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How to Save an Email from Windows Live Hotmail to Your Hard Disk as an EML File

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Emails are safe, for the most part, in Windows Live Hotmail.

They're only in your browser, however, and an email program perhaps. What if you want a specific message in a file folder — together with all a project's other documents? What if you want to share an email in full — including all header lines that simple forwarding in Windows Live Hotmail will cut? What if you want a copy of a message on your desktop — for always easy and convenient fast access?

In addition to setting up Windows Live Hotmail in a local email program and exporting the email from there, you can also save any message as an .eml file (a plain text file that contains all message's text and details, is opened by many email clients and can be shared easily).

Save an Email from Windows Live Hotmail to Your Hard Disk as an EML File

To create a .eml file copy of a single message in Windows Live Hotmail (for separate archiving, say, or to forward it as an attachment):

  • Open the message you want to save to your hard disk in Windows Live Hotmail.
  • Click the down arrow next to Reply in the message's header area.
  • Select View message source from the menu that comes up.
    • You can also click with the right mouse button in the message list and select View message source from the context menu.
  • Press Ctrl-A (Windows and Linux) or Command-A (Mac) to highlight all the message source's text and code.
  • Press Ctrl-C (Windows and Linux) or Command-C (Mac) to copy the highlighted text.
  • See if your browser lets you save the message's source code as an .eml file:
    • Select File | Save As… (or your browser's "save as" command) from the menu in the message source window or tab.
    • Change the file name to "[subject].eml"or "email.eml" or something similar.
    • Do make sure the file extension is .eml (instead of .aspx or .html or anything else); if your browser insists on using .html or .htm for saving, continue below.
    • Make sure your browser saves the page source (instead of using, say, the "Web Archive" format).
    • Save the file to your desktop or any other folder on your hard disk.
  • If saving directly as an .eml file was not possible:
    • Open any plain text editor (such as TextEdit, Notepad or Emacs).
    • Create a new plain text document.
    • Press Ctrl-V (Windows and Linux) or Command-V (Mac) to paste the message's source.
    • Save the document as a plain text file on your Desktop or any other folder folder with the extension ".eml".
      You can use the message subject, for example, for the file name and save a message with the subject "Sailing next Weekend?" as "Sailing next Weekend.eml".

(Updated April 2012)

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