Understanding the email header can provide valuable insights into the origin and delivery path of an email. Whether you're a professional investigating suspicious emails or an individual curious about the technical details behind your messages, mastering the art of email header analysis is a crucial skill. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to check email headers in Microsoft Outlook, decode the information they contain, and uncover hidden details that can help you identify the source, track the delivery, and assess the authenticity of an email.

[Section 1: What are Email Headers?]

Email headers are hidden snippets of information that accompany every email you send or receive. They contain vital details about the email's origin, transmission path, and other technical information that helps email clients process and deliver messages accurately.

[Section 2: How to View Email Headers in Outlook]

1. Microsoft Outlook Web App (OWA): Open the email, click on the ellipsis (...) in the top-right corner, and select 'View message details'.

2. Outlook Desktop Client: Open the email, go to the 'File' tab, click on 'Properties', and find the 'Internet headers' section.

[Section 3: Understanding Email Header Fields]

- From: Indicates the sender's email address and name.

- To: Displays the recipient's email address and name.

- Subject: Shows the email's subject line.

- Date: Specifies the date and time the email was sent.

- Message-ID: A unique identifier assigned to each email message.

[Section 4: Decoding Email Header Information]

To decode email headers, you need to analyze the information provided in different fields:

- Received: Lists the servers through which the email passed during transmission.

- X-Sender-IP: Reveals the IP address of the email's sender.

[Section 5: Commonly Asked Questions]

Q: Why should I check email headers?

A: Checking email headers can help verify the authenticity of an email, identify potential phishing attempts, track the email's delivery path, and troubleshoot email delivery issues.

Q: How can I identify if an email is spoofed?

A: Look for discrepancies in the 'Received' field, such as unexpected or suspicious server names or IP addresses.


By mastering the art of email header analysis in Outlook, you gain a deeper understanding of your emails' origin and delivery path. The ability to decode email headers empowers you to identify potential threats, track email delivery, and assess the authenticity of messages. Use the knowledge gained from this comprehensive guide to enhance your email security, protect against phishing attempts, and navigate the complexities of modern communication with confidence.