Need a version of an email that contains all headers and details to forward, save or import? Find out here how to save Gmail email as EML files using nothing but your browser.

First, We Use Feathers Like They Were Meant to Be Used

For birds as well first developed their feathers as a cushion of warmth, at least according to one theory of their evolution.

In related news, Gmail did not develop a way to download emails as EML files initially; it first showed message sources—which, saved with a “.eml” extension are EML files, of course.

So, let’s use Gmail’s Show original feature for its not so original purpose:

How to Save Gmail Email as EML

To save an email as an EML file in Gmail on the desktop:

  1. Open the message you want to save as an EML file in Gmail
  2. Select the three dots menu (Gmail three dots menu button) in the message’s header.
    • Tip: You find the menu button next to the reply button (Gmail reply button).
  3. Now choose Download message from the menu that has appeared.

Your browser will download the message’s source as an EML file.

Alternative: You can also view the source before downloading it:

  1. Click the three dots menu (Gmail three dots menu button) for the message.
  2. Select Show original from the menu.
  3. Now click Download original.

How to Save Gmail Email as EML: FAQ

Can I access message source and EML files in the mobile Gmail apps?


The Gmail apps for Android and iOS do not let you save emails as EML files directly or access the message source; neither does the mobile version of Gmail in a browser.

What you can do is force your mobile browser to open the desktop web version of Gmail and access the source and EML files there.

Can I download multiple emails as EML files in bulk from Gmail

No, not using the web-based version of Gmail.

To save multiple Gmail emails as EML files:

  1. Set up Gmail using IMAP (or POP) in a desktop email program.
  2. Make sure all desired Gmail labels are accessible as IMAP folders.
  3. Now make sure all desired messages are accessible in those folders through IMAP using the Folder Size Limit setting in Gmail.
  4. Find and export or save all the emails in the email program.

Is there an alternative for downloading multiple emails?


You can download Gmail emails in bulk in the MSG format, which you can then convert to EML.

What are EML files and what can I do with them?

EML is the file format and extension used for saving emails in their source form as individual emails: a plain text file with the message as it is sent across the internet.

You can open and import EML files into many an email program and service.

(How to save Gmail email as EML tested with Gmail in a desktop browser; updated March 2019)