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I work with a Document Management System that has my Outlook email archive stored as .msg files... which is nice and all, but I can't get my iPad to actually open them up properly.

A search through the App Store results in two apps that claim to support this:

  • MSG File Viewer ($0.99) - doesn't seem to associate itself properly with .MSG files in Safari/SkyDrive/etc.
  • Klammer ($0.99 + $0.99 in-app purchase) - shows up in Open With... dialog, but shows up empty in the app.

However, neither seems to associate itself with .MSG files in Safari/SkyDrive/etc . Also, support for inline images and formatting seems sketchy at best.

I also noted that if I forward a .MSG file in an email, Mail will sometimes open it properly by converting it to .EML on the fly. I just can't figured out how to use that to open .MSG files on any other location, though.

Are there any other solutions I'm not aware of? It would be really nice to be able to access these files on the road.

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    I ended up manually implementing .MSG parsing & rendering in the DMS companion app I've developed. There wasn't (and still isn't) enough interest to release and maintain this functionality as a separate app.
    – Paul-Jan
    Commented Oct 23, 2017 at 16:11
  • Sorry to hear. Any insight on how this system ended up ingesting emails in a non-standard format like .msg instead of the omnipresent .eml?
    – Nemo
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 18:20
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    It's part of a rather popular DMS in the legal space, where .MSG files are archived because they need to be retrievable 100% in Outlook, including any metadata that's not present in .EML files.
    – Paul-Jan
    Commented May 18, 2021 at 7:04
  • very interesting, thanks! Do you happen to know any documentation or explanation of what metadata that is? The spec isn't particularly useful. en.wikipedia.org/w/…
    – Nemo
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 10:03

3 Answers 3

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You don't need an additional app. You can either sync your email messages to your iPad from your computer - instructions are in the user's guide as well as here:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1386

or you can set up your iPad to connect directly to your email provider - instructions also in the user's guide and here:

http://www.apple.com/support/ipad/mail/

If your email service is an Exchange server, I'd recommending setting up your iPad to talk directly to the server. Then your mail, calendar and contacts, if you wish it so, will synchronize automatically without you having to sync with your computer.

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  • iTunes will not sync mail over USB or WiFi - only a limited subset of contact data and calendar data flows from a computer to iOS as sync. It also doesn't work with .msg files directly.
    – bmike
    Commented Dec 10, 2013 at 3:37
  • Thanks for the answer, but the thing is these messages are not "on my computer". They are .MSG files that have been archived into a Document Management System. I can download them to the iPad just fine from there, I just can't open them.
    – Paul-Jan
    Commented Dec 10, 2013 at 6:31
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I have a solution for the challenge when you try and open an .msg file in OneNote on an iPad. The solution was to install the $1.99 app called “msg Lense”. When you click on the .msg file in OneNote on your iPad and it asks you to choose a viewer, just choose this app and it will open the email, AND it will allow you to open any word or other file attached to that email.

For only $2 a frustrating issue helped me avoid firing up my laptop just to view emails I have attached to my notes in OneNote

Interesting that Microsoft has not solved this issue as it has been on many people’s list of issues for years and with OneNote being incredibly good at copy-past just about any content from any source.

Anyway - buy this app “msg Lense” (yes, it is spelled LensE) if you just want to view emails .msg files on your iPad OneNote

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The best solution I have found for this problem other than trying the .msg viewers is to convert the .msg files to .pdf because they can be read. I don't know if this is a possible solution for the user as his issue is that they are in a document management system. If the DMS can convert to .pdf that could be a solution.

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