What are Email RFC Headers?

Email headers / email RFC headers / service headers are a set of data about the route of messages passing from the moment they have been sent by the mail server to the time of receipt by the final addressee. The service headers contain the most complete information about when, where, and from what route the letter came, as well as information added to the letter by various utilities (antiviruses, mail service robots, etc.).

Reading and analyzing headers helps to understand why a letter gets into SPAM. It helps to track a real sender or find out the reasons for the delays in the delivery of letters, and solve many other more specific problems.

A typical example:

If you receive SPAM from the author who somehow is related to JustClick, and if you apply to Support asking for its blocking, Support will certainly ask you for the service header of the letter. Without it, it is impossible to determine exactly which user (as well as the server, the account, etc.) has sent spam and whether the user has sent the spam mail from the JustClick mailing list. (Because scammers often mask as well-known mailing services and only the official header of the letter can unravel them.)

After receiving the header, Support instantly sees the entire mailing path and can accurately determine the sender. If the sender did bypass the system’s limits, they will be punished by up to a lifetime blocking.

In real headings, there are no asterisks (****). Information in these titles is hidden in order to make the example more universal.

Received: from mxfront5o.mail.yandex.net ([])
by mxfront5o.mail.yandex.net with LMTP id *********
for <*******@justclick.io>; Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:14:13 +0300
Received: from ********.justclick.io (********.justclick.io [***.***.***.***])
by mxfront5o.mail.yandex.net (nwsmtp/Yandex) with ESMTP id ixdbfbZheE-ED6W9EZj;
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:14:13 +0300
Return-Path: sender@********.justclick.io
X-Yandex-Front: mxfront5o.mail.yandex.net
X-Yandex-TimeMark: 1474978453
Authentication-Results: mxfront5o.mail.yandex.net; spf=pass (mxfront5o.mail.yandex.net: domain of ********.justclick.io designates as permitted sender) [email protected]; dkim=pass [email protected]
X-Yandex-Spam: 1
X-Yandex-Personal-Spam: MTEzMDAwMDAyODkzOTExMQo=
Received: from ********.justclick.io (****.justclick.io [***.***.***.***])
by ********.justclick.io (Postfix) with ESMTPA id 3sk0BF007cz2vp3
for <******@justclick.io>; Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:14:12 +0300 (MSK)
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed;
d=********.justclick.io; s=default; t=1474978453;
From: =?UTF-8?B?0JTQtdC80L7QvdGB0YLRgNCw0YbQuNC+0L3QvdGL0Lkg0LDQutC60LA=?=
=?UTF-8?B?0YPQvdGC?= <[email protected]>
Subject: =?UTF-8?B?MyDQuNC90YHRgtGA0YPQvNC10L3RgtCwINC/0YDQvtC00YPQutGC?=
To: =?UTF-8?B?0JDQu9C10LrRgdC10Lk=?= <******@justclick.io>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
MIME-Version: 1.0
Reply-To: ******@justclick.io
Precedence: bulk
X-Mailru-Msgtype: JCuser-*****
Feedback-ID: ********:********:serial:******
List-Unsubscribe: <http://demo.justclick.io/unsub/aunsub/************/>
Message-ID: <s********l********t********@********.justclick.io>
X-Report-Abuse: Please forward a copy of this message, including all headers,
to ********@justclick.io
X-Report-Abuse: You can also report abuse here: http://goo.gl/*****
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:14:12 +0300
X-Yandex-Forward: 05a969b6dd4588b37627d4e86d0efd62

How Can You Get Email RFC Headers?


  1. Open the letter;
  2. Click on the upper right arrow icon;
  3. Select: “Show The Original” in the drop-down list;
  4. Click “Download The Original” below the “Original Message” table in the opened window.

Apple Mail

  1. Select the letter;
  2. Select View ⇒ Message ⇒ Long Headers in the Menu line.
    or Press the key combination: Shift + Cmd + H.
  3. Copy the appeared headers to notepad (.txt).

OutLook 2010, 2013, 2016

  1. Open the message in a separate window and select “File”;
  2. Select “Details” ⇒ “Properties” in the opened menu;
  3. Copy all the text from the “Internet Headers” field to notepad (.txt) from the Property menu.

OutLook 2007

  1. Open the letter in the program;
  2. Select the “Message” tab in the “Options” group and click the button to open the dialog box;
  3. Copy all the text from the “Internet Headers” in the “Message Settings” window list to Notepad (.txt).

OutLook 2003

  1. Select the letter using the right mouse button and click Options in the drop-down menu.
  2. Copy all the text from the “Internet Headers” in the “Message Settings” window list to Notepad (.txt).

The Bat!

  1. Select the desired letter and press F9; or in the email, select the “Special” menu and select “Original message text” from the drop-down list;
  2. Copy the appeared headers to notepad (.txt).

Mozilla Thunderbird

  1. Open the letter;
  2. Select the “View” ⇒ “Source text” in the upper menu; or Select the letter in the list and press Ctrl + U; or Select “Other actions” ⇒  “View Source” in the letter;
  3. Copy the appeared headers to notepad (.txt).

How Can You Use Email RFC Headers?

  • Service headers are stored in Notepad (default Windows program) or in NotePad ++ in .txt format.
  • This file is attached to the support letter via the “Attach” button (at the first request), or by using default means of your e-mail client in the response letter to the Support Service by saving the subject of the message (if you already communicate with the service via personal mail).

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