View Full email header in Windows Live Hotmail


Email header information show useful ‘technical’ information about email sender. You can track email sender’s IP address, domain, location by checking details contained in full email header. Default email view, does not show full email header (as it is not required by majority of email users). Also, unlike Yahoo Mail and Gmail, viewing full email header information in Windows Live Hotmail is little confusing.

Open Email header in Windows Live (new method)

1. Login into your Windows Live Hotmail account.

2. Goto Inbox and click to open any email message.

3. Then click “Actions” button at top right.

4. In the menu, click to select “View Message Source” option. A new window will pop-up displaying full email header details.

Email header in Windows Live Hotmail (old method)

1. Goto & login into Windows Live Hotmail account.

2. Click on ‘inbox’ link at top left.

3. Click to tick & select specific email message.

4. Right click on selected email message & then click ‘view message source’.

A new window will open showing full email header information of specific received message in your Windows Live Hotmail account.



  1. additionally, if i ‘reply all’ would my reply go out to everyone under the DL ‘John Smith’ ?

  2. is there a way to determine the names on distribution list (DL) when the DL is masked by one name? for example, an email is sent from John Smith to a group in a DL named ‘John Smith’ which looks like this:

    From: John Smith
    To: ‘John Smith’

  3. tks a lot dudes!
    it really f**king helped me up!

  4. ‘Ow do, everyone! :-)
    I know that this might be a little after the fact for some posters here, but I thought I’d post this for public reference, and to help anyone else who’s also struggling with the Hotmail “View Message Source” problem and finds this thread via Google. :-)

    Because I’m about to back-up and purge my own Hotmail and Windows Live e-mail accounts soon, I ran into this very same problem earlier today; Whenever trying to view mail source in Hotmail, all I got was a new window full of binary gibberish.
    However – Seeing that different messages gave different lengths of output – I decided to poke about with what Hotmail was sending out, and after a while it became apparent that the output was actually GZip-compressed HTML, and perfectly readable with the right tools! :-)

    So…Here’s how to view the e-mail message source in Windows Live Hotmail:
    (This assumes that you use the FireFox browser. Adjust these instructions as appropriate for other browsers and operating systems.)
    1. Use the “View Message Source” option in Hotmail (Right-click the message in the Inbox, or click the down arrow next to “Action” or “Reply” when viewing the message) to open a new window/tab with the message source. If you get a plain text display at this point (Lucky get!) you don’t need to proceed any further with these instructions.
    2. If – Like most users – You get a window full of binary source (Gibberish), save the output to disk by right clicking and selecting “Save Target As…”. Save the file with a .html.gz extension.
    3. Once downloaded, run GZip over the file to decompress it (gzip -d message-source.html.gz). A Windows version of GZip is available from SourceForge via and works in exactly the same way from the Command Prompt as the Linux version.
    4. After GZip has decompressed the file, it may be opened in any web browser. If viewing mail source is all that’s needed, stop following the instructions here…Otherwise, continue to find out how to convert this source into MIME format e-mail.
    5. The HTML file that contains the message source has many low order and special characters (Including CR/LF pairs) escaped out using HTML ampersand-hash (&-#) encoding. Open the HTML file using your favourite text editor e.g; Windows Notepad.
    6. Remove the PRE tags from the top and bottom of the file, then use your editor’s replace function to swap the escaped characters for their normal equivalents. E.G: Replace AH13;AH10; (A = Ampersand, H = Hash) with carriage returns, AH38; with ampersands, AH36; with the Dollar sign, etc.
    7. Once finished, you should have a plain-text MIME e-mail that can be saved with your preferred extension and used in your local mail client as normal. :-)

    Unfortunateley, I don’t have any time to craft a program to automate this process for everyone…But if anyone else does, here’s some high level pseudocode that might help ye with developing it! :-)
    DOWNLOAD mail FROM hotmail/GetMessageSource.aspx AS binary octet-stream
    DECOMPRESS mail WITH gzip -d %1
    REMOVE html-tags FROM mail
    REPLACE/DE-ESCAPE all ampersand-hash encoded chars IN mail
    SAVE mail AS e-mail OR IMPORT TO mail client

    Farewell for now, and hope that this helps out the many people who’ve also been having this problem! >:-)
    +++ DieselDragon +++ –
    [P.S: Apologies for any double-posting. wp-comments-post.php isn’t giving me any form of confirmation when I try and post. This’ll be my third and final attempt. :-]

    • Benedict Geddes says:

      A simpler solution is to use IE and make this change-

      1.- Tools->Internet Otions->Advanced
      2.- Uncheck “Use HTTP 1.1?

  5. great I found your site and followed your directions I was having a herd time.

  6. looks like no one is reading and responding to our messages…….. what’s the whole point of this then? are we just side-lined & totaly ignored?

    • There is yet another change microsoft has implemented for hotmail as indicated in the link below. This is the LATEST way to view a message source in Hotmail/Windows Live

      • Thanks, the link you mention did work for me.

        To view full message header:
        1. Open the e-mail message.
        2. Click the “Reply” drop down menu.
        3. Choose the “View message source” option on the drop down menu. You will be seeing a new window containing the e-mail message headers and its content.

  7. I have the same problem above and Microsoft are not inteerested as they say its a free service.

    I know a lot of people can view the full header by following the instructions above is…open email, Actions then View Message Source…..there are lots more who me

    If there is anyone here who has discovered a way round this then please let us know as Microsoft sure aint


  8. Hi,

    I have the same problem with the new live mail as ‘anon’ above.

    When i click on ‘sorce’, it tries to open a new window and then i get the messege “internet explorer cannot download GetMessageSource.aspx from”

    Please help.

    Many thanks.

  9. as of 8-3-2010, according to Windows Live support, in order to view the full headers to an email you need to open it, click on ‘Actions’ at the top-right, and select ‘View Source’. however, this will only show a half-page of undecipherable mumbo-jumbo.

    it’s a massive fault in their mail service and they don’t seem to care.

  10. Annoymous says:

    how can I find this at the new hotmail?? 31-07-2010

    because when I rightclick it I just see : Mark as unread, Remove, junk, move, Send Email, Search Email, Move Everything off, and Remove everything off


    • I found that you need to OPEN the message, then on the top right click on ‘Actions’ then click on ‘View message sorce’

      It may work for you, but I get the problem as in my original post on here.

      Hope this helps you more than it helps me.


      • I get the same problem as you.

        • Hi any news on being able to get the source of messages? I am still having the same old problem error message Unable to download GetMessageSource.aspxfrom I am using windows 7 I have tried ie 34 bit and 64 bit – in google chrome just get a load of symbols – are they working on this problem? is there any way to revert back to the old msn hotmail? cheers

  11. how can i find ip there

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