What are .eml files and should I even want them?

Question

When I recieve email with an attached .eml file I cannot open it. It downloads ok but when I go to open the file the download window appears and starts flashing on and off. This happens only with .eml files. I tried running "msimn/reg" as suggested in one of your fixes and windows comes back and says it cannot find "msimn/reg" Why can't I open .eml files?

Answer

This question was answered on January 10, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Are you sure you want to open these things? The rule of thumb is "Don't open attachments!"

I am finding a slew of conflicting information regarding .eml files Some websites say they are virus files designed to fill up your hard drive Some say they are AOL files, and are incompatible with the rest of the world without installing certain utilities.

One site says downloading the latest IE Service Pack will fix the problem (of opening viruses?).

Here are a couple of online forums, which document all this confusion:

www.experts-exchange.com/Applications/ MS_Office/Outlook/Q_20250982.html

www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/win95/t1029173249

The internet page: http://filext.com/e.htm

defines the file extension, along with friendly information that files with this extension imply the nimda e-mail worm virus.

See if these attachments come from an AOL address If so, do you know the user? Ask them to forward files using Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, or some other web-based mail account, if indeed you want and need them, knowing what these attachments are ahead of time.

Personally, I would delete them and forget about the whole thing Then, run a virus scan I firmly believe this to be the best solution

Incompatibilities, if indeed that is what these things are, are best ironed out over time by the Web community at large, especially when there is a potentially dangerous unknown element involved If a solution is worth installing, it will come riding on some future update that will be both desirable and safe.

RG

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Author

Posted by Robert of Mesa Community College on January 10, 2003