A Free Viewer for Microsoft Outlook .msg Files

In my day job I ran into a situation where one of my users needed to read the contents of a bunch of .msg files. We use Google Apps and don’t have Microsoft Outlook installed anywhere, so this was a bit of a problem. I hate slogging into the seedy world of Microsoft shareware, but after a quick search of my Linux tools that’s where I ended up.

To make a long story short, I eventually found a free cross-platform viewer for these Microsoft Outlook .msg files so I thought I’d share it with the Internet. Hopefully someone will stumble on this post and won’t have to download crippled trialware or risk viral infections from seedy software sites.

The aptly-named MSGViewer is what worked for me. It’s a Java webstart application, so it’s cross-platform. However it did not run on Java7; I had to downgrade to Java6 to get it to work. It is lacking print functionality, but you can copy and paste the email contents to something else if you need to print it.

[Update]
I haven’t had to use it in a long time, but some of the comments below indicate that it now works with Java7.

This entry was posted in grlug, java, linux, planet-ubuntu-users, tech, troubleshooting, ubuntu-michigan, wmlug. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Beto

    Finally I’ve found someone that have an open source solution. Thank YOU!

  • Pagesailor

    Thank you.

  • Ken Mahan

    Worked great! 

    thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Genda-Dunmatta/100000524114398 Genda Dunmatta

    Thanks for the tip but it did not work so good for me. I must have a problem with Java on my laptop because it just would lock up and not go any further.

    • brousch

      You have to make sure you’re using Java 6, which unfortunately is not the recommended version of Java these days. With Java7 it will fail.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Genda-Dunmatta/100000524114398 Genda Dunmatta

    FYI, I found a free online msg viewer that solved my problem. I just upload the .msg file and read the message. http://www.encryptomatic.com/viewer/

    • brousch

      That looks pretty good, but some people are in industries where you can’t upload files to a service like that due to legal or IP issues.

  • http://twitter.com/Isandunk Duncan

    “I hate slogging into the seedy world of Microsoft shareware…” Ugh, you couldn’t of said it better.

    Thank you for the tip, worked great for me!

  • Neil Kruger

    The free version is nice, but I had some problems with it. I found a very nice msg viewer for my Mac http://www.element26.net/products/shop/outlook-msg-viewer/

  • http://twitter.com/HilaryPointe Hilary Pointe

    Can this app be used in my Asus tablet? Its android. I downloaded and nothing is happening when I tried to run it. Help would be very much appreciated.

    • brousch

      This will not work on Android.

  • http://twitter.com/pestelmarketing PESTEL Marketing

    Thanks – great solution and appreciate your time to post this. I have been searching for some time looking for a solution.

  • Ed

    Thanks an incredible amount, this was just what I needed. I was loathe to install MS Outlook, so this has saved the day!

  • Ben

    Thanks Ben. It works great

  • jim g

    Found another easy way if it’s just the content you need to read old Outlook .msg files. Using Windows 8, but guessing it works in others, right click, open with, click on choose default program, select Notepad. Scroll down (or if you need to save or print, delete) all the gibberish at the top, and voila! there’s your email in a text format.

  • Maarten

    Excellent page. Indeed I “stumbled” over this page and it did save me a lot of hassle… Thanks!

  • Matthew Walker

    Thanks for this. It was very useful. Plus, I am pleased to say it now works with Java 7.

  • Francisco Nogueira

    You’re my latest hero!

    Just found your post after a lot of past tries (for more than an year now) at finding a sw like this.

    Somehow, today google just gave a “search tip” that I just followed: “linux read outlook msg files solved”.

    And, Voil√°! Got here!

    Man, and it works. My greatest handicap at being a Linux “worker” in a “Windowzed” firm, is now finally part from the past.

    A big thanks to you and to the developers.

    BTW – Java 7 just worked fine.

  • Jean-Jacques Simard

    Thank you for your software. It worked great for me. Must I understand that everytime I have to convert a *.msg file with your programm, I have to go back to your Internet link and have the message converted with the drag and paste procedure to get the message in *.txt file. Your software doesn’t seem to install as a programm on my computer. Thanks a lot again. Hope my message is clear, English is not my native language.

    • brousch

      I did not create this software, I just posted a link to it. You do need to drag and drop each .msg.

  • Simha

    Thank you!

  • Xav

    Thank you!

  • snowtop

    Thanks for sharing! Works great for me.

  • Anuraag Verma

    I liked this http://www.softpedia.com/get/Office-tools/Other-Office-Tools/SysTools-MSG-Viewer.shtml FREE tool to read .msg files from Outlook. It works perfectly.

  • Royce

    Download CoolUtils Mail Viewer – a free and absolutely virus- and ad-free program, which is good for viewing MSG and EML files as well as creating message reports in PDF, HTML and other formats

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