E-mail has become an important medium of communication for both formal and informal forms. Well, how well do we know about the humble email that we’ve been sending and receiving for a long time? Let us take a look at how this works.
Components of an email:-
An email has three important components – the envelope, headers and the body of the mail. Envelope is internal and body is the content of the mail. Headers contain the routing information of the mail. It stores the path through which the email has travelled until it reached your inbox and records the same for future reference. The headers that an email has are subject line, sender’s ID, receivers’ ID, CC, BCC and sent date/time. In this some are visible to the users and some are invisible. The mandatory headers are sender’s ID, receivers’ ID and date & time, while others are optional (like CC or BCC).
The mail transfer agents (MTA) that are present in each computer makes email transfers possible and each time an email is received it includes a “received” header to the email. When an email is sent, the Mail Transfer Agent adds a stamp with “sent” header details. If it is a forwarded mail or an email thread the Mail Transfer Agents document details like sender, receiver, date, time, subject line and even content before sending it to the next recipient. This process happens each time an email is going through a Mail Transfer Agent, just like what usually happens in post offices.
Headers in Gmail:
Gmail which is now synonymous to email for most users also goes through the same process. It also has a header that provides information about the trail of the email message. We will look at the steps on how to retrieve message headers in Gmail.
It is very easy to retrieve message header in Gmail. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:-
- Log into your Gmail account using your login credentials.
- Open the target email message and click on the down-arrow in the top-right corner of the message.
- Click on the option “show original” and you will see a new window open up showing the message header in Gmail.
Once the new window is opened you have to read the routine information from bottom to top to retrieve message headers in Gmail. It is quite simple, isn’t it? That’s it; you’ve retrieved the message header for that email. You can follow these steps to retrieve the message header for any email in Gmail.