E-mail clients such as Outlook, Mail, and Thunderbird allow you to export an e-mail message. When you export an e-mail, you get the entire message, the information in its header, the e-mail addresses and attachments, as well as the timestamps and the sender’s IP addresses. E-mail clients have this standard functionality but web-based e-mail and the interface they use does not have an export function. That said, they have some sort of functionality that allows you to save an offline message. With Gmail, you can save an email as an EML file and import it into most email clients. That’s how.

Email Gmail as an EML file

Open Gmail in your browser. Open the email you want to save offline and click on the small arrow next to the Reply button. From the menu, select the ‘Show original’ option.

This will open the message in a new window. In this new window, you’ll see an original Download button. This will open a Save As dialog box in the browser and the default extension that will save as it is TXT. You do not want to save it with the TXT extension. Switch to EML and from the file type drop-down menu, change it from text file to all files. Save the file.

It is downloaded in a few seconds. Once you have downloaded the file, you can import it into any desired email client or store it on your hard drive or on an external drive.

If your e-mail had attachments, check if the downloaded file has attachments or not. Gmail may not include the attachment in the original message, or the attachment may come from Google Drive or may have been sent as a link. The point is that if you are doing this to save an attachment, this may not be an infallible method.

To import e-mail into an e-mail client, you must first trace the import function to your client. It will not be in the same place in all email clients. Once you have the import option, select this EML file and the e-mail will open. Alternatively, you can simply double-click on the file and it will open in your default email client. If your email client supports drag & drop, you can use it to open the message in the client.


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