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How to Find an Email's Creation Date

by Lysa D'AngelyseUpdated August 29, 2017
Email LCD display image by Alex Yeung from Fotolia.com

If you need documentation of an email for personal or business purposes, you can locate this information with a few simple steps. This includes locating the email address of the recipient, archived messages and even the email's creation date. Two common methods for finding this date are locating it within the message or viewing it in the email header. Each process is fairly simple and similar, whether you use Microsoft Outlook or any web-based email.

Web-Based Email

Open a web browser and log in to your web-based email email account, including Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.

Click a folder that contains the email with the creation date you are investigating.

Select and click the heading labeled, "To," which will organize the emails alphabetically. You will be able to identify the creation date of the email to one sender, if there are multiple emails. If the original email was a reply to the sender, double-click the email and scroll to the bottom to locate the creation date via the sender. This information will be located above the message.

View the email header to find the creation date, along with other tracking information for the message. In Yahoo, for example, click “Actions” and then click “View Full Header” to display the date in the email header. For other web-based providers, such as AOL, click the “Action” menu and then click “View Message Source” to access the header data.

Microsoft Outlook

Double-click the Outlook or Outlook Express icon to open your email.

Click “Folders” in the left-hand column, and then click on the folder that contains the desired message.

Locate the specific email you are interested in finding the creation date for. If you have multiple emails to the sender you've been corresponding to, you can double-click the most recent email and scroll to the very bottom of the message to find the originating date or continue to Step 4.

Click on "To" (next to "subject) and organize the sender column alphabetically to locate the first correspondence to that specific sender.

Open the message and locate the originating date and time of the email in the gray area between the toolbar and message area.

Display the email header as an alternative way to get the creation date. Open a message and click the "File" tab, "Info" and then "Properties." The header information is located in the "Internet Headers" box.

Tips

Some web-based email servers don't automatically save sent messages. You may have to change your options to start saving your sent messages. If this option pertains to your web-based email and was not active, you will not be able to locate the email's creation date, unless you receive a reply from the recipient.

Tip

  • Some web-based email servers don't automatically save sent messages. You may have to change your options to start saving your sent messages. If this option pertains to your web-based email and was not active, you will not be able to locate the email's creation date, unless you receive a reply from the recipient.

Items you will need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection

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