Most of my colleagues use Outlook on Windows and I need to access emails stored in .msg format (don't ask, it's complicated).

My understanding is that .msg is an Outlook file format, but Outlook 2011 on Mac can't open them. When I right-click on the file and ask to open with Outlook, it creates an email with the .msg file as an attachment. Using various dragging and trying to open with the file menu also don't help.

Any ideas on how to open these on Mac? Preferably without having to install additional software.

  • when you say msg in outlook file format. Are you talking about a file the ends in pst, ost or something to that extent? – Chillie Jan 12 '12 at 19:34
  • @Chillie, A file that ends in msg. See the link I added to the question. – gaefan Jan 12 '12 at 20:07

I'm sorry to say, currently .msg files can't be opened using Outlook 2011. I have found the only way is one of three things:

  1. Get them in a .pst file ( which might not work for you, cause you are getting them as a .msg file for a reason).

  2. Install Windows and Outlook on your Mac through Boot Camp (although it seems like to much just to view emails).

  3. Try Klammer (in the Mac Store) it will let you open them, and on their site is says open in Outlook.

I think your best bet might be number 3.


Can saved Outlook email and contacts (in .msg format) be converted and then imported?

Microsoft Office 2008 - Entourage and .msg files

  • 4
    Thanks! Crazy that MS doesn't support its own file formats. – gaefan Jan 12 '12 at 21:38
  • @Chillie, re "Klammer"; odd link.. – Pacerier Jan 22 at 7:03
  • @Pacerier Thanks for the letting me know the link is broken now. I updated it. – Chillie Jan 22 at 16:26

For everyone in 2016 who is also looking for a free software without IAPs and similiar "problems" (MailRaider for example was free years ago):

MSGViewer is a free software, which can be downloaded via sourceforge. It does, what the name stands for: viewing / showing the content of the msg files! I just tried it after browsing for a good software that does not cost 10 Dollars or more and I can recommend it.

MSGViewer SourceForge link.

Edit: Just had an .msg file with images inside: msgviewer is also capable of showing them.


MailRaider by Pascal Harris seems to work well with my initial use and, best of all, it's free:

Are you a Switcher? Have you got old e-mails archived somewhere? Have you ever wished that your Mac could read your old Microsoft™ Outlook .msg files? If so, MailRaider could be just what you need. Try it. And let me know how you get on.

I've tested it with simple .msg files and ones with attachments and it seems to work very well.

  • 3
    MailRaider is no longer free – currently costs $3. – Tamlyn Nov 4 '15 at 12:51

The Outlook MSG Viewer software works great for Mac! http://www.element26.net/products/shop/outlook-msg-viewer/

  • 1
    Welcome to Ask Different! Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please excerpt it in the answer. – gentmatt Sep 30 '12 at 15:21
  • This did not work for me. It opens in mac mail client instead of outlook and does not show contacts – s_t_e_v_e Jan 5 '15 at 15:50

If you just want to view it, you can just check this MS Outlook Msg Viewer Online Free. Web software, no need to install anything.

  • Does not work for my msg files. – tenub Mar 23 '16 at 12:51

Microsoft has a site "User Voice" at which users can request a feature for Outlook. Please vote for this feature and maybe they will implement it. Here is the link https://outlook.uservoice.com/forums/293343-outlook-for-mac/suggestions/9451137-open-outlook-msg-files-on-the-mac


MailRaider Pro works well - it costs a small amount, but you can get it on the app store or on the 45RPMSoftware website. The version on the 45RPMSoftware website also works as a demo (it won't open your entire email, and it won't extract all your attachments til you've paid for it.)

The developer is very helpful, responding quickly to emails (but the help forum on the website doesn't seem to work at the moment).

Website - MailRaider

Youtube tutorial - Youtube tutorial


To open .msg file on mac you can directly access through outlook.com and by office 365. If you don't want to use it then you can use online tools like MailRaider, MSGViewer, MSGConvert etc. For more information you can check this one https://www.macoszon.com/open-msg-file-on-mac/

  • OP wants to know how to directly access though Outlook – user151019 May 13 '19 at 15:18

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