I'd like a simple program to keep and view the emails with my software license keys, receipts for software purchases, etc. I also have email from other genealogy researchers that I'd like to archive. So I'd like to make copies of some of these Really Important Emails and stash them somewhere else. It isn't necessary for the archive to be a full-fledged mail agent, only that I can read the email, and copy-and-paste the information inside.

My main desktop is on Windows 8.1 at the moment; I plan to upgrade to Windows 10 before the free upgrade period ends. For Windows, I am considering a PortableApp so I could copy the archive to thumb drives along with my password stash and and other useful information. I also have Knoppix on a thumb drive, so if there's a good Linux solution, I could keep my keys on that drive, too.

Looking at the list of apps at PortableApps.com, I see Opera Mail Portable and Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition.

At the moment, my email is in a mess. Most of the software keys will be in Thunderbird on my current computer, but I have some email in Eudora on an old Windows 98 computer, and I have multiple profiles of Thunderbird which I need to consolidate. I have a couple of Win98 programs I'd like to run in a VM, so I need to keep the keys for those, too.

What should I be considering as I evaluate the import features for these programs? My ideal program would act like Beyond Compare for files and help me sort out duplicates, but I don't know if anything like that exists for mboxes or other email formats.

One advantage of a pure viewer over a mail agent would be that I wouldn't have to link it to any of my existing email accounts before I could set it up.

  • I've looked at other Qs here but I haven't looked at SuperUser yet.
    – Jan Murphy
    Jul 16, 2016 at 21:24
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    If you "save as" an HTML file from Thunderbird, your emails can be archived like any other file, without requiring a reader for .EML format files.
    – Chenmunka
    Jul 19, 2016 at 9:29
  • For ordinary email, printing to a PDF or saving as an HTML file is fine. But one of the shareware venders requires us to cut-and-paste a large block of text out of the email to activate the key. I'm trying to avoid saving those emails in a different format, because I don't know if it will change something in the transition and break the key.
    – Jan Murphy
    Jul 19, 2016 at 15:18
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    I understand your concern. In my experience it doesn't. I've had the same experience, needing to save a long licence key that takes up 4 or 5 lines but has no line breaks within itself. Saving as HTML then pasting from that HTML to a new PC has worked.
    – Chenmunka
    Jul 19, 2016 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


i'm writing a simple Email Viewer for Linux/GTK. you may check it out: gtk email viewer It can open raw rfc822 format files (they often have .eml extension), show headers, plain text content, html/pdf/rtf content (with converter helper tools: lynx, w3m, ...), image attachments, can extract/save attachments, compose new email, attach files by drag-n-drop, send via sendmail command. It's integrated with gravatar, bogofilter, razor, pyzor. It's under development, i'm using it actively to read my emails, but not for sending yet.

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