How to Open MSG Files on Mac

When someone using Microsoft Outlook on Windows shares a file, picture, contact or any information with you, it is likely to be in the MSG format (a message file). The problem with Mac is that you cannot open MSG files on mac even with the Outlook app on Mac, which can be quite frustrating.

You might find it surprising that Outlook on Mac can’t open files of Outlook on Windows, but the Mac saves files in the EML format. But worry not, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll share with you several ways through which you can open MSG files on Mac. Let’s get started.

7 Ways to Open MSG Files on Mac

Here are the 7 unique ways to open MSG files on mac. Try one by one all of them and you will be able to run your message files on mac easily.

1. Use the Outlook Web App

If you are looking for a simpler solution, simply make use of the Outlook Web App. The app comes with a built-in MSG viewer.

To do this, either open a new email and attach the file, or forward the file to the Outlook email address. Then, simply open it.

2. Install Mozilla SeaMonkey on Your Mac

SeaMonkey, owned by Mozilla, is an all-in-one internet application which combines email, web browsing, and much more. This program is the only one by Mozilla that can open a message (MSG) file. Here’s how you can do this after you are done installing the software.

  • Launch the app, 
  • Then, go to the ‘Window’ in the top taskbar. Navigate to Mail and Newsgroups.
  • You’ll be presented with the option to create a new account, click Cancel and then click Exit.
  • Next, go to ‘Files’ situated at the top-left corner of your screen and click Open File.
  • Here, a menu bar will pop up, select the MSG file that you want to open.

You can now read and open MSG files on mac.

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3. Install an MSG Viewer

If SeaMonkey didn’t work out for you, you can try to buy and install an MSG viewer, a purpose-built software to read such files. Here are some of the best ones available:

  • The MSG Viewer for Outlook is a utility that you can get for free from the AppStore, but with an in-app purchase. Getting the full version from the website is possible at $17.99 only. The MSG Viewer will allow you to open message files on your preferred email.
  • Message Viewer Online, as the name suggests, is an online tool that you can use for free.
  • Sysinfo MSG Viewer is available on a free trial basis and lets you view the first 25 MSG files online for free. However, getting the full version from the website will cost you $29.00.
  • Klammer is available on the App Store at only $3.99. This app allows you to convert MSG files in bulk after subscribing to a free in-app-purchase.

4. Install an MSG Converter

MSG converter opens the message while converting it to a format that Mac can read. Here are a few options that you may find useful:

  • MSG-Extractor: is a free-to-use python tool that extracts the data from the MSG file.
  • Zook MSG to EML Converter: A relatively expensive tool at $49.00 which makes the MSG file readable.
  • MailRaider A tool can be downloaded as a free trial or paid version purchased at only $4.99 from the App Store. This utility can extract plain text from the MSG file.

5. Try Changing the File Extension

Changing file extension can also be a solution to opening MSG files, but in rare situations. Here’s how you can do this. 

  • Right-click on the file you want to convert.
  • Navigate to Get Info.
  • Go to Name and Extension.
  • Switch to a new format like EML or TxT from the MSG.
  • Hit Return.

The EML extension is used by Mac’s mail application. To convert to EML, follow the steps below:

  • Look for the file that you want to convert in the Finder.
  • Right click on it to open the option menu.
  • There, click on the Rename option, this renames your file.
  • Simply, add the extension EML to the end of the name of the file.
  • Note that you’ll be warned of making this change but just go ahead with it.
  • Lastly, open the file by double clicking on it.

This process may solve your problem of opening the MSG file.

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6. Open it as a Text File

The MSG can be opened as a plain text file using a simple text editor on your Mac. After doing this, the decryption may slightly confuse you due to many characters that don’t make any sense, but finding the text body won’t be difficult.

This method is sufficient if you want to read a text body from the MSG file. However, it will not support if you want to view an attachment.

To open the MSG file as a plain text document:

  • Firstly, navigate to the MSG file in the Finder.
  • Next, right-click the file to open the context menu.
  • Then, go to Open With, and select TextEdit.app.

If the ‘TextEdit.app’ is not available, simply go to Other and click on any text editor present in the list.

7. Run Outlook for Windows on Your Mac

Another way to open MSG files on Mac is to simply install Windows on your Mac. However, this will only be possible if you have an Intel Mac—not the latest M1 or M2.. Apple allows Windows to be installed alongside macOS

To use Windows, you will have to restart your Mac and hold the Option key on startup to switch from Windows to MacOS or vice versa. Once you have switched to Windows operating system, simply install the Outlook application like on a normal Window OS. Now, you’ll be able to open MSG files on mac. 

To use Windows, you’ll have to: 

  • Hold the Option key on startup and choose Windows or MacOS.
  • After that, install Outlook on your Windows.
  • Now, you’ll be able to open the MSG file.

If this doesn’t suit you—which will most likely be the case—you can alternatively install Windowson virtual machines like Parallel Desktop and VMware Fusion, after doing this you won’t have to restart your system to switch to Windows.

However, this is relatively expensive as you’ll have to purchase MS Windows and will have to go through technical steps—which is just too much work.

Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq is a digital Evangelist having right commands on writing, also he is a web developer. He has a BS(Computer Science) and now he is Full-Time writer of TechanZone.

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