Full Email Headers Guide

What are email headers?

Every email message includes a block of text at the top that is referred to as the header. There are two types of email headers: simple and full.

Simple headers provide the basic information (From, To, Date, Subject). For legitimate emails, this is all you need to know. However, simple headers can be forged, and often are.

Full headers provide information about the path the message took to get to you. They are a critical resource in determining the origin of a phishing email.  Without them, there is almost nothing that can be done to investigate a problematic email. 

What should I do with full headers?

You should display full headers and copy them.  Then, close the headers, select "forward" for the phishing email, and paste the headers into the top of the email window.  If the email is a spear phishing email, please send the email to UA Information Security.  

How do I display full headers?

Following is a guide for displaying headers for the most commonly used email clients at UA, as well as other applications used by faculty and staff.


Most Commonly Used Email Applications at UA


Other Email Applications