Dave Taylor

Viewing Message Sources In Windows Live Hotmail

By: Dave Taylor
August 13th, 2010

The latest upgrade in Windows Hotmail has gone ahead and removed the View Message Source from the right-click context menu in the Inbox! I have always found that to be a valuable and critical tool in filtering out /previewing potentially risky e-mails without ever having to actually open them.

Why on earth would MS disarm their Hotmail account users in this day and age in the battle against scams/spams/phishing and all other sorts of nefarious exploits!?!?

Dave's Answer:

I love your question because I love that you use the phrase "nefarious exploits". That by itself caused me to want to answer your query. :-)

More importantly, you're right, Microsoft's Live.com team have indeed moved some things around in the new - vastly improved - Hotmail user interface, and while it's mostly an improvement in my opinion, there are definitely some things that have shuffled around and found new homes, including the useful View Message Source capability.

Turns out it's still there in Hotmail - which is good, especially if you're checking to see if an email message is legit or bogus - but it's just not accessible from the folder summary view.

Here's an example: I sent myself a message from a different account to my Hotmail account and here's how it looked in the inbox:

windows live hotmail inbox 1

Let's look at that second message. To do so, simply click on the subject shown, and it'll show the message itself:

windows live hotmail inbox 2

At this point, notice the "Action" menu button on the top right. Click on it and there are a bunch of different options you can do here in Windows Live Hotmail:

windows live hotmail inbox 3

There's what we want, almost at the bottom: View Message Source. Choose that one and *poof* you're seeing a lot of crufty message routing and status information data, along with other message headers:

windows live hotmail inbox 4

So the answer to your question of how to see message source is: use the Action menu. Your question of why they keep moving this sort of thing around? Not so sure about that one, but I'd guess it's just to keep up with the Joneses (Yahoo Mail, Google's Gmail).

About the Author: Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since 1980 and is internationally known as an expert on both business and technology issues. Holder of an MSEd and MBA, author of twenty books and founder of four startups, he also runs a strategic marketing company and consults with firms seeking the best approach to working with weblogs and social networks. Dave is an award-winning speaker and frequent guest on radio and podcast programs. AskDaveTaylor.com http://www.intuitive.com/blog/