EML format files contain individual email messages complete with text formatting, images and any attachments. They are generated by applications such as Windows Live Mail or Microsoft Outlook and to view their content often just double-click on their icons. The matter gets a little more complicated when you want to import messages in EML format into your email client: doing it with a single email requires a handful of clicks, doing it with dozens or even hundreds of files can become a titanic undertaking. … Unless you use software suitable for the purpose.
So here I am, ready to show you how to open EML file and how to import such messages into your e-mail client without too much effort. How do you say? The question interests you but you fear that it may all be too complicated for you? But no, you have absolutely no reason to worry. By following my instructions and proceeding with due calm you will see that in no time at all you will succeed in the enterprise.
So, if you are really willing to find out how to proceed in order to open EML files, I suggest you take ten or so minutes of free time, sit comfortably and concentrate on reading this tutorial. I am sure that in the end you will be able to tell yourself satisfied and that you will also be ready to say that opening EML files was actually a real breeze. So, let's get started?
As just mentioned, EML format files are generated by popular applications such as Windows Live Mail and Microsoft Outlook. This means that you can usually view their content by simply double clicking on their icons.
If on your computer it is impossible to do this, you can solve the problem by restoring the association of EML messages with Windows Live Mail, Mail, Outlook, Outlook Express, Apple Mail and so on. How you do it? Don't worry, now I'll explain it to you right away, it's very easy.
- If you are using a Windows PC, click with the right mouse button on any file in EML format and select the item Property from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, click on the button Change, select your preferred email client (eg. Microsoft Outlook o Mail) e cheap with OK to save the changes. In case your favorite email management program is not in the list of available applications, click on the button Shop by Department located at the bottom right and manually select the software path (eg C:> Program Files> Windows Live> Mail> wlmail.exe for Windows Live Mail).
- If you are using a Mac, click with the right mouse button on any file in EML format and select the item Get information from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, click on the menu under the item Open with: and select your favorite email client (eg. Mail) then click on the button Edit everything ... and then on the red one located in the upper left part of the window that opened to save the changes.
At this point, you can open EML files by double clicking on their icons and import them individually into your email client by selecting the appropriate item from the toolbar (eg. Copy to). Alternatively, if you use applications such as Windows Live Mail or Windows Mail, you can directly drag EML files to the folders where you have stored your emails (the ones listed in the left sidebar).
Also note that on Windows EML files use the same format as MHT files, so they can also be opened using Internet Explorer. To do this, simply replace the file extension .eml with .mht. Afterwards, by clicking on the file you should be able to view the content directly with the browser. If you don't know how to change file extensions, check out my tutorial on changing file extensions.
If you need to import a large amount of messages in EML format, I highly recommend you rely on Mozilla Thunderbird which is free, open source, multiplatform (it is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux) but, above all, can count on excellent free extensions that allow you to easily import and export emails within the application.
To download Thunderbird on your computer, click here to connect to the program's website and click on the green button Free download that you find in the center of the page that is shown to you and wait for the download to finish.
Subsequently, if you have a PC with Windows installed, start the software installation package (Thunderbird Setup xxx.exe) and complete the setup by first clicking on Yes and then forward twice in a row, Install e end. If you are using a Mac, the installation procedure is even easier: you just have to open the package dmg you downloaded from the program website and drag the Thunderbird icon into the folder Applications in OS X.
Now you have to start Thunderbird, configure your email account in the software (if you need a hand in this juncture you can consult my Thunderbird guide - Download) and proceed to install the add-on that allows importing EML files in bulk .
The extension I am referring to is called ImportExportTools NG and you must download it on your PC by clicking here, so that you can immediately connect to the appropriate section of the Mozilla Addons website, and then click on the button Download now. When the download is complete, go back to Thunderbird, go to the menu Means of the program and then click Additional components, then presses the icon ofgear located at the top right, choose the option Install add-on from file from the menu that appears and select the file you downloaded just now (importexporttools-xx-tb+sm.xpi).
At this point, confirm the installation of the add-on by clicking on the button Install adesso and restart Thunderbird by clicking on the button Restart now which appears at the top right.
When you start the application again, select the folder where you want to import EML files from the left sidebar, go to the menu Means, then click on ImportExportTools NG, choose the item Import all messages in a directory and select only in the directory. Then indicate the path where all the EML files you want to import into Thunderbird are stored and click on the button Folder selection to start the message transfer.
If you really can't open EML files using a mail client as I indicated in the previous lines, you can view it as if it were a simple text file. You will see a lot of nonsense characters related to the formatting of the text, but you will still be able to see the body of the message as well as any links present. When using this method, keep it in mind, however, you will not be able to view images and attachments. Below you will find explained how to do it.
- If you are using a Windows PC, right click on the EML file, choose the item Open with… from the context menu that appeared and choose the program Block notes from the list of those available. Locate the tags now e within the appeared text. Within the section delimited by the tags in question, you will find the body of the email. To locate hyperlinks, you need to search for the tag . To access the link in question, copy its URL and paste it into the address bar of your internet browser.
- If you are using a Mac, select the EML file and right click then choose the option Open with… from the context menu that appeared and click on TextEdit from the list of available programs (if you are unable to view the application "first time" click first on Other…). Then look at the HTML code and try to locate the tag . Within this section, you will find the body of the e-mail message, while the hyperlinks are identified by the tag .
Staying in the Mac area, I point out that you can open EML files also with Mail and import them individually into the program folders by selecting the item first Message then that Copy to and finally indicating the name of the reference folder from the menu at the top.