How do I view email headers?

Every email sent or received has a set of headers that are applied to that message. These headers of the email consist of important details such as who sent the message, at what time and to whom it was sent. The headers for the sent message and the received message will be different. The sent headers will have much less information since the message was sent, so it will not trace the hops the message took to get delivered to the final destination. The headers on the received email will show the complete journey the message took, starting from the sender details to the final recipient.

When submitting requests to DreamHost support regarding mail issues with sending and receiving, they will often request this information from you so they are able to confirm what happened during the transport of the message.

Finding headers through Webmail

DreamHost offers both SquirrelMail and Atmail as the Webmail interfaces you can use to access your mailbox. Both interfaces offer a different method of retrieving the full headers of a message. The process for each interface is outlined below.

Using SquirrelMail

Log into your mailbox through SquirrelMail. The login would be webmail.example.com. Just change example.com to your actual domain. Once logged in, open the message in which you wish to view the headers. Once you open up the message, you should see this:

Headers1.fw.png

In the screenshot above, you will see a smaller version of the headers, which only shows the basic details of who sent the message, to whom, and when.

In the ‘Options’ section, you will notice a few links, one of them being ‘View Full Header’. Click that link to view the entire header details for that specific message:

Headers2.fw.png

Viewing headers in Atmail

View the following article for further details:

  • Atmail viewing headers

Finding headers through your mail program

The process in checking for the message headers of a message through a third party mail program can differ from program to program, but for the most part, the headers can be viewed by opening the message in question first.

Not all mail programs will refer to the message headers as “headers”. Some programs might call this the “source” of the email. Below are some external links for various mail programs on how you can retrieve the full header details through them.

You can find more details on how to view full headers depending on what email client you use at the following sites:

Various mail clients
http://kb.iu.edu/data/adix.html
Google link for various mail clients
http://support.google.com/mail/answer/22454?hl=en
Various (older) mail clients
http://spamcop.net/fom-serve/cache/19.html
Microsoft Outlook 2000 – 2003
http://email.about.com/od/outlooktips/qt/How_to_View_All_Message_Headers_in_Outlook.htm
Microsoft Outlook 2003 and 2007
http://8help.osu.edu/2414.html.
Microsoft Outlook 2013
http://www.petenetlive.com/KB/Article/0000663.htm

See also