How To Utilize Hotmail Email Headers
Managing an email inbox easily and efficiently is important for anyone who receives and sends a great deal of messages. Those frequent email users often find that there are emails that pass through spam or junk filters, or simply come without an actual email address in the "from" line. How can Hotmail users determine where an email originated?
What is an Email Header?
An email header contains a lengthy list of data. Most of the information is interpreted and used by the computers that send and receive them. Microsoft Live Hotmail features allow users to better interpret their email by reading the full header information.
Hotmail Default Email Headers
Hotmail provides only a few, but important, bits of information found in the full header on each email message. Each message will show the subject, the "From" sender, the Sent date, and the To field, which is usually the reader and possibly other multiple recipients who also received the email.
Hotmail also includes messages within a readable header which the reader may find useful. A sender who is not listed in a current contact list may have a message of "you may not know this sender." Also, users have the option in the header to "Mark as Safe" or "Mark as Junk," which can be helpful in preventing or helping future emails from the sender.
Accessing Full Hotmail Headers
The limited header information is important but not completely vital if one wants to know where an email originated. While users of the Classic Hotmail view cannot access full header information, those who are using the full Windows Live Hotmail browser version can use the technique that follows.
To find out full header information, Hotmail does not use an 'expansion' of a header in the inbox view. Instead, one must open the source of the email by clicking the right mouse button over the message, then choosing the "View message source" option. This will open a new window or browser tab that contains just the full header information. While this method is more roundabout, it does provide the necessary origination information. The full header will contain the "Received From" line showing the IP address. The IP address is useful for pinpointing a specific web server that sent the email. The header will also show the "Return Path" or the originating email address.
Finding origination information on a full header can be useful in tracking down email senders. Whether to get a friendly email address, or to pinpoint and stop malicious or possibly threatening emails, Hotmail can help users with the full header option.