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Email Headers

What are e-mail “headers?”

E-mail headers tell your e-mail client about the message you’re receiving. It includes information like who sent the e-mail, the subject of the e-mail, the return path (to whom a Reply message will be sent), IP addresses, priority, type of message (HTML or text), and lots more.

Most e-mail programs don’t show you the “real” header in an effort to keep your computing experience all warm and snuggly. However, that’s where it pulls the info for the subject line, sender, and such.

If you can’t resist and just have to take a look at it, go right ahead…

In Outlook Express, right-click the message you want to see header information for and select Properties from the resulting menu.


A handy little screen will pop-up with a couple of tabs on it. Click the Details tab and you’ll see all the header information you’ll ever want.


Note: this is kinda like looking at e-mail guts and may not be suitable for those with a weak constitution.

— Steve