How to Open MSG File on Mac

Nicholas Russell
By Nicholas Russell 12 Min Read
12 Min Read

Hey there! If you’ve ever found yourself staring at a .msg file on your Mac, scratching your head and wondering why it won’t open, don’t worry – you’re not alone. These files are like puzzle pieces made for Windows, not Macs.

Together, we’ll tackle the mystery of .msg files and explore how you can crack them open on your Mac.

Now, let’s dive into my toolbox of tricks and discover how you can open .msg files on your Mac. I’ve been around the block with various file types, and trust me, there’s always a way to crack the code.

What is an MSG file?

Alright, let’s demystify the enigma known as MSG files. So, what are they, really? MSG stands for Microsoft Outlook Item, and these files are tailor-made for Microsoft Outlook. It’s like a secret language spoken exclusively between Outlook and its files.

Unveiling the Contents of MSG Files

MSG files aren’t just one-trick ponies; they can carry a variety of Outlook goodies. Inside, you might find an email, a calendar appointment, a contact, a task, or other nifty Outlook items neatly bundled up in a single file.

Outlook Everywhere… Almost

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Microsoft Outlook is like a globetrotter – it’s on Windows systems, Android phones, Macs, iPhones, you name it. So, you’d think, “Hey, I’ll just grab the Mac version and open my MSG file, problem solved!”

But hold on to your hats because it’s not that simple. The MSG file is a bit of a diva; it only dances with the Windows version of Outlook. The Mac, Android, and iPhone versions? They speak a different file language and can’t waltz with .msg files. Bummer, right?

Navigating the Compatibility Conundrum

So, where does that leave us? Staring at our MSG file, hoping for a Mac miracle? Fear not, my friend, because we’re about to navigate this compatibility conundrum and find a workaround.

The Quest for a Solution

In our next adventure, we’ll explore clever tools and tricks to open MSG files on your Mac. We’ll defy the compatibility odds and unveil the secrets hidden within these Windows-exclusive files. Stay tuned for more tech wisdom, and if you’ve got questions, drop them in the comments below. Let’s crack the code together!

8 Ways to Open an MSG File

Alright, buckle up, because we’re about to explore eight ingenious methods to crack open that elusive MSG file on your Mac. Whether you’re on a quest to unveil an email’s secrets or decode a calendar appointment, we’ve got you covered with these tricks, starting with the simplest.

1. Open It as a Text File

If you’re curious about the contents of your MSG file, consider opening it as a text file. It’s like peeking behind the curtain, even if the characters seem to be speaking in code. Follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Locate your .msg file in Finder.
  • Step 2: Right-click and select Open With -> If isn’t an option, choose Open With -> Other… and find the text editor in the list.

Once opened, scroll through the odd characters until you stumble upon the readable text. It’s like solving a puzzle; you might find the sender’s email, recipients, and the text of the email itself. It’s a straightforward method for basic info.

2. Open It as an EML File

Give your file a new identity by renaming it with a .eml extension. This is your Mac’s mail app language. Follow these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Locate the file in Finder.
  • Step 2: Right-click, choose Rename from the menu.
  • Step 3: Add .eml at the end of the file name (e.g., test2.msg.eml).
  • Step 4: Confirm the change when prompted.
  • Step 5: Double-click the new file and let the magic unfold in your mail application.

Sometimes, this swift renaming trick opens up the file, revealing sender and receiver email addresses along with the text of the email. It’s like giving your file a new outfit and watching it transform.

Stay tuned for more wizardry as we delve into additional methods to unravel the mysteries hidden within MSG files. And if you’re feeling adventurous, drop a comment with your tech quests—I’m here to guide you through the digital realm!

3. Send it to an Account

Got an account? Well, here’s a nifty trick. Craft a new email, attach the .msg file, and send it to your Outlook account. Then, head over to, double-click the attachment in the received email, and let Outlook work its magic. Don’t have an account? No worries, sign up for free at

4. Find a Windows Computer

Sometimes, the classics work best. If you have access to a Windows computer with Outlook, use it to open the file. Once opened, copy the text, paste it into a new file, and beam it back to your Mac or stash it on Google Drive for easy access. No Windows on hand? Enlist a friend or colleague’s help.

5. Converter Application

Enter the tech allies – converter applications like MSG Viewer, Mail Raider, and MsgViewer. These handy apps can read .msg files and might even mimic the Outlook look and feel. Check the app store for options; some are free, while others might require a small investment. Your MSG file, your rules.

6. Online Converter

Now, a word of caution. Online converters might seem like a quick fix, but they come with risks. Uploading your MSG file to an online platform means they have access to its contents. If there’s sensitive info, it’s like handing over your secrets. I won’t recommend specific sites, but if you’re feeling adventurous (and a bit risky), a Google search will reveal these online converters.

7. Use a Virtual Machine

Ever wished for a computer within your computer? Enter the virtual machine (VM). Running a Windows VM on your Mac desktop is like having a secret doorway to the Windows world. Here’s how:

  • Step 1: Explore VM options like VMWare, Parallels, or VirtualBox.
  • Step 2: Install a version of Windows within your VM.
  • Step 3: Open Outlook on your virtual Windows machine.

It’s like having a Windows PC coexisting within your Mac. Perfect for those times when you need to crack open an MSG file without the hassle of finding a Windows PC.

8. Boot Camp

Now, if you’re feeling particularly bold, consider Boot Camp. This powerhouse allows you to install and run Windows directly on your Mac. It’s like having a split personality for your computer – Mac OS for one mood, Windows for another:

  • Step 1: Set up Boot Camp on your Mac.
  • Step 2: Install Windows alongside your Mac OS.
  • Step 3: Boot into the Windows environment when needed and fire up Outlook.

This might seem like a heavyweight move just for an MSG file, but if it’s a regular occurrence and you lack access to a PC, Boot Camp might be your ally.

Final Words

And there you have it, a treasure trove of options to navigate the MSG file labyrinth. As we bring this expedition to a close, let’s recap the diverse paths you can take to unveil the secrets within those elusive files.

From simple text file adventures to renaming tricks and converter applications, we’ve covered the basics. But the journey doesn’t end there; for the daring souls, virtual machines and Boot Camp offer a glimpse into the Windows realm right from your Mac.

Before you embark on this digital quest, consider your needs. If it’s a one-time affair or a rare encounter with an MSG file, the simpler options might be your trusty companions. But if you find yourself in this tech terrain regularly, the advanced strategies beckon.

Remember, the digital landscape is vast and ever-changing. New solutions may emerge, and your tech prowess will only grow. If you have more riddles to solve or tech tales to share, drop a comment below. Your journey in the realm of technology is ongoing – embrace the challenges and happy exploring!


Why can’t I open an MSG file directly on my Mac?

MSG files are tailored for Microsoft Outlook on Windows. Mac versions of Outlook can’t crack the code. But fear not, we’ve got strategies to bridge that gap!

What’s the simplest way to peek into an MSG file?

Opening it as a text file is your ticket. Even though it looks like a bunch of characters, you might find the sender, recipient, and the text of the email.

Can I use my account to open an MSG file?

Absolutely! Email the .msg file as an attachment to your account. Double-click the attachment on, and voila – secrets revealed!

What if I don’t have a Windows PC? Can I still open an MSG file?

Fear not! Use a virtual machine (VM) or Boot Camp. VMs like VMWare or Parallels run Windows on your Mac, while Boot Camp lets you dual-boot Windows and Mac OS.

Are online converters safe for opening MSG files?

Proceed with caution. Online converters may not be secure and could compromise sensitive information. It’s safer to explore alternative methods.

Is there a simpler solution for occasional MSG file encounters?

Absolutely. If opening MSG files is a rare occurrence, stick to the simpler options like opening it as a text file or trying the .eml file rename trick.

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