How to Save Emails as Plain Text from Outlook?

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How to Save Emails as Plain Text from Outlook?

How to Save Emails as Plain Text from Outlook?

How to Save Emails as Plain Text from Outlook?

It is great that Outlook has an archive of my emails readily available when I need them. It is also good to know how easy it is to back up all my Outlook data and restore it when necessary (in the form of PST files).

PST or Plain Text: Which Is the Better Archive and Backup?

All this happens (in the form of PST files) in a proprietary, not publicly documented format. Who knows what software and platform will be able to open, read or convert, well, PST files thirty years from now?

The one thing computers will hopefully still be able to read fluently even thirty-one years from now is good old and plain—text. Incidentally, that is also what most emails are: just text.

Save Emails as Plain Text (TXT) from Outlook

Fortunately, Outlook lets you save any message as a text file easily. You can even merge multiple emails into a single text document.

Now, saving to plain text is not the archive you may want to keep routinely—for individual emails it may be priceless, however.

Save Messages as Plain Text with Outlook

To save an email as plain text in Outlook:

  1. Open the desired message in the Outlook preview pane.
    • To save multiple messages to one text file, highlight them all in the mailbox.
  2. In Outlook 2013:
    1. Click FILE.
    2. Select Save As from the menu that appears.
  3. In Outlook 2007:
    1. Select Save As from the message’s Office button.
  4. In Outlook 2003:
    1. Choose File | Save As… from the menu.
  5. Make sure Text Only (or Text Only (*.txt)) is selected under Save as type:.
  1. Type the desired file name under File name: or accept the suggested name.
  2. Choose the folder to save your emails in under Save in:.
  3. Click Save.

Alternatives to Saving as Text from Outlook

If you find yourself saving mail as plain text often—too often for efficient comfort maybe, there are alternatives you can try:

  • Save Emails to the File System macro: will save emails to .msg files to your disk as they come in.
  • CodeTwo Outlook Export: lets you save emails (as well as other data) from Outlook to CSV files.
  • Email2DB: can parse messages and save to databases.


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