Forwarding Emails with Full Headers
There are a variety of situations when you may need to redirect an email message you've received from someone else, at the same time preserving the header information of the original message. The message header includes information about:
- Who sent the message
- From where it was sent
- Postmaster information
- Reply-to address
By preserving the original headers, the person to whom you pass the message can reply directly to the original sender. Or, a technical person can investigate where the original email came from, helpful for when the message is suspected to be spam or to include a computer virus.
Different mail programs use different commands to perform the function of passing on a message with the original headers: it could be redirect or resend or bounce. Below is a list of mail programs and the specific instructions for performing this function. If your email program is not below, we suggest checking HaltAbuse.org's comprehensive list.
Forwarding with Full Header Instructions
- Open the message.
- Click the downward pointing "more" triangle in the upper-right corner of the message (NOT the arrow pointing the left).
- Click Show Original. A new window (or tab) opens with the raw message, including the complete header.
- Click once anywhere in this message, press Ctrl-A (or Command-A on Macs) to highlight all the text, and press Ctrl-C (or Command-C on Macs) to copy it.
- Create a new email message.
- Enter the email address of the person to whom you want to forward the message and a subject. If you are reporting spam, please send it to email@example.com.
- Click in the message body area and press Ctrl-v (or Command-V on Macs) to paste in the previously copied text.
- Click Send.
- Open the message you want to forward.
- Select Message >> Redirect.
- Enter the address of the person to whom you want to forward. If you are reporting spam, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cick Send.
- Double-click on the message you want to forward.
- Click on the File Tab, then Properties.
- At the bottom of the window you will see a box labeled Internet headers. Click once anywhere in this box.
- Press Ctrl-a to highlight all the text, and press Ctrl-c to copy it.
- Close this window and go back to the message window. Click Forward.
- Enter the address of the person to whom you want to forward your message, click at the top of the message body area, and press Ctrl-v to paste in your previously copied text. If you are reporting spam, please send it to email@example.com.
- Click Send.