Knowledge Base

How to export an email message to the MSG and EML format

Problem:

You would like to save an email as an .eml or .msg file.

Solution:

In this article you will find out about the most common email formats and learn how to export your messages.

About email file formats

MSG is a proprietary file format used by Microsoft to store individual email messages and other single items (tasks, meetings, appointments, contacts, etc.) outside of Outlook. This format is compatible with any version of Outlook for Windows.

EML is a standard used by a variety of email clients. This format is similar to a text file, and you can open it in any text editor (such as Notepad). This allows you to convert a .txt file into an .eml file if your email client does not export emails directly into .eml. You can use this format to export emails in Office 365 or many other email clients, for example Gmail.

How to save a message from Outlook for Windows as an .msg file

There are two ways to save an email as an .msg file if you're using a desktop version of Outlook for Windows:

  • On the message list, select an email and drop it to a local folder or desktop. A new MSG file will be created (Fig. 1.).

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Fig. 1. An email saved on a local drive in an .msg format.

or

  • Select an email on the message list, click the File menu and choose the Save as option. The Save As dialog box will open. Point to the desired folder and choose Outlook message format or Outlook message format - Unicode from the file type drop-down menu (Fig. 2.).

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Fig. 2. Choosing a file format for the exported email.

Info

The current versions of Outlook for Windows don't have an option to save an email as an .eml file. Refer to the section below to learn how to do this in Outlook on the web (OWA) or Gmail.

Alternatively, if your mailbox is on Exchange, you can use a third-party tool such as MFCMAPI to export emails to .eml. Learn how to import or export mailbox items via MFCMAPI

How to save a message as an .eml file

    In Outlook on the web (Office 365)

    To export an email from Outlook on the web (OWA) to the EML format, you need to:

    1. Click New message.
    2. On the message list, select an email you want to export and drop it onto the body of the new email. This will attach the email as an .eml file to the new message, as shown in Fig. 3.
    3. Click the down-arrow button on the attachment and click Download (Fig. 3.) to save the .eml file on your local drive. 

    Saving an EML email file attached to a new message in Outlook on the web.
    Fig. 3. Saving an EML email file attached to a new message in Outlook on the web. 

    In Gmail

    To export an email from Gmail to the EML format, you need to:

    1. Open the email message you would like to export.
    2. From the message menu, choose Show original (Fig. 4.).

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    Fig. 4. Locating the Show original option in Gmail.

    1. This will open the full message as a text document in a separate window. Click Download Original (Fig. 5.).

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    Fig. 5. Downloading an email from Gmail to a local drive.

    1. In the Save as window, select a download location, name the file the way you want, and click Save (Fig. 6.). Your email is now exported to the EML format.

    Saving email exported from Gmail as an EML file.
    Fig. 6. Saving email exported from Gmail as an EML file.

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