ITS

Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

Show Email Headers

An email message has two parts - the header and the message body. The header is made up of control information, most of which is usually hidden by your email client. This information is essential when trying to diagnose an issue with electronic mail.

If you are asked to provide a copy of an email to the IT Support Centre or someone else within IT Services (or any other support organization) you should provide the complete header information, and, depending on the content of the message, potentially the message body.  You can do this by saving the message and attaching it to your IT Support ticket, or, if you are using the Office 365 web client, you can drag the email into a reply to the IT Support ticket and the message (with headers) will be attached.

If you do not have an IT Support Centre ticket, you can submit an online help form and paste the header information into it by following the instructions below. 

The process for viewing the headers will depend on which email client you are using and may depend on the specific version you are using. To view the full headers you may need to scroll down the screen.  You should see lines including "Received" and "Message-id."  If you do not see these lines, try again.


Outlook on the web

  1. Log in to Outlook on the web, https://outlook.com/queensu.ca
  2. Right click the message you want to get the headers from.
  3. Select View Message Details.
  4. Select all the text displayed (ctrl + A).
  5. Copy the selected text (ctrl + C).
  6. Paste the text as required (ctrl + V).
  7. If you are sending the headers to the IT Support Centre, open the email you received with the specifics of your issue.
    • Paste the copied header text into your e-mail.
    • Paste the text of the message (if requested) below the header information.
    • Send this message to the IT Support Centre. 

Outlook for PC

Applies to Outlook for Office 365, 2016, 2013, or 2010 on a PC.  For earlier versions or additional information, refer to: View internet message headers

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Open the message you want to see the full headers for.
  3. Click the File menu and select Info.
  4. Click the Properties button.
  5. The Message Options screen will open.
    • The full headers will be displayed in the Internet headers: box 
    • Right click within the Internet Headers: box and choose Select All.
    • Right click again and select Copy.
  6. If you are sending the headers to the IT Support Centre, open the email you received with the specifics of your issue.
    • Paste the copied header text into the area indicated by the enter your reply above this line.
    • Paste the text of the message (if requested) below the header information.
    • Send this message to the IT Support Centre. 

Outlook for Mac (current version)

  1. Right click on the message you'd like to view the header of.
  2. Select View Source.
  3. This will open up a Text edit file of the message header.
  4. Copy and paste whatever you need.

Mac Mail

  1. Start Mac Mail and open the message you want to display the headers for.
    • From the View menu in the tool bar select Message.
    • Then select All Headers.
  2. Your email headers will be expanded to show your full headers. 
    • Using your mouse, select all the header text and copy it.
    • Open the email message you received from the IT Support Centre with the specifics of your issue.
    • Paste the copied header text into the area indicated by the enter your reply above this line.
    • Paste the text of the message (if requested) below the header information
    • Send this message to the IT Support Centre. 

Last Updated:  May 2, 2019