Questions and answers
1080I've been asked to forward a message "complete with FULL headers" to help diagnose a problem. How do I do this?
All emails begin with lines of information called headers that give details about their origin, what servers they passed through, and other useful information. They are normally hidden when you read an email, and you only see the most basic header information such as who the message is from, its subject and the date it was sent, but the full headers contain much more detailed information.
The full headers can provide vital information for a specialist investigating an email problem. Normally when you forward a message, only the basic headers are sent, but sadly these are almost useless for the purpose of diagnosing problems. This is why we ask you to provide the full headers when you forward an email to us for analysis.
The method of forwarding a message with full headers will vary according to the email application being used. Some examples for the most commonly-used email applications at Sussex (Outlook and OWA, Roundcube Webmail, Mulberry, Thunderbird and Alpine) are given below.
OUTLOOK and OUTLOOK WEB APP (OWA)
- Double-click on the e-mail message to open it in its own window. In OWA, if the message is one of several in a conversation, double-clicking will open up the conversation list, and you'll need to double-click the required message again to open it in its own window.
- Do one of the following, according to your version of Outlook:
OWA: click on the Message Details icon in the toolbar above the message text:
Outlook 2010: click the pointer on the bottom right of the Tags section in the ribbon:
Outlook 2007: click the pointer on the bottom right of the Options section in the ribbon:
This opens a Message Options box showing the message's internet headers:
- Copy the Internet headers, like this:
(1) Click once in the text in the Internet headers: box.
(2) Press Ctrl-A (hold down Ctrl while you type A) to 'Select All'. The selection will become highlighted like this:
(3) Press Ctrl-C (hold down Ctrl while you type C) to Copy the selected text to your computer's clipboard memory.
- Click on Close to close the Options box.
- Start a Reply to the message that asked you to send the full headers. OR, if you don't have that message, start a New message to the appropriate address.
- Paste the text you copied in step 3 into the body of the new message, like this:
- Click in the body of the message where you want to paste the headers.
- Press Ctrl-V (hold down Ctrl and type V) to Paste the text you copied earlier.
- Type a few words of explanation above the pasted headers just to let us know why you've forwarded them. It's worth also mentioning the name of the person who asked you, so that that person can be alerted to your message.
- Send the message.
The method for Sussex Webmail is a bit fiddly, because the Webmail application (RoundCube) does not as yet have a direct means of forwarding with full headers. A copy-and-paste method is given here instead:
- Double-click the message in the index so as to open it in its own window.
- Click the Show source icon in the tool bar. This opens a new window showing the full message headers and message text.
- Enter CTRL-A (hold down CTRL while you type A) so as to Select All, that is select the entire content of the window. The text will be highlighted to show that it has been selected.
- Enter CTRL-C (hold down CTRL while you type C) to Copy the selected text.
- Close the message window.
- In the webmail window, click the Forward the message icon in the toolbar.
- Enter the forwarding address in the Recipient box.
- Click in the top of the message text window. Enter a few words of explanatory text if you wish. Note that the message text will already be shown in the window, but you can ignore it because it won't have the full headers. Alternatively, select (but do not copy) everything in the message window so that the Paste operation below will overwrite it.
- Enter CTRL-V (hold down CTRL while you type V) to Paste the text you copied earlier.
- Click the Send now button at the bottom left of the window.
- Open the message so as to view it.
- You can view the full headers of the message by clicking the Headers button, as shown in the image below:
- Now click the Forward icon which can be found in a toolbar near the top of the message window. This should open a Forward Message dialogue box, which looks like this:
(If this dialogue box does not open, you need to set your preferences so that it does. Open the File menu, choose Preferences, select Advanced, then click the Message tab, then under the General panel select the Allow Choice of Forward Options button, then click OK)
- Click to select the Include Headers in Quote box, as shown above.
- Click the Forward button.
- Enter the forwarding address in the To: box.
- You can enter any explanatory text of your own if desired, above the headers and text shown in the message window.
- If you do not want to show the original message text, just select it in the forwarding body and cut it out, because only the message headers are normally of any interest to the person helping you unless they have asked otherwise.
- Click the Send button.
- Open the View menu and point to Headers.
- Click on All in the sub-menu that appears:
- Click on the message to highlight it, and then click on the Forward button:
- You will see the full headers shown in the message text window. Enter the forwarding address into the To: field:
- Send the message.
- Remember to switch the View back to Normal if you don't want to continue seeing full headers on all your messages.
ALPINE (new version of PINE)
- In Alpine, open the message for viewing.
- Type h so as to switch on viewing of full headers.
- Type f to forward the message.
- Pine may ask you if you want to forward the message as an attachment; answer No to this.
- Enter the forwarding address and any notes of your own above the forwarded text.
- Enter CTRL-X (hold down CTRL and type x) to send the message.
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This is question number 1080, which appears in following categories: