If I receive an email, where somebody has attached an .eml file, how do I view that in Gmail?

I'm presented with a link to "View as Text" or "Download". If I "View as Text", I get the raw view of the email as I'd get with "Show Original" of a normal mail, but I'd like to see the formatting, attachments, etc., of the attached mail.

What does work is to save the file as file.eml, and then open that file in Thunderbird. But I'd like to avoid needing Thunderbird...

This is the reverse of Sending a new mail with another email as an attachment in Gmail.

5 Answers 5


This is a known issue with all of Google's services. They do not support the .eml or the less common .mht, both of which are known and established formats. In this case it has been (for years now) one area that all the others (Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, and most of the rest of the community) are ahead of Google on. The only option, aside from convincing Google to support it, appears to be to either bear with the extra info and read it as a raw text file or to save it and open it with almost any other email client, such as Thunderbird or Outlook.

  • +1 for mentioning that these can be read as raw text. I had no idea. Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 20:16
  • "They do not support the .eml" They do now. See my answer below.
    – ChrisJJ
    Commented May 10, 2022 at 19:00

Ironically, the Gmail client for Android displays them beautifully. So if you have an Android phone, just open the email there—and you don't even have to forward it. ;)

  • But it is (currently) not possible to forward the attached message when opened.
    – NiKiZe
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 16:39
  • This. A thousand times, this. The new GMail Android client even allows you to save attachments to your phone.
    – WillemLabu
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 9:29
  • @WillemLabu, saving an .eml on the phone does not help getting the email visible on the PC
    – Lenne
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 13:35
  • @Lenne I understand that, yes. However, this is a workaround that allows you to open the .eml file on your phone - you just need to link your email Account to the phone.
    – WillemLabu
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 11:50

Or you can right click on the download and "save link as" and save it as .mht and open in IE. I have tried to open in Chrome and Firefox but they dont like it either.

  • Thanks for your answer. Could be useful for some, but for me, IE isn't available here in Linux! ;-) Commented Nov 6, 2013 at 8:58
  • Internet Explorer works fine for me under Windows 7. Any day I can avoid using Outlook is a good day. :-) Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 2:25

I have found an online conversion site named Zamzar. It does convert your .eml files to any format (html, docx, pdf etc) and helps you read the complete email. No idea on the attachments yet.


Click on the attachment. Gmail opens it in a new window.

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