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Googles free email Header Reader App
https://toolbox.googleapps.com/apps/messageheader/
Description: You can easily read message headers by using this online tool.

Or if you’d like to read a message header yourself, follow the path of a message chronologically by reading from the bottom of the header, and working your way up.

Here’s an example of a message header for an email sent from MrJones@emailprovider.com to MrSmith@gmail.com:

 

Delivered-To: MrSmith@gmail.com
Received: by 10.36.81.3 with SMTP id e3cs239nzb; Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:11:47 -0800 (PST)
Return-Path:
Received: from mail.emailprovider.com (mail.emailprovider.com [111.111.11.111]) by mx.gmail.com with SMTP id h19si826631rnb.2005.03.29.15.11.46; Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:11:47 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <20050329231145.62086.mail@mail.emailprovider.com>
Received: from [11.11.111.111] by mail.emailprovider.com via HTTP; Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:11:45 PST
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:11:45 -0800 (PST)
From: Mr Jones
Subject: Hello
To: Mr Smith
 

In the example, headers are added to the message three times:

  1. When Mr. Jones composes the email 

    Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:11:45 -0800 (PST)
    From: Mr Jones
    Subject: Hello
    To: Mr Smith
     

  2. When the email is sent through the servers of Mr. Jones’ email provider, mail.emailprovider.com 

    Message-ID: <20050329231145.62086.mail@mail.emailprovider.com>
    Received: from [11.11.111.111] by mail.emailprovider.com via HTTP; Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:11:45 PST

     

  3. When the message transfers from Mr. Jones’ email provider to Mr. Smith’s Gmail address 

    Delivered-To: MrSmith@gmail.com
    Received: by 10.36.81.3 with SMTP id e3cs239nzb;Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:11:47 -0800 (PST)
    Return-Path: MrJones@emailprovider.com
    Received: from mail.emailprovider.com (mail.emailprovider.com [111.111.11.111]) by mx.gmail.com with SMTP id h19si826631rnb; Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:11:47 -0800 (PST)

     

Below is a description of each section of the email header:

Delivered-To: MrSmith@gmail.com

 

The email address the message will be delivered to.

Received: by 10.36.81.3 with SMTP id e3cs239nzb;
Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:11:47 -0800 (PST)

 

The time the message reached Gmail’s servers.

Return-Path:

The address from which the message was sent.

Received: from mail.emailprovider.com
(mail.emailprovider.com [111.111.11.111])
by mx.gmail.com with SMTP id h19si826631rnb.2005.03.29.15.11.46;
Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:11:47 -0800 (PST)

The message was received from mail.emailprovider.com, by a Gmail server on March 29, 2005 at approximately 3 pm.

Message-ID: 20050329231145.62086.mail@mail.emailprovider.com

A unique number assigned by mail.emailprovider.com to identify the message.

Received: from [11.11.111.111] by mail.emailprovider.com via HTTP;
Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:11:45 PST

Mr. Jones used an email composition program to write the message, and it was then received by the email servers of mail.emailprovider.com.

Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:11:45 -0800 (PST)
From: Mr Jones
Subject: Hello
To: Mr Smith

The date, sender, subject, and destination — Mr. Jones entered this information (except for the date) when he composed the email.