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Obtaining Email Headers

To effectively report spam or other abusive email, you must include the Internet headers that come with the original message. See below for instructions on obtaining Internet headers using various popular e-mail clients.

Outlook 2010 Email

    1. Double click on the email message so that it is open in its own window.
    2. Click on the File tab.
    3. Click on the Properties button which will open in its own window.
    4. Copy the text from the Internet headers window.

Outlook 2007 Email

    1. Double click on the e-mail message so that it is open in its own window.
    2. Locate the Options block, which is the fourth block over in the Message tab at the top.
    3. To the right of Options, there is a little button with an arrow in it. Click on it and you will see a screen with the Internet headers in the bottom section.
    4. Select this information and copy/paste it as needed.
You can also view the Internet headers directly from your inbox without opening the message. Just right click on the message in your inbox and choose Message Options. You will be looking at the headers at this point.

Outlook 2011 For Mac

    1. Select the message from your inbox.
    2. Right-click (Control-click) it.
    3. Click on View Source.
    4. Cut and paste the text into a new email message.

Windows Live Email

    1. Open the Outlook Live client with Internet Explorer.
    2. Open the problem message in the inbox.
    3. In the message toolbar, select the Message Details Icon.
    4. Copy the mail headers information.
    5. Paste the header information in an email.

Outlook Express

    1. Select and open the message to view.
    2. Under the File menu, select Properties.
    3. Select the Details tab.
    4. Select all text under the details tab in the Internet headers for this message area by clicking in the area and pressing Ctrl+A. This action should highlight the text.
    5. Copy the selected text by pressing Ctrl+C.
    6. Close the Properties window by pressing OK.
    7. Prepare to forward the original note (Press Ctrl+F or click on the Forward button, or choose from the Message menu item Forward). Do not send the message yet.
    8. The body of the note will appear in the compose window.
    9. Click before the "-----Original Message---".
    10. Then paste in the headers you copied, by pressing Ctrl+V.
    11. At the top of the note, provide information identifying yourself, how to contact you, and other comments or questions.
    12. Fill in the "To:" field with the e-mail address to which the report is to be sent. Spam goes to spam@umsl.edu. Abusive e-mail goes to abuse@umsl.edu.
    13. Press Send.


Most webmail programs cannot expose "header" lines needed to trace an e-mail message. The data exists in the note but Webmail just can't show it. You can use Microsoft Outlook or other tools to see all the hidden header lines.