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Forwarding an Email as an Attachment

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Context

  • When reporting a spam or phishing email to  security@mit.edu, or phishing@mit.edu the IS&T Information Security Team will ask for the original email "forwarded as an attachment."
  • Every mail client is different, and we've tried to give instructions for common clients below, but basically it should create a .eml file that contains the body and full headers of the original email.
  • When you are reading an email, your email client will typically only show you a shortened version of the headers (to, from, subject, date, etc). Forwarding as an attachment will include the full headers, which will show the path that the email took from the originating computer, through several mail servers, to the recipient. This gives us the information we need to investigate the email, without this information we are often unable to do much to respond to a report of phishing or spam.
  • If you forward the email to phishing@mit.edu as you would a normal email, the headers will be from you as the sender to phishing@mit.edu as the recipient, at which point the relevant information is lost. The information is also almost always lost when forwarding from a mobile device.
  • A screenshot is not very helpful. An attachment of a PDF version of the email is also not helpful.

Answer

Outlook Web Access at MIT: https://owa.exchange.mit.edu

  1. In the second column, find the list of all messages in a mailbox.
  2. Single-click the message you want to forward as an attachment.
  3. Leaving the message highlighted, click the button in the top left that says New Mail.
  4. Drag the highlighted message you want to forward over to the new empty message. You should see it show up as an attachment.
  5. Fill out the To: field to the recipient, such as phishing@mit.edu, and fill out the subject and body with any additional information you would like to provide.
  6. Click Send.

Outlook.com / Office 365

  1. Open your mail in two browser windows.
  2. Create a new email message in one of the browser windows.
  3. In the other browser window, drag the email you want to attach from your email list, and drop it in the new message.
  4. Fill out the To: field to the recipient, such as phishing@mit.edu, and fill out the subject and body with any additional information you would like to provide.
  5. Click Send.

Windows 10 Mail

  1. Open the message you want to forward.
  2. Click on the three horizontal dots in the upper-right.
  3. Click Save As, and save the email as a file to your local machine.
  4. Start a new message.
  5. Click the Insert tab from the top menu.
  6. Select Attach File from the drop-down menu.
  7. Navigate to where you saved the message you want to forward in step 3.
  8. Select the saved message you want to forward and click the Open button.
  9. Fill out the To: field to the recipient, such as phishing@mit.edu, and fill out the subject and body with any additional information you would like to provide.
  10. Click Send.

Outlook Express / Windows Mail

  1. Right-click the message that you want to forward.
  2. In the context menu that appears, click Forward as Attachment (this is also available from the ‘Message’ menu at the top of the screen). 
  3. Fill out the To: field to the recipient, such as phishing@mit.edu, and fill out the subject and body with any additional information you would like to provide.
  4. Click Send.

If you want to send multiple messages, you can drag and drop additional messages onto the new message window. You can also select multiple messages by holding the ‘Shift’ or ‘Ctrl’ keys when clicking, and then right-click and Forward as Attachment as above.

Outlook 2011 and newer for Mac

Current versions:

  1. In the messages list, right-click the message you want to forward.
  2. Click Forward As Attachment
  3. Fill out the To: field to the recipient, such as phishing@mit.edu, and fill out the subject and body with any additional information you would like to provide.
  4. Click Send.

Legacy versions:

  1. Click on E-mail to create a new email.
  2. Select the email you want to forward and drag it to the body area of the new email.
    Result: You should see the forwarded message show up in the new message as an attachment. You can do this for as many messages as you like.
  3. Fill out the To: field to the recipient, such as phishing@mit.edu, and fill out the subject and body with any additional information you would like to provide.
  4. Click Send.

Outlook 2010 or Newer

  1. Right-click the message
  2. Select More Actions
  3. Click the Forward as Attachment.
  4. Fill out the To: field to the recipient, such as phishing@mit.edu, and fill out the subject and body with any additional information you would like to provide.
  5. Click Send.

or

  1. Use the Ctrl+Alt+F keyboard shortcut.

Outlook 2007

  1. Select the message or messages you wish to forward.
  2. From the Actions menu, select Forward as Attachment.
  3. Fill out the To: field to the recipient, such as phishing@mit.edu, and fill out the subject and body with any additional information you would like to provide.
  4. Click Send.

Outlook 2003/XP

  1. Start a new email message.
  2. Select the message you want to forward and drag it to the body area of the new email. You can do this for as many messages as you like.
  3. Fill out the To: field to the recipient, such as phishing@mit.edu, and fill out the subject and body with any additional information you would like to provide.
  4. Click Send.

Gmail

Many users have their email automatically forwarded to gmail.

Gmail does not let you directly forward an email as an attachment, however it does allow you to download a full message to your computer, which you can then attach to a new email message.

  1. Open the message
  2. In the upper-right, Click on the three vertical dots.
  3. Click Show Original.
  4. Click Download Original and save the file (.eml format).
  5. Click Compose to start a new message
  6. Click on the paperclip icon to attach files.
  7. Navigate to where you saved the .eml file (message to be forwarded).
  8. Select that file and click Open
  9. Fill out the To: field to the recipient, such as phishing@mit.edu, and fill out the subject and body with any additional information you would like to provide.
  10. Click Send.
    It is preferable to log into https://owa.exchange.mit.edu or use Outlook to send the attachment directly from an MIT account. Attachments sent directly from gmail have been known to become corrupted in transit.

Apple Mail

Current versions of MacOS:

  1. In the list of messages, right-click on your chosen message.
  2. Click Forward as Attachment.
  3. Fill out the To: field to the recipient, such as phishing@mit.edu, and fill out the subject and body with any additional information you would like to provide.
  4. Click Send.

Legacy versions of MacOS:

  1. Open the message you want to forward.
  2. Under the ‘View’ menu, select Message > Long headers (for OS X 10.2, Jaguar it is View > Show all headers.)
  3. Click Forward
  4. Fill out the To: field to the recipient, such as phishing@mit.edu, and fill out the subject and body with any additional information you would like to provide.
  5. Click Send.

Thunderbird (including Netscape, SeaMonkey)

  1. In the messages list, right-click on the message you want to forward (or select multiple messages and then right-click).
  2. Select Forward as attachment.
    Result: The message should appear in the attachment box in a new message.
  3. Fill out the To: field to the recipient, such as phishing@mit.edu, and fill out the
  4. Click Send.

See also

https://www.greennet.org.uk/support/how-forward-email-attachment

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members


Last Modified:

January 26, 2021

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