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Reading Email Message Headers Using Header Analyzer Tools

Situation When further evaluation of an email is required, the Email Header can provide data to help troubleshoot or pinpoint email issues.
Solution This KB Article will assist you with tools to help diagnose email deliveries. You can trace the emails direct path and sources that can help troubleshoot breakpoints in the emails path. 

How to Get an Email Header

Depending on the client you are using, there are several ways to do this. Below are examples from Outlook and Gmail.


In order to get your Email Header information, you will need to:

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Once it is open, double-click on the email which you need to gather the information from. 
  3. Navigate to File > Properties
  4. Under Internet Headers, select all of the contents in this field and copy the data.
  5. You can then use the data in any of the tools listed below to gather more information on how your email was delivered to your mailbox.

For Microsoft's official KB regarding Message Headers in Outlook: (Updated 11/8/2019)

Message Headers from Google/Gmail

Due to Google's constant changes, we want to ensure that you have accurate information. We would advise you to use Google's Knowledge Base to ensure you have the latest/accurate steps to acquire their email headers. As of 11/8/2019, this is the current article to acquire email headers:

Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer

The Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer includes a Message Analyzer tool. Paste the message headers into the field provided and click Analyze headers to produce the report.

MX Toolbox

MXToolbox also has a section of the website for analyzing message headers. Again simply paste the header information into the field provided and you get a nice, graphical report out of it.

Google Apps Toolbox

Finally, there is the Google Apps Toolbox which includes a Messageheader analyzer tool that has similar functionality to the others.


As you can see, reading email message headers provides you with a lot of very useful information for diagnosing email problems. You can retrieve email messages easily using email clients such as Outlook, and then use any of the third party message header analyzer tools to produce an easy to read report from that message header data.