Many users of Windows Mail (Windows Vista) or Windows Live Mail (part of Windows Live Essentials) used to backup individual emails and save them as .EML files. Since Windows Live Mail has been discontinued, users are forced to use third-party mailers or even buy Microsoft’s own produce, Microsoft Outlook. However, the preview pane in File Explorer shows “No preview available” when a
.EML file is selected.
This article tells you how to preview .EML files in File Explorer Preview pane, in Windows 7 through Windows 10.
Option 1: Enable .EML Preview Using Preview Handler Association Editor
- Download Preview Handler Association Editor, unzip and run the program
- In the drop-down box, select “Microsoft Windows Mail Mime Preview Handler“. Note that there are two of those entries there. You can select either of them.
- Uncheck the Only show classes associated with this handler setting.
- Scroll down and locate
.emlfile type entry from the list.
- Enable the checkbox for
- Close Preview Handler Association Editor.
Option 2: Enable .EML Preview Using the Registry Editor
Using Preview Handler Association Editor or PreviewConfig (which I wrote during Windows Vista days) can be the easiest option for most users. However, if you don’t want to use 3rd party tools, and need to deploy the setting across your network, here is a direct registry setting you need:
- Right-click Start, click Run.
regedit.exeand click OK. This starts the Registry Editor.
- Go to the following registry branch:
- With the
.emlkey selected, create a subkey named
shellex, create another subkey named
- With the newly created subkey selected, double-click the
(default)value on the right pane and set its data to:
- After completing the above steps, make sure that the registry settings looks like this.
- Exit the Registry Editor.
That’s it! You’ve now added a preview handler for .EML files and will be able to preview the .EML file contents in Explorer.
Note: To enable the preview pane (if not already enabled) in File Explorer, press Alt + P. The switch acts as a toggle.
Hope the instructions in this article helped you get back
.EML preview capability in File Explorer. Also, check out my other post on how to enable File Explorer preview for .PS1 PowerShell script files.
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About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in Windows — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP (2003-2012) who contributes to various Windows support forums.