Are .eml Files Dangerous

Are .eml Files Dangerous?

4 mins

When most people think of email attachments, the file type that comes to mind is .pdf. However, there’s a lesser-known file type that can be just as dangerous. 

.eml files. Are often used for legitimate purposes, such as when a company wants to send an automated email response to a customer, these files can also be exploited by hackers. So, are .eml files dangerous?

Yes, .eml files can be dangerous. They can trigger active scripting that can be used to launch virus activity. For this reason, it’s always important to be vigilant about what files you open and where they come from.

.eml files are often used in spam emails or as attachments, so it’s important to be suspicious of any unsolicited emails that you receive. If you do open a .eml file and it looks like it might contain a virus, don’t hesitate to delete it right away.

What is a .eml File Used For?

A .eml file is an email message file saved by an email program, such as Microsoft Outlook.

These files are generally stored in the MBOX format and contain the full headers and body of the email message, as well as any attachments.

Unlike .msg files, which are also used for storing emails, .eml files cannot be opened directly in Outlook or other email clients.

Instead, they must be imported or converted to another format before they can be viewed. While this may seem like a hassle, .eml files have some advantages over .msg files.

  • For one, they can be opened in a variety of different email programs, making them more versatile.
  • Additionally, .eml files are smaller in size than .msg files, so they take up less disk space. As a result, they are often used for archiving or backup purposes.

Are .eml Files Dangerous?

Email is one of the most commonly used methods of communication, with billions of messages sent every day. However, many people are unaware of the potential risks associated with email attachments.


One type of attachment that can pose a risk is a .eml file. short for Email Message Format, .eml files are used to store email messages.

While .eml files are not inherently dangerous, they can be used by malicious actors to deliver malware or phishing attacks. For example, attackers may send an email that appears to be from a trusted source, such as a bank or government institution.

The email may contain a .eml attachment that, when opened, launches a malicious program that infects the computer with malware.

In other cases, attackers may use .eml files to trick victims into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. While .eml files are not dangerous in and of themselves.

It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with opening them. When in doubt, always verify the sender of an email before opening any attachments.

What Happens When You Open a Malicious .eml File?

When you open a malicious .eml file, your computer could be subjected to a variety of attacks.

The .eml file format is commonly used to deliver email messages and is supported by a number of email clients. However, the .eml format is also used by some malware authors to deliver their payloads.

If you open a malicious .eml file, your computer could be infected with malware, or your personal information could be stolen.

In some cases, simply opening the .eml file could trigger an attack. For example, if the .eml file contains an embedded script, that script could be executed automatically when you open the file.

The script could then perform any number of actions, including downloading and installing malware or stealing your personal information.

In other cases, opening the .eml file may not immediately trigger an attack. However, the .eml file may contain links or attachments that could lead to malicious websites or downloadable files.

If you click on one of these links or attachments, you could inadvertently infect your computer with malware or compromise your personal information.

For these reasons, it is important to exercise caution when opening .eml files, even if they appear to come from a trusted source.

If you are not expecting a .eml file from someone, it is best to delete it without opening it. And if you do need to open a .eml file, make sure that you have a strong anti-malware solution in place first.

How To Protect Your Self From Dangerous .eml Files?

.eml files are email attachments that can be dangerous. They can contain viruses or malicious code that can harm your computer.


Here are some tips to protect yourself from .eml files:

  • Don’t open .eml files from an unknown sender– If you don’t know the person who sent you the file, it’s best not to open it. Delete the email and empty your trash bin afterward.
  • Don’t open .eml files from untrustworthy sources– Even if you know the sender, if you’re not sure whether the source is trustworthy, it’s best not to open the file. Delete the email and empty your trash bin afterward.
  • Scan .eml files with antivirus software– Before opening any .eml file, scan it with antivirus software to make sure it’s safe. If the file is infected, the antivirus software will usually delete it automatically.
  • Install A Spam filtering plugin– Prevention is better than cure, adding a spam filtering plugin service can prevent any malicious or spam emails from entering your email account.
  • Open .eml files in a text editor– If you still want to open the .eml file, do so in a text editor like Notepad++ instead of using your regular email client. This way, if there is any malicious code in the file, it won’t be executed on your computer.
  • Use an email filtering service– You can also use an email filtering service like Spamassassin to filter out .eml files before they even reach your inbox. This way, you’ll never have to worry about them again.

Wrap Up

Generally, .eml files are not dangerous. However, they should be opened with caution. If you do open a .eml file and it looks suspicious, take a closer look at the contents before opening it up.

 By following the tips we’ve provided in this post, you can keep your computer and email safe from harm.

With just a little bit of common sense and some awareness of what to look for, you can keep yourself safe from any potential threats posed by .eml files.


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Michael Fied

founder of and SpamBurner

Michael Fied is the founder and CEO of and SpamBurner. In addition, he’s an internationally top-rated and award-winning website advisor and website architect with a global team of 55. You can find Michael on LinkedIn or contact him directly here.

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