Tip 967: How to View Email in a Browser

Outlook doesn't display animated gif's (only the first frame displays), form fields or any active content in email, all thanks to numerous viruses that spread like wildfire through Outlook, so the powers that be locked Outlook down: no active content will display in email.

Outlook's printing capability is also limited and you'll have more print options (such as print selected text) if you use View in Browser.

If you don't need to see animated gif's, use form fields, or print a selection from the message, Outlook renders HTML formatting very well, but it may not always be "perfect" and a browser will do a better job.

When you send an animated gif, you'll only see the first frame, but the recipient will see the animation if they use an email client that can display animation.

You could save the message as HTML and open the HTML is a browser, but this is not necessary (and too much effort!) since as you can open messages in a browser directly from Outlook.

To view an HTML message in a web browser, you need to open the message!

Outlook 2007, 2010 or 2013

View in browser command in Outlook 2007/ 2010

  1. Open the message.
  2. Click the Other Actions button on the Actions chunk.
  3. From the flyout menu, choose View in Browser (its near the bottom)

Use View in Browser to view any HTML message that does not display correctly in Outlook or when you want to print a message and have better options than Outlook’s print option offers.

Outlook 2003 and older

View in Internet zoneOlder versions don't have a View in Browser command but they do have a View in Internet Zone command. This allows you to view an HTML message in the less secure Internet Zone. This allows you to view active content in email.

You'll find this command on the View menu of an opened message.

More Information

Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013 inability to animate gif's is because it uses Word as the rendering engine and Word does not support animation. Word's lack of support for animated gif's is for security & licensing reasons. (Plus, printed documents don't display animation.)

Published March 27, 2012. Last reviewed on September 16, 2013.

  • Tom Geldner

    View in Internet Zone for Outlook 2003 is not the same as View in Browser. All it does is temporarily take the security zone defaults off the message. It doesn't put it into a browser's rendered.

  • Ellen Finkelstein

    I don't have an Actions button in 2013. I want to use this feature so I can select part of an email and print the selection. I wish outlook had a Print Selection feature!

  • Diane Poremsky

    It's in the same place in Outlook 2013. You need to open the message to see it, you can't it from the message list.

  • Randy Kennedy

    Why does a message that has been edited and views with only the edited version in outlook show the orginal unedited version in the browser? Does editing (and removing some of the content) not actually change the email, only the way that outlook displays it?

  • D Poremsky

    It should show the edited content. What version of Outlook?

  • Randy Kennedy

    More info: these are emails that are copied to a network share (so they create a .msg file) by one person and then opened by others. When I edit and close, I see the timestamp of the .msg file update and when I reopen, it is only the edited version, but view in browser always shows the original.

  • Randy Kennedy


  • http://technicalluddite.com/ Hannele Kormano

    Using a Mac? Use Mac Mail instead (if you're not already).