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How To View Outlook Header

As everybody knows Microsoft Outlook is one most leading email clients used at a business level in many organization. The users share every kind of information in an organization by sending messages to each other. Most of the times users share their organization's important data over MS Outlook. Therefore, when someone receives an email over Outlook, it not only contains content or any attachment but also contains some information in the Email Header. This Outlook header information is very important from the forensic point of view. Therefore, Outlook email header analysis plays a very crucial role in tracking all the details related to a particular email. In the following section, the complete guide to Microsoft Outlook email message header analysis is discussed.

Why To Analyse Outlook Email Header?

The lines of metadata i.e. data about data are included in each email are email headers. They contain lots of important information for forensic investigators. It is basically a special kind of field added by the server automatically known as email header. Therefore, Outlook email header analysis is very helpful because it contains the data such as contact information or route information that can be a part of the evidence in cyber crimes also.

Analyse Outlook email header can play a major role in understanding the route of email messages and identify the email spamming and spoofing. These types of information can easily be traced by the analyzing any manipulation in the headers of senders and receivers. If there is any manipulation or changes present in the email message header then it is clear that there is some manipulation in the email. Therefore, Outlook email header analysis is also considered as major an artifact for a forensic team in investigating a cyber crime.

How To View Email Header In Outlook?

The user of Microsoft Outlook can easily view complete email header that is attached to each email to get detailed information about the received email. As headers are not normally visible to a user in actual email. Therefore, one can read email header in Outlook 2010 and all other versions by following the steps mentioned below:

  • First of all, open MS Outlook application on your system
  • Now, select the message and double click on it for which you want to read email header

View Outlook Message Header

  • After opening the message, go to File tab

Analyse Outlook Message Header

  • Now, in the File tab click on the Properties option

Examine Outlook Message Header

  • You can easily view the email header related to particular message in Internet Header box

Investigate Outlook Message Header

With the help of these manual steps, a user can view easily and read header in Outlook for a particular email. Moreover, forensic investigators can also read these and perform analysis accordingly.

Microsoft Outlook Email Header Analysis

After reading complete header in Outlook there is a need to understand the purpose or significance of each header in the email. Therefore, in this section, a complete email header forensic of Outlook is discussed.

Outlook Message Header

The above figure represents the complete email header list of Microsoft that is attached in an email.

Return-Path: The return-path email header Outlook is mainly used for bounces. It describes the return-path of the message, where the message needs to be delivered or how one can reach to message sender. If the message is not delivered, then the mail server will send the message to the specified email address.

Received: An essential email header in Outlook 2010 or all other versions is received header. It displays the list of all the email server through which message is routed to reach the receiver. Moreover, the best way to analysis this header is read it from bottom to top.

This header also provides the information about the message that is when the message is transferred for example in above header it specifies that it occur on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at 04:56:19 in the morning is Pacific Standard Time that is 8 hours late than UTC (Universal Coordinated Time).

This field also provides IP address of all the sender's mail server, receiver's mail server, and the mail server, through which message is passed from sender to receiver.

Message-ID: There is always a unique message id assigned to each message that refers to a particular version of a particular message. For example:

Message-ID: ""

This message has a unique identifier (number) that is assigned by for identification purpose. It is the unique ID that is always associated with the message.

Date: As it is clear from the name, it specifies the date and time of a particular message that when the message was composed and sent. Moreover, this date and time are totally dependent on the clock of sender's computer.

From: The from email header in Outlook specifies the name of the sender and the email address of the sender. This header can easily be forged, therefore it is least reliable. For example:

From: "Microsoft Outlook" ""

It specifies that message was sent by Microsoft Outlook from the email address

To: The "to" field in the Outlook email header normally specifies the name of the receiver or we can say that to whom message was sent.

Subject: This header field normally displays the subject of the email message which is specified by the sender of the email.

MIME Version: MIME is basically a Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension is an internet standard. Its role is to extend the email message format. It also describes the version of MIME protocol that sender was using at that time. It is also an important email header in Outlook.

Content-Type: It is an additional MIME header that tells the type of content to expect in the message with the help of MIME-compliant e-mail programs. It also displays the format of the message like HTML, XML and plain text.


As everybody knows the email header analysis plays a major role in investigating any cyber crime. If email header in Outlook analysis properly then it can becomes an important evidence for any cyber case. Outlook email header analyzer offers Email Search Tool to find anything within Outlook emails. Therefore, in this post, we have discussed a complete forensic of Microsoft Outlook email header in detail and make a user clear about the how to view Outlook header and what is the significance of each header in it.