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FAQ: How do I get “Header Information” from an email?

By Peter Setlak on November 11, 2014

When working through email problems with ITS, you may be asked for the email’s header information. This information contains details used by the email servers to route your message from computer to computer and finally to your inbox. This information is useful to ITS staff in and essential for troubleshooting email delays or for finding the true origins of phishing emails. Below are four ways to gather this header information (sometimes called, “raw source”). Once you get the header info, you can cut and paste it into a trouble ticket or email the text itself to an ITS staff member assisting you with your problem.

Google Apps (Gmail)

The header info can be found by clicking on the arrow in the upper-right of an email and choosing “Show original” from the drop-down list.

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 1.21.19 PM

Doing so will open the raw header information as test in a new tab or window. That text would look similar to this:

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 1.37.19 PM

Apple Mail

Apple Mail gives two options for getting the header information. The first option (All Headers) shows the headers in the application’s reading pane while the second option (Raw Source) pops up the header info and the raw source code of the email into a new window. For troubleshooting phishing messages, the second option is the better way to go as it shows the HTML code uncovering masked links if any exist. Go to “View –> Message –> Raw Source”.

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The “Raw Source” window will look similar to this:

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 1.58.44 PM

Microsoft Outlook (Office)

To view the header information in Outlook 2003/07, right-click the message and choose “Options” or “Message Options” from the drop-down list.


To view the headers in Outlook 2010/13open the message, click the “File” tab and click the “Properties” button.


The end-result for either method should be a window similar to this:


Mozilla Thunderbird

In Thunderbird, the headers can be obtained by highlighting the message and clicking “View” in the menubar and choosing “Message Source”. The headers will appear in a new window.


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