-file using Outlook (e.g. with the help of a plugin)?

  • 5
    Outlook Express actually has some really cool features that Outlook doesn't. Go figure. – Trevoke Feb 4 '10 at 16:31
  • Outlook (paid version) can save as a .msg file, however. – Michael Paulukonis Oct 22 '15 at 13:29
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    @Michael Paulukonis .msg-files are not .eml-files – Martin Oct 22 '15 at 19:18
  • That's pretty much tautologically self-evident. Outlook (non Express version) can, however, save email messages in a non-.eml format, which bears noting – Michael Paulukonis Oct 22 '15 at 22:20
  • If you have OWA, see @jmiserez answer below for a simple/quick way to save EML format from OWA without a lot of extra steps or software. – Doug Knudsen Sep 18 '19 at 20:46

13 Answers 13


You can either import the messages into Outlook Express and save them as EML files, or use Outlook Extract

OutlookExtract is a tool that helps you to extract your e-mail messages and Attachments contained in MS Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows Mail. You can save the messages as Mime (.eml), Outlook message (.msg), Adobe PDF or as Text / Html Files.

Another option:

Just double click on the message, go up to Save -> Save As and under the file type choose Text .txt .

This is the same as EML format, you can just change the file extension from .txt to .eml

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  • 57
    Saving the mail as a .txt-file is not the same. I will loose almost all header informations by doing this. – Martin Nov 27 '09 at 8:00
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    Why is this marked as the answer if it is wrong? – TheXenocide Sep 23 '11 at 14:07
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    Will not work. And it is a commercial tool. – thims Nov 12 '13 at 17:57
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    Outlook save as .txt will also lose any attachments – BeowulfNode42 Apr 2 '14 at 4:27
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    The second part is wrong - the TXT save only contains the message body – Gert van den Berg Oct 6 '16 at 9:32

Seems like Outlook is lacking this feature. You can save the message as MSG and then convert it to EML. This can be done with the free developer tool called MFCMapi.

  1. Save the message to Outlook Message Format (MSG) via File → Save As…
  2. Download MFCMapi,
    • make sure you use version of MFCMapi matching your OL version (x64 for x64 outlook, x86 for x86 outlook).
  3. Start it, go to Advanced → Import/Export → Convert MSG to EML.
  4. Leave all the fields to default, press OK and choose the MSG file.
  5. Save the EML file to the desired location.
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  • 3
    I know this is old, but you saved my life! I had to get the headers of a few emails and that was the best solution I could find! No installation required, works reliably and above all, it's free and VERY easy to use! Thank you! – Ismael Miguel Apr 22 '15 at 11:07
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    This program does not work with Outlook 2013. (Unsupported API) – Ivan Chau Dec 23 '15 at 4:54
  • It will work with Outlook 2013 if installed with a standard MSI install. It doesn't work if installed with the Office 365 click-to-run installer (mfcmapi3.rssing.com/chan-4275860/all_p36.html#item710) – David Cornish Jan 18 '17 at 22:05
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    Doesn't seem to work with Outlook 2016, I get an error message saying that it will only work with 2013 or newer – Steve Oct 9 '18 at 10:58
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    Didn't worked for me. Used it with Outlook 365, got latest version. Didn't show any error or message, but the EML file was not (saved) in destination folder. – mimo Apr 24 '19 at 12:23

I often need to do this task, so I wrote an online utility to do that.

There are similar tools out there, but they are mostly full of ads and ask you to register first. There are just two steps in mine:

  1. Upload an .msg
  2. Download an .eml

Hope it'll be useful for someone.

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  • 1
    Unfortunately this converts only to plain text .eml. All HTML formatting is missing. – briantist Feb 3 '15 at 20:06
  • @briantist send me an example file please, I'll take a look. – maxt3r Feb 4 '15 at 20:14
  • do you have an email or other method I could send you a file privately? – briantist Feb 4 '15 at 20:31
  • There appears to be another step wherein you have to tweet a link to the converter. Doesn't exactly work for us non-Twitter folks. – Michael - Where's Clay Shirky Sep 12 '16 at 14:41
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    @Michael that was a mistake on our side. Tweeting wasn't supposed to be required. All fixed and now you can use it without tweeting. – maxt3r Sep 26 '16 at 13:59

I happen to have stumbled across this utility that might be a nice free add-on for Outlook http://www.outlookfreeware.com/en/products/all/OutlookMessagesExportEML/

Hope this helps. It really would've been nice if Outlook included this ability and maybe even the ability to export to "mbox" format so we can port it to a Unix mail system.

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  • 3
    This works as the best option for me, aside from writing my own program using Redemption. Most of the answers posting here are not acceptable in the financial world. Forwarding a bank statement to gmail and then viewing source? Seriously? – beeks Mar 5 '15 at 15:23
  • Works with Outlook 2013. – Ivan Chau Jan 1 '16 at 12:57
  • The provided link currently yeilds a server error page (perhaps only temporarily?), but the add-on can be downloaded directly here: outlookfreeware.com/download/OutlookMessagesExportEMLSetup.exe – Doin Nov 19 '16 at 11:36
  • It works, it'll export messages in bulk, and it's FREE. This is the best answer. – Doin Nov 19 '16 at 11:52
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    Not free for use in a commercial environment, and in fact won't run if you're on a domain. – jmiserez Aug 22 '19 at 14:36

Mail Store Home is a program free for home use. It allows you to link a number of email programs (Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, etc) and online email sources (Gmail, yahoo) to the one local Mail database. You run the program and it will access the email from the different locations or program you point it at and consolidate them into a single database. From there you can export the mail to any of the desktop programs. So in other words it will pull the mail from Outlook and export it into, say, Thunderbird for you

It is also a good way of backing up your email from multiple sources and make them searchable. Also an excellent way to back-up (and search) your on-line emails (like Gmail) on your desktop even when not online.

If you are only trying to convert a single email it may be overkill - but it works well

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    This is the best, free, up-to-date tool to achieve email export tasks in the Windows ecosystem. Just came back from an hour of research of various tools/addins/etc. and, seriously, this is it. – joweiser Jan 23 '12 at 15:20

None of the solutions worked with Outlook 2016, but there is a workaround using the OWA Webmail interface:

  1. Open the OWA Webmail view to your list of emails
  2. Click the "New" -> "Email message" button.
  3. Drag the mail you want to export as .eml into the new email body from the sidebar. It will show up as an attachment.
  4. Click the little arrow on the attachment, then "Download" in the menu (see screenshot). enter image description here
  5. You'll get a .eml file called "eml" which will contain the full original email including all headers and attachments.

On older (yellow) versions of the OWA web interface Outlook, you can do the following instead:

  1. Create a new email draft
  2. Drag two (2) mails into the draft
  3. Send the email to yourself
  4. Open the email you just sent and click on the "Download all attachments" button.
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  • 2
    This solution was the fastest and simpliest (no extra software) solution and worked like a charm. Thanks! – Doug Knudsen Sep 18 '19 at 20:43
  1. Send the email to a Hotmail or Outlook.com account
  2. View the Message Source
  3. Save as an .eml file
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  • 2
    This can be applied to other providers too, including gmail. – Malachi Jan 15 '13 at 11:56
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    This will lose the original headers. – Ismael Miguel Apr 22 '15 at 10:00

Bit of a drawn out process, but fairly simple:

Open Outlook and Outlook express on your computer.

In Outlook Express:

  • Select Import > Messages from the File menu.
  • Select Microsoft Outlook from the dialog box and press Next.
  • Select the folder (or all) that you want to convert. Press Next.
  • After importing, press next.
  • Find the imported folder and highlight all the messages - Drag them to a folder and they will be saved as .eml format.


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Outlook Express does not work on anything past XP. One cannot open both Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook and import and export from each other if you have moved beyond XP.

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Let's call this a little "cheat", but it works perfectly (at least in Outlook 2010) and it's very, very easy.

Go to your inbox, select at least one email that you want to export as .eml, right click, and select "Forward". Outlook will open ONE new email, attaching all others as .eml-files. Just send them to you or any other account.

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  • 5
    For me, on Outlook 2010, this just resulted in MSG files being attached, not EML – GrahamMc Feb 14 '13 at 12:57
  • It worked perfectly here with Outlook 2013 – Ángel Sep 16 '15 at 14:18
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    Well it also didn't work for me in Outlook 2013 nor 2016. @Ángel are you sure that the attached mails are in .eml format, NOT in .msg ? – Michaël Polla Oct 8 '15 at 13:03
  • @MichaëlPolla yes. The point was precisely to convert them to eml, the receiver side wasn't even able to open msg files. Perhaps there is a missing step above, like two ways of selecting several mails? In case it matters, the forwarded emails were using plain text (ie. no MIME). – Ángel Oct 8 '15 at 22:06

I got this to work in Gmail UI. Select the dropdown menu on the right of reply and select view original. Then copy paste the content into textpad save as filename.eml and select text file.

I havent figured this out in Outlook 2016 though.

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ZamZar (https://www.zamzar.com/) can do the conversion from .msg to .eml on-line. The site shows ads and they require your email address to deliver the result link into, but conversion works ok.

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You're looking to convert your PST file to EML.

I can't find any free tools to do this, but this seems to do the job, and the demo may or may not get it done.

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