A Look At MessageViewer Lite, The Simple .EML Viewer

Screen image of Message Viewer Lite menus.

When it comes to opening .eml email files, MessageViewer Lite is hard to beat. This inexpensive viewer accurately renders and prints individual .eml and .msg formatted email messages created by Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, Lotus and other email clients.

MessageViewer Lite has a limited set of features and is by design very easy to use. This has made it a popular tool for system administrators to deploy to their users.  After installation on a Windows device, any .eml or Outlook .msg file can be opened by clicking on it. The message will open up on your screen. Now you can print the email, or extract file attachments and save them to your hard drive.

File attachments can be dragged from the email and dropped on to the desktop.  Double clicking on a file attachment, such as a pdf file, will cause it to open in the appropriate software program on your computer.

Easy to use .eml or .msg email file viewer, MessageViewer Lite.
MessageViewer Lite main menu

MessageViewer Lite supports having multiple windows open, each showing a different email message.  Content can also be copied and pasted directly from the email window. MessageViewer Lite can be deployed to user desktops. It can also be used with hosted applications, such as a CRM app,  so that users will always have the ability to open email messages attached to client records.

MessageViewer Lite has just three menu items File, View and Help.

The File menu gives access to the Print function which will send the email to your printer.
Check File Associations will let you set MessageViewer Lite as your default Windows application for .eml or .msg files.

Screen shot of MessageViewer Lite's File menu options.
File Menu


From the File Menu, you can also set file associations for MessageViewer Lite.  Set it as the default application for .msg or .eml files.

The View menu has just one option that toggles the viewer between html and text mode. If you set it to text mode, then MessageViewer Lite will always display.eml and .msg files as text files, rather than html files.

The Help menu contains several useful options.

Screen shot of MessageViewer Lite's Help Menu
Help Menu

About provides the version number for your copy of MessageVeiwer Lite.
If the software is in trial mode, then Buy Now will open a browser window to allow you to purchase an activation code for the software.

Registration is where you can enter your activation code.

Start Logging is a function that you should only use if asked by the MessageViewer Lite support team. It’s used to help troubleshoot issues.

Check Update Now will tell MessageViewer Lite to see if a newer version of the software is available.

Configure Update allows you to tell MessageViewer Lite to automatically check for software updates.

MessageViewer Lite is the little brother to EML Viewer Pro, which is a more complete .eml and .msg file viewer that can export email messages to different formats.

You can try MessageViewer Lite free for 15 days.  The price to buy is just $24.99, with progressive discounts for multiple copies.

To see how MessageViewer Lite’s features compare to EML Viewer Pro, click here to compare .eml viewers.

How To View .EML Files in Microsoft Windows?

Screen image of Eml encoded text file.

It’s not uncommon to find .eml file attachments in email messages. Gmail users will often receive a .eml file attachment when someone forwards an email message to them from an email client. Unless the right software is installed on a Windows computer, you may find you are unable to read .eml files.  This article looks at two ways to open .eml files. First, an online .eml viewer, and secondly, a Windows software for offline viewing of .eml files.

EML File icon, (C) 2012 Encryptomatic LLC
Eml File Icon

What Is a .Eml File?

A  .eml file is a self-contained email message. It includes all of the information necessary for web servers to relay the message across the internet to it’s intended recipient. Eml files can be encrypted, but usually they are not.  If you open a .eml file with a text editor, you may be able to read some of the message text, but other parts of the file will probalby appear to be encoded and illegible. The parts of the .eml file that look like it may be encrypted might just be a file attachment that has been text encoded.  In the images below, you’ll see examples of what a .eml file looks like when opened in a text editor.


A .eml file opened in a text editor.
A .eml file opened in a text editor


What a .gif file looks like in a text editor.
A .gif file encoded as text, as it appears in a text viewer.

With the right software, you will be able to open the .eml file, read the fully formatted email message and even extract those encoded file attachments and save them to your hard drive. Obviously a text editor is not the right software to use to see a complete .eml file, but it may still give you an idea about what’s inside.

How Can I Open a .Eml File?

If you only have a couple of .eml files to open, or if you only have an occasional need, there is no need to install special software on your computer. You can use Message Viewer Online, a free service that will render both .eml and Outlook .msg files.   It’s simple to use. First visit the Message Viewer Online website, and then upload your .eml file. That’s it! Your message will be decoded and then shown in your web browser.

You can download any email file attachments by clicking on them. Encryptomatic LLC, the operators of the website, promise that no information is collected or retained from the .eml file, and all uploaded content is erased after your session ends.

Open .eml files online with this free viewer
Online EML File Viewer


Windows Software To Help Open .Eml Files

.Eml files can also be opened offline using free and commercial software. Microsoft Outlook can open individual .eml files, as can the free Thunderbird email client. These email client applications are quite large, and they will only open .eml files individually.

What happens if you have hundreds or thousands of .eml files that you want to browse or search?  Consider installing a dedicated email viewing application such as Pst Viewer Lite. This Windows desktop software is very affordable at just $29.99, and it easier to install than a full sized email client. Pst Viewer Lite can open .eml files as well as other email emails, such as Outlook .pst, .ost, .msg and .mht files.

.EML file viewer free trial. Download PST Viewer Lite.
Pst Viewer Lite renders and searches .eml files

Download a free trial of Pst Viewer Lite and try it for 15 days.