How to Open, Read, View Outlook MSG Files without Outlook

MS Outlook is a commonly used Desktop Email client by several organizations for emailing service & using inbuilt MS Office applications provided by Outlook. An individual Outlook Email can be dragged and dropped to any location in the system, which will create MSG file format for that particular email. This MSG file can be accessed by any Outlook Email client. However, it is quite difficult if the user needs to access an Outlook email in the system where Outlook is not installed. The blog will be describing a solution on how to view Outlook MSG files without MS Outlook.

Need for accessing MSG Files without Outlook

The MSG File containing single Outlook email is binary format file that needs MAPI email client to access or view it, which is why it cannot be accessed in Notepad like an EML file. It can only be accessed in an Outlook email client. Suppose, we do not have MS Outlook installed in our system but we need to access the Outlook MSG file containing important mail. Another situation can be considered where the forensic department needs to view and analyze the emails of the suspect’s account like sender, receiver, date, and body of the email. Since MSG file format is the proprietary single email storage file supported by MS Outlook only, no other email client can be used to access it. The only possible way to view Outlook MSG files without Outlook is by using third party tool.

Method to open, and view MSG files

One of the most efficient third party MSG Viewer tool to view MSG file without Outlook. The software is the one stop solution that permits a user to open and view the Outlook MSG emails without installing the MS Outlook in user’s system. It will automatically locate the folder that contains MSG files and gives the instant preview of all the MSG files. The preview of all the MSG files includes all the properties such as sender, receiver, sent time, received time, and size (KB). Multiple view modes are supported such as Normal view, Message Header view, Property view, HTML view, MIME view, and Attachment etc.

Steps involved to view Outlook MSG Files are as follows:

  1. Launch MSG Viewer after installing it successfully
  2. Explore and navigate the location where MSG files are saved.
  3. Email can be selected individually to have multiple views like Normal Mail view, Hex View, Properties View, MIME view, HTML, View etc.
    MSG Viewer tool
  4. User can view each email with different views according to their requirements
  5. Desired Emails from the MSG file can be exported to PDF file type by selecting them using Export option.
    Desired Emails from the MSG file
  6. After selecting emails to export, naming conventions can be applied to each MSG file for easy searching of emails and lastly destination path must be selected to save the emails in PDF format.
    emails to export
  7. Once Export process is completed, user can access the MSG files containing emails in PDF file format without using MS Outlook.

The blog has been aimed to define a method to help users in viewing Outlook emails stored in MSG files without the installation of MS Outlook. As MSG file format is only supported by Outlook for storing single email, it cannot be accessed by other email client. The blog suggests users to avail one of the efficient third party tools like MSG Viewer that allows users to view the MSG file without Outlook and export them to PDF file format.

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