Checking Headers in Mail Messages

Complete headers provide more information on the origin of a message and are a useful tool for tracking and stopping spam e-mail. Most e-mail readers only show the To: and From: headers, which can be easily forged. The complete message headers will look something like this:

Return-Path: []
Received: from (hostname [xx.xx.xx.xx])
by (8.9.3/8.9.3) with ESMTP id NAA23597;
Thu, 7 Oct 1999 13:39:26 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 13:39:26 -0400
From: Spammer []
Subject: My spam message!!

Viewing message headers


  1. Open the mail in a new window (double click).
  2. Go to view then options in the new window.
  3. At the bottom of the window that popped up will be the headers.

Outlook Express

  1. Right-click on the message to bring up a menu for it. (image)
  2. Click the Details tab in this new window. (image)
  3. Click Message Source... to open yet another window. (image)
  4. Select all of the text with the Message Source window and right-click to open a small menu. Click Copy within this menu once everything has been selected. (image)
  5. Create a new message and paste all of this text into the body area. Put "" and "" into the To: field and make the subject "message with headers". (image)

Mozilla Thunderbird

Click view on the toolbar and click headers, then select all.