Can’t Explore EML File Attachments in Outlook – Guide to Fix It


If you are not able to read EML file attachments in Outlook, then we will explain other methods to help you with this issue. We also explain why users can’t explore EML file attachments in Outlook.

An email file, short for EML file, is a common way to store your emails. Many applications and programs use this file to store, import, or export them. The data stored in the file is in text format, which makes it easier to use in various applications like Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, or Notepad as well. EML files not only save emails but also their headers and in-line attachments. So, whenever you want to view the data, you can use any program.

But if you are unable to view EML files and their attachments in Outlook, then how can you solve it? To discuss the solution, let’s understand the reasons for the problem.

Cause of Can’t Explore EML File Attachments in Outlook

As there is no particular reason why this happens, there are some factors that affect your exploration of the files.

  • A compatible issue can cause this problem if the version of Outlook you use is not suitable for the EML file we used.
  • The original source of the EML file is unknown, which makes it difficult for Outlook to recognize it.
  • Your EML file is corrupted; this can happen due to the attack of malware or viruses.
  • Hardware failure or any software issue can also be the reason.

You don’t need to worry about it; there are many ways you can use it to open your EML files and view the attachments without using Outlook.

Methods to Fix Can’t Explore EML File Attachments in Outlook

If Outlook does not open and read EML attachments, then you can use other email clients, like Windows Live Mail or Thunderbird. Not only this, if you can’t use email applications, a professional third-party tool will definitely allow you to read the files, whether they have issues or not. So, you have two options for this problem.

  • Manual method: we use Windows Live Mail or Thunderbird to view the files.
  • Professional method: use the software method to read the files.

Manual Ways to Read EML File Attachments

EML files are used in various email clients if they are not open in Outlook. You can use other programs like Windows Live Mail and Thunderbird to see the data in Windows. So, we explain how you can open and view the data in both of the programs. With this, the issue of can’t explore EML file attachments in Outlook was solved.

Open EML Files in Windows Live Mail

  1. In Windows Live Mail, click on the File bar.
  2. Select Import Messages, and then Windows Live Mail.
  3. Browse the location of the EML file.
  4. Select either all folders or specific folders. Then, Next.
  5. The application exports the folder, and you can explore the emails and the attachments.

Import EML Files in Thunderbird

The steps to open the files are different, as Mozilla Thunderbird doesn’t have an in-built import or export option. We have to use the add-in to open the files.

  1. Download Import/Export Tools NG from
  2. After installing the add-on,. Go to the Tools tab.
  3. Select the Import/Export addon. Click on Import Messages.
  4. Browse the location of EML files and import them.
  5. Then, go to the inbox and read the emails and their attachments.

Limitations of Manual Methods

These ways are easy to use to read EML file attachments. But, during this time, some issues occur, like.

  • You cannot open and view the files at the same time.
  • If your file is corrupted, then you may have difficulty accessing it.
  • There is no guarantee that you can read attachments.

So, manual methods have more drawbacks than benefits. Therefore, the next option can easily solve the issue.

A Professional Way to Can’t Explore EML File Attachments in Outlook

To view the EML files, we use a third-party utility. The free-to-download EML Explorer from FreeViewer is the one we use. It is good software because you can read the file without using Outlook. You can read EML files from any email application and explore as many files as you want. The tool has some features that will help you.

Features of Software

  • The tool provides a full data view of EML files with all attributes.
  • It offers many preview modes, like HEX, HTML, RTF, MIME, etc.
  • There are advanced search options for specific data.
  • You can scan your file for any corruption issues.
  • In the software, you can use any size of file as there is no size restriction.

Steps to Read EML File Attachments

  1. Download and launch the software.
  2. Find your EML files from the list of files and folders on the left pane of the screen.
  3. Once you find the files, click on them to display them in front of you.
  4. Click on the Attachments button in preview mode. Also, view the emails one by one.

With these steps, you can easily solve the problem of being unable to view EML file attachments in Outlook. Now, there is another alternative way to view EML files that is free and doesn’t require any installation. EML Online Reader will help you view or explore your files without any problems.


The issue of can’t explore EML file attachments in Outlook is not a serious one. Use other email programs, like Windows Live Mail and Thunderbird. Both of them can easily open and allow you to view the files, but for better results, the professional method will help you. So, the article explains those methods in very easy terms.

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