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How to Examine Emails from EML Files without Outlook?

Other than Outlook, there are other programs that use EML files, and you are able to see them as well. So, in this article, we will explain all these methods to examine emails from EML files without Outlook.

The most common file format to save your emails is EML. It is one of the formats where you can save an email in one file with complete attachments and properties. The EML files are used in many email programs like Outlook, Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail, and Apple Mail, and you can even open them in Notepad as well. So, if you don’t have Outlook, you can use other applications to read EML files.

Methods to Examine Emails from EML Files Without Outlook

Email clients like Thunderbird and Windows Live Mail allow you to import EML files, and you can view the data. They are easy to follow; however, if you don’t have the program, then an alternative way will help you. A third-party tool can easily open and examine your data without any issues. So, there are three ways to read EML files without Outlook.

  • Open EML files in the Thunderbird program.
  • Import EML files in Windows Live Mail and view them.
  • Use the software to open and read the emails.

Open EML Files in Thunderbird and Read the Emails

When you open files in Thunderbird, you have to use the add-in. Similarly, here you have to use the import/export addon to import and view the data.

  1. Go to to install Import/Export Tools NG.
  2. After downloading it, open the Thunderbird program.
  3. Click on the Tools option. Select Import/Export add in.
  4. Choose the Import Messages option. Browse the location of EML files.
  5. After selecting the files, click on Import.
  6. Now, go to the inbox, click on the emails, and view them.

Examine Emails from EML Files without Outlook (using Windows Live Mail)

This free-to-use program can also open EML files, and you can view their contents. The steps are the same: open the files, and you can clearly see the emails.

  1. Open Windows Live Mail and select Import Messages.
  2. Click on Windows Live Mail and browse the location of the files.
  3. Import the files and then see them in the mailbox.

Limitations of Manual Methods

As the above methods are simple, they will only be applicable if you have the program. Other than that, there are other drawbacks you may face.

  • You have to physically move the file, so if you have multiple files, then it will be a time-consuming process.
  • During the process there are chances of losing your data.
  • It is difficult to read attachments with these methods.
  • If your file is corrupted, then these will not be used.

Therefore, these methods will be used for temporary work. The next method can be used in many ways.

A Professional Way to Examine Emails from EML Files Without Outlook

This method is much more reliable than the above methods. In this, we use the simple EML Viewer Tool from FreeViewer. The software is free to download, and you can use it in any Windows OS version. The process is simple; just add the files, and the tool easily shows your data in front of you. In addition, there are other features you can use.

Features of Software

  • Preview your EML files in HEX, HTML, RTF, MIME, etc.
  • Read the full content of the EML files with the attributes.
  • You don’t need to install any email applications to view the files.
  • The software is capable of viewing EML files from any email program.
  • You can download the tool in all Windows OS.

Steps to Read EML Files

  1. Download and install the software.
  2. Find the EML files that you want to view from the list of files and folders on the left side.
  3. The tool loads the data and displays it in the center of the files.
  4. Preview the files and see the content of the files.

This method can easily and free of charge allow you to read EML files. But if you want to view the files that are not in the application, then you can easily do this by using Online EML Reader.


Reading EML files is not a difficult task; one can view them simply in email programs. So, in this article, we learned how you can examine emails from EML files without Outlook. For manual methods, we use Thunderbird and Windows Live Mail. We use third-party tool for professional method. All the methods are easy and good in their own way.

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