How to locate email headers

What are email headers?

At Online Investigations Pty Ltd, our clients are regularly on the receiving end of nuisance emails whether they be intentionally sent for this reason (such as spam) or for more deceptive reasons such as harassing ‘anonymous’ emails or online scams.

When explaining how email headers work, it is best described as the virtual envelope which a letter (ie email) is sent in.  To send a letter, the envelope must contain the recipients details as well as providing identifying details of the original sender so it can be returned in case it can’t be delivered.  Like postcodes, additional identifiers are also included to further narrow down the location and identity of the two parties involved.  Of course, you can’t read a letter until you’ve opened the envelope, so when you receive an email the headers are automatically hidden from view.

As investigators, if you have received a nuisance email and require our assistance, the first question we ask will be to see a copy of the email headers.  You can’t reuse an envelope once it’s been sent, so this is why you are unable to simply forward the email directly to us for examining – the old headers will be replaced with a completely new ‘envelope‘ addressed from you to us.

To view the headers of an email will depend on the program you use to read your email.  For most people this will be either an online site (such as Yahoo! Gmail or hotmail) or alternatively software such as Microsoft Outlook.

Pick your email program below for more detailed information on finding the headers in your email program:

If you do not see your email program listed above, please contact us so we can add to this list.

Gmail

  1. Open the email you wish to view full headers for
  2. Select the down arrow next to “Reply” from the top-right of the message
  3. From the drop-down menu that appears, select the “Show Original” option:
  4. This will open a new page containing your email with full headers.
  5. This page can be then be copied and pasted into a new email or word document for sending.

Yahoo! Mail

  1. Open the email you wish to view full headers for
  2. From the taskbar above the email, click the circular icon and choose “View Full Header”
  3. The email’s Full Headers will be displayed at the top of your email.
  4. Select the text in the “Internet Headers” box by highlighting the text with your cursor
  5. This page can be then be copied and pasted into a new email or word document for sending.

Hotmail

  1. Open the email you wish to view full headers for
  2. Select the down arrow next to “Reply” from the top-right of the message
  3. From the drop-down menu that appears, select the “View message source” option
4. This will open up a new page containing the Header information.
5. This page can be then be copied and pasted into a new email or word document for sending.

Microsoft Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003, XP and 2007

  1. Open the email which you would like to view the headers for
  2. On the taskbar go to the “options” group of icons and click on the arrow in the bottom right hand corner.
  3. A box labelled “message options” will open.  Select everything contained in the section “Internet headers”: 
  4. Press Control and ‘C’ on your keyboard to copy the text to your computer’s clipboard.
  5. Open a new email, Word document or text file. You can then press Control and ‘V’ to paste the email headers into the new document that you have just created.

Microsoft Outlook 2010

  1. Open your email Inbox
  2. Double-click on the email that you want to view the headers for. The message should open in a new window.
  3. In the new window, select the ‘File’ menu
  4. Select the ‘Properties’ button
  5. A dialog box should be displayed, similar to the one below:
  6. Select the text in the “Internet Headers” box by placing your cursor in that box and pressing Control and ‘A’ on your keyboard. This will select all the text
  7. Press Control and ‘C’ on your keyboard to copy the text to your computer’s clipboard.
  8. Open a new email, Word document or text file. You can then press Control and ‘V’ to paste the email headers into the new document that you have just created.

Microsoft Entourage 2004 and 2008 for Mac OS

  1. In the main Entourage windows, open the email you want to view the headers for
  2. From the ‘View’ menu at the top, select ‘Internet Headers’
  3. A dialog box should be displayed with the full headers of the email.

If you’re having problem, try opening the email in a new window before you go to the ‘View’ menu.

Online Investigations Pty Ltd are a private investigation company based in Melbourne, Australia.  Experienced private investigators and detectives in Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and Worldwide. Servicing Canberra, Sydney, Darwin, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and International.

 

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