How to Forward an E-mail as an Attachment


To help trace an e-mail you've received, the easiest way to get detailed technical information to your IT support provider is to forward the message as an attachment. Normally, when you click the "Forward" button in your e-mail program, the message is forwarded in-line, meaning the basic headers (Date, To, From, Subject) are placed in the body of your message, followed by the message text. This strips the technical information embedded in the hidden headers. When you forward as an attachment, the entire original message is transmitted, including those headers.


Instructions will be given for common e-mail applications for desktop computers, which are best to use for advanced functions, since mobile apps are often pared down as far as features and capabilities.

In Microsoft Outlook, create a new message, find the option Attach Item and then Outlook Item. It should look like one of the two images below, depending on your version of Outlook. When you click that, a new window will open showing your inbox. Double-click the message you wish to forward.

Microsoft Outlook menu screenshot

Microsoft Outlook menu screenshot

When using Google Workspace or Gmail in a web browser, go to the Inbox, check the box next to the message you wish to forward, click the three vertical dots in the top toolbar, and select "Forward as attachment".

Google Mail menu screenshot

In Outlook on the web (for Microsoft 365, accounts, or other Microsoft Exchange e-mail systems), open the message you wish to forward, click the horizontal dots at the top of the message, and select "Other reply actions" then "Forward as attachment".

Outlook Web Access menu screenshot

After performing any of the above, you will see that an attachment is present in a new message window. Type your IT service provider's e-mail address in the To line, a subject, and anything else you want to say in the body of the message, and send it.