Email clients like Outlook, Mail, and Thunderbird let you export an email message. When you export an email, you get the entire message, the information in its header, the email addresses, and the attachments as well as the time stamps and IP addresses of the sender. Email clients have this as a standard feature but web based emails, and the interface they use do not have an export feature. That said, they have some sort of feature that lets you save a message offline. With Gmail, you can save an email as an EML file, and import it in most email clients. Here’s how.
Gmail Email As EML File
Open Gmail in your browser. Open the email you want to save offline and click the little arrow next to the reply button. From the menu, select the ‘Show original’ option.
This will open the message in a new window. On this new window, you will see a Download Original button. This will open a save as dialog in your browser and the default extension it will save as is TXT. You don’t want to save it with the TXT extension. Change it to EML, and from the file type dropdown, change it from text files to all files. Save the file.
It downloads within seconds. Once you’ve downloaded the file, you can import it into any email client you want or you can store it on your hard drive or an external drive.
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If your email had attachments, check if the downloaded file has attachments or not. Gmail might not include the attachment in the original message or the attachment might come from Google Drive or perhaps it was sent as a link. The point is, if you’re doing this to save an attachment, this may not be a fool-proof method. An EML file is what you should save an email as if you need to keep a long term record of a conversation.
To import the email in an email client, you need to first track down the import feature in your respective client. It’s not going to be in the same place in all email clients so it’s a good idea to just Google this information. Once you have the import option, select this EML file and the email will open. Alternatively, you can just double-click the file and it will open in your default email client. If your email client supports drag & drop, you can use that to open the message in the client.