MSG file icon

MSG File Extension

Outlook Mail Message
  • Developer
    Microsoft
  • Category
  • Popularity
    3.2 (16 votes)

What is MSG file?

Files with the MSG extension are used by the Microsoft Outlook email messages program. This program, by creating an MSG file, stores in it all the most important information regarding an email message , including subject, content, sender and receiver data, date, and also hyperlinks and attachments.

When is MSG file created?

System generates an MSG files always in the moment when an email message is being stored or created in the Outlook program. However, the file can be generated also in other circumstances – not for an email message but for the special tabs in the Outlook program, such as schedule, contact or task. Of course, it appears after introducing changes to one of the above mentioned tabs.

Opening MSG files

MSG files can opened only by these programs which support the MAPI interface (Microsoft's Messaging Applications Programming Interface). It result from the fact that the MSG files are not stored in a simple text form, but in a binary format, therefore their import is a bit difficult. Exporting MSG files is possible mainly in order to archive them, store or scan with antivirus programs.

Programs which support MSG file extension

The list that follows enumerates programs compatible with MSG files, divided into 4 categories based on operating system on which they are available. Files with MSG extension, just like any other file formats, can be found on any operating system. The files in question may be transferred to other devices, be it mobile or stationary, yet not all systems may be capable of properly handling such files.

Updated: 08/26/2019

How to open file with MSG extension?

There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening MSG files on given system. Fortunately, most common problems with MSG files can be solved without in-depth IT knowledge, and most importantly, in a matter of minutes. We have prepared a listing of which will help you resolve your problems with MSG files.

Step 1. Install Microsoft Outlook software

Install software to open MSG file The most common reason for such problems is the lack of proper applications that supports MSG files installed on the system. The most obvious solution is to download and install Microsoft Outlook or one to the listed programs: Aid4Mail, MsgViewer Pro, Pegasus Mail. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. If you want to download Microsoft Outlook installer in the most secured manner, we suggest you visit Microsoft Corporation website and download from their official repositories.

Step 2. Update Microsoft Outlook to the latest version

Update software that support file extension MSGIf you already have Microsoft Outlook installed on your systems and MSG files are still not opened properly, check if you have the latest version of the software. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. If you have an older version of Microsoft Outlook installed, it may not support MSG format. The most recent version of Microsoft Outlook is backward compatible and can handle file formats supported by older versions of the software.

Step 3. Assign Microsoft Outlook to MSG files

If you have the latest version of Microsoft Outlook installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage MSG on your device. The next step should pose no problems. The procedure is straightforward and largely system-independent

Associate software with MSG file on Windows

Selecting the first-choice application in Windows

  • Right-click the MSG file and choose Open with option
  • Click Choose another app and then select More apps option
  • To finalize the process, select Look for another app on this PC entry and using the file explorer select the Microsoft Outlook installation folder. Confirm by checking Always use this app to open MSG files box and clicking OK button.
Associate software with MSG file on Mac

Selecting the first-choice application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the MSG file and select Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • Select Microsoft Outlook and click Change for all...
  • A message window should appear informing that This change will be applied to all files with MSG extension. By clicking Continue you confirm your selection.

Step 4. Check the MSG for errors

Should the problem still occur after following steps 1-3, check if the MSG file is valid. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.

Check MSG file for viruses
1. Check the MSG file for viruses or malware

If the MSG is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. It is advised to scan the system for viruses and malware as soon as possible or use an online antivirus scanner. MSG file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.

2. Ensure the file with MSG extension is complete and error-free

If the MSG file was sent to you by someone else, ask this person to resend the file to you. During the copy process of the file errors may occurred rendering the file incomplete or corrupted. This could be the source of encountered problems with the file. If the MSG file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Check if the user that you are logged as has administrative privileges.

Some files require elevated access rights to open them. Log out of your current account and log in to an account with sufficient access privileges. Then open the Outlook Mail Message file.

4. Make sure that the system has sufficient resources to run Microsoft Outlook

The operating systems may note enough free resources to run the application that support MSG files. Close all running programs and try opening the MSG file.

5. Check if you have the latest updates to the operating system and drivers

Latest versions of programs and drivers may help you solve problems with Outlook Mail Message files and ensure security of your device and operating system. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle MSG files.

Conversion of a MSG file

File Conversions from MSG extension to a different format
File conversions from other format to MSG file
Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the MSG file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on MSG file.

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