MSG file is an email file format mainly created and used by MS Outlook to save its emails, contacts, appointment etc. in a machine. MSG file holds complete information related to an item including attachments. Besides MS Outlook, MSG file is created for every application that uses MAPI (Microsoft Applications Programming Interface).
Microsoft introduced MSG file in year 2003 with the launch of Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Outlook 2003. This benefited users to share the items more easily. Each MSG file holds complete information associated to an item thus, one can simply send or receive a MSG file for complete data exchange.
How to Open an MSG File?
Have tried double clicking on an MSG files to open it? If yes then you might not be able to open it in MS Outlook. This happens if you do not have newer versions of MS Outlook installed in your machine like MS Outlook 2016 or Outlook 2013. In this situation, when you try to open an MSG file then it will always open in an older version of MS Outlook to which that MSG file was created originally.
In order to overcome this, you can either open it in a notepad to see the header file details; if all you need to analyse the file or you can choose some MSG file viewer tool to simply open and view its data irrespective of MS Outlook being installed in your machine or not. But, opening MSG file in a Notepad won’t help; if you are not a coder or something. This is because some unreadable figures will appear which is nearly impossible for a non-technical user to decode. Thus, choosing a MSG file viewer or any MSG compatible application is better option.
Besides this, there are various desktop emailing applications like Seamonkey which can be used on different platforms like Windows, Mac or Linux to simply view an MSG file. You can also convert MSG files into EML file format and open EML files in almost any desktop emailing app or even in Notepad very easily.
What is Inside a MSG File?
A MSG file contains almost all the information related to an item thus if you want to analyse a MSG file deeply it is better to check its header details. This not only shows you its basic information but you can also figure out any kind of tempering done with the message.
This header information contains the entire details associated to an MSG file. Right from its delivery date to the message ID everything is there. And, if there has been any kind of tempering the header information can be easily compared to recognize the difference between the two MSG files. These types of information works in forensics analysis; where email examination is one of the primary things to do.
For an Outlook user it is a common practice to save their emails or data in PST or OST file into MSG file format so that MSG files can be further shared or reused. But unless you do not understand what MSG file is; you won’t be able to use it proactively.