How do I view full email headers on popular email clients to use for troubleshooting?

Last updated: 2021-06-21

I want to see the full email headers of emails exchanged between Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) and my receiving mail server. How do I view full email headers?

Short description

Emails exchanged between Amazon SES and a receiving mail server contain email headers. These headers provide detailed information about an email, including:

  • Sender and recipient details
  • Authentication results
  • The network path taken by the email between the sender and receiver

Header fields that are most commonly shown in an email client include:

  • From: Sender’s name and email
  • To: Recipient’s name and email
  • Date: Sent date/time of the email
  • Subject: Subject line that was entered by the sender

However, sometimes details found only in the full email headers are required in order to perform advanced auditing or troubleshooting tasks. For example:

  • Message ID value
  • Sender/recipient details
  • Network path
  • Authentication results (SPF/DKIM/DMARC)

Full email headers look similar to the following example:

Delivered-To: hello@examplerecipient.com
Received: by 2002:a17:907:104f:0:0:0:0 with SMTP id oy15csp1032604ejb;
        Fri, 30 Apr 2021 20:39:47 -0700 (PDT)
X-Google-Smtp-Source: ABdhPJzh1mAfg8ADsMqkmtRwbDilz3ii9Lsgjk2P2Cn0t3F1dn93MTB1gEQY0WeqB8cUwgpkmj4b
X-Received: by 2002:a37:744:: with SMTP id 65mr8623779qkh.393.1619840386902;
        Fri, 30 Apr 2021 20:39:46 -0700 (PDT)
ARC-Seal: i=1; a=rsa-sha256; t=1619840386; cv=none;
        d=examplerecipientdomain.com; s=arc-20160816;
        b=PMSOJmkrw1P59egAibf1euOjQM0JQ2n8pk00+uvlk7CV9zuCZEFglG3w+LVMlw0wAZ
         XtQ6T5bO4YyeqrDCqFcleBnnvfTuFRaup4+J62CWiVI7R/k+4q0PPdik8TIdDMxATc/g
         qQKgr5HZGhu1zm8n5oY1B0yg4JpjOGVIxOjc9dB/15ix2tQrPVxoHQPMHYVofPtY5BeN
         G0LpjCXCrmqwCCsGS2mgJ0eEg9vFV9UUIdtTBr+6CPV+V45wIgOYkGMLuHhzalXKZXbh
         w7fm+nne7x9LclK9xvtHW1CajBZeD+bNMD3exqVYNbf2lJ36V1mDJ0uIvq1x5u2i14pL
         7KAQ==
ARC-Message-Signature: i=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=examplerecipientdomain.com; s=arc-20160816;
        h=feedback-id:date:message-id:content-transfer-encoding:mime-version
         :subject:to:from:dkim-signature:dkim-signature;
        bh=VOs4y6gu8JLAPLN/Bq4M9b94CryYOzlLzn92GcncOkw=;
        b=ztAEAfTEQ6yLnV/Q4gUYIOUFAhy8zW2LRziT1YosBxayEsTQhdDR3nThK1P75aui7w
         RPg73Of+uwqjAoQXf7ZlHWKfrlCre+8CresaKAzFw8FLpI1xac4dgcoFwH9whJ4jxs1c
         N9AWmeRjEhspATIUxYkcJ8+OsUG/2TDPQu3k93cRO8NhCCD2sz6WiN/Cl64Rk6CBwsse
         ipZl6qZRo2dNravnsN2jXxUdABSUrTsKKSI/4Q8Gw2preRKRrpWBqyPFYswizDewQXuI
         f8twJZVfSdHoA8XwrKcVAfUxcpCryGYaeo9sHlheXbBf3I2kNWVHnvM8fyPs4VJAbudH
         ayoQ==
ARC-Authentication-Results: i=1; mx.examplerecipient.com;
       dkim=pass header.i=@examplesender.com header.s=qk6bvwgtoedeefsxxzx7zyh756x7pud2 header.b=eRCWqyY+;
       dkim=pass header.i=@amazonses.com header.s=ug7nbtf4gccmlpwj322ax3p6ow6yfsug header.b=VUA6FdBW;
       spf=neutral (examplerecipientdomain.com: 54.240.48.95 is neither permitted nor denied by best guess record for domain of 010001792602c3fc-SaMpLe-a4fc-4135-bc5a-b9fcaba8d509-000000@custommailfromdomain.examplesender.com) smtp.mailfrom=010001792602c3fc-SaMpLe-a4fc-4135-bc5a-b9fcaba8d509-000000@custommailfromdomain.examplesender.com
Return-Path: <010001792602c3fc-SaMpLe-a4fc-4135-bc5a-b9fcaba8d509-000000@custommailfromdomain.examplesender.com>
Received: from a48-95.smtp-out.amazonses.com (a48-95.smtp-out.amazonses.com. [54.240.48.95])
        by mx.examplerecipient.com with ESMTPS id c21si2902247qkj.313.2021.04.30.20.39.46
        for <hello@examplerecipient.com>
        (version=TLS1_2 cipher=ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-SHA bits=128/128);
        Fri, 30 Apr 2021 20:39:46 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: neutral (examplerecipientdomain.com: 54.240.48.95 is neither permitted nor denied by best guess record for domain of 010001792602c3fc-SaMpLe-a4fc-4135-bc5a-b9fcaba8d509-000000@custommailfromdomain.examplesender.com) client-ip=54.240.48.95;
Authentication-Results: mx.examplerecipient.com;
       dkim=pass header.i=@examplesender.com header.s=qk6bvwgtoedeefsxxzx7zyh756x7pud2 header.b=eRCWqyY+;
       dkim=pass header.i=@amazonses.com header.s=ug7nbtf4gccmlpwj322ax3p6ow6yfsug header.b=VUA6FdBW;
       spf=neutral (examplerecipientdomain.com: 54.240.48.95 is neither permitted nor denied by best guess record for domain of 010001792602c3fc-SaMpLe-a4fc-4135-bc5a-b9fcaba8d509-000000@custommailfromdomain.examplesender.com) smtp.mailfrom=010001792602c3fc-SaMpLe-a4fc-4135-bc5a-b9fcaba8d509-000000@custommailfromdomain.examplesender.com
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; q=dns/txt; c=relaxed/simple; s=qk6bvwgtoedeefsxxzx7zyh756x7pud2; d=examplesender.com; t=1619840386; h=From:To:Subject:MIME-Version:Content-Type:Content-Transfer-Encoding:Message-ID:Date; bh=VOs4y6gu8JLAPLN/Bq4M9b94CryYOzlLzn92GcncOkw=; b=eRCWqyY+fg2dyuk0+vz+RATrOd6MxysLa6SS13u014Y5liKanL+SoWNhCeWBU1z2 vcVUnS7VNSF04+Cn1f0KssOyec9y/dlFN50upm59kyCc5bYQrDnSuRdDjDYMNd6tHfP OXbsl9SF2qR83+6zNOOY8LzbL7oCe8cXPoK4bL9s=
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; q=dns/txt; c=relaxed/simple; s=ug7nbtf4gccmlpwj322ax3p6ow6yfsug; d=amazonses.com; t=1619840386; h=From:To:Subject:MIME-Version:Content-Type:Content-Transfer-Encoding:Message-ID:Date:Feedback-ID; bh=VOs4y6gu8JLAPLN/Bq4M9b94CryYOzlLzn92GcncOkw=; b=VUA6FdBWX2t78RPPo5T+VBhLY7ykrrk6Cvf3ye9OLHiKFtA+ZhZ7wUKoC85MaO4L +Ng+q7StDqYv2L7FKvoL2aUUMFAZcYOgzoXneO8enu8/5nRecowZdRfe0gMM3f5aL2R AJQYwmwHbCj7hNmHN/0tKhVRynIEdEnkKoe2Qook=
From: hello@examplesender.com
To: hello@examplerecipient.com
Subject: SES
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Message-ID: <010001792602c3fc-SaMpLe-a4fc-4135-bc5a-b9fcaba8d509-000000@email.amazonses.com>
Date: Sat, 1 May 2021 03:39:46 +0000
Feedback-ID: 1.us-east-1.27emrSSn5f4pRLShWT3CyWg+hDbDkwgJZdVmQ6/qxx8=:AmazonSES
X-SES-Outgoing: 2021.05.01-54.240.48.95

Hi there, this message is sent using SES.

Resolution

To view the full email headers of an email, follow the steps for the email client that you use.

Microsoft Outlook 2016, 2013, or 2010

  1. Double-click the email that you want to view headers for so that it opens in a full window.
  2. Choose File, and then choose Properties.
  3. View the message header in the Internet headers field at the bottom of the Properties window.

Apple Mail

  1. Open the email that you want to view headers for.
  2. From the menu, choose View, Message, Raw Source.
  3. The full message appears with email headers in a pop-up window.

Mozilla Thunderbird

  1. Choose the email that you want to view headers for from the reading pane to open it in a new tab or window.
  2. From the menu, choose View, Message Source.
  3. The full message appears with email headers in a pop-up window.

Gmail

  1. Open the email that you want to view headers for.
  2. Choose the More menu, and then choose Show original.
  3. A new tab opens which includes the full message with email headers.

Hotmail (Outlook.com)

  1. From your outlook.com inbox, without opening the email, open the context (right-click) menu for the email, and then choose View, View message source.
  2. The full message appears with email headers in a pop-up window.

Yahoo! Mail

  1. From your yahoo.com inbox, without opening the email, open the context (right-click) menu for the email, and then choose View raw message.
  2. A new tab opens which includes the full message with email headers.

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