Viewing 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.

Viewing headers in Webmail

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Viewing headers in Thunderbird

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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
Google link for various mail clients
Various (older) mail clients
Mac Mail
Microsoft Outlook (2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021)
Microsoft Outlook 2016
Double click the email to open in its own window. On the top left click the 'File' menu option. On the next page, click the 'Properties' button to view headers.

See also

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Article last updated PST.

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