In my Gmail inbox, I often see emails whose sender+title+intro is so well-targeted that I can't really tell whether it is a legitimate question/information or a phishing attempt.

example of suspicious sender+title+intro in Gmail

I could open the email and click Show original to investigate the headers and content, but I am concerned about opening the email (even if not clicking links or loading images, I believe that simply viewing the email could trigger unknown security bugs).


Is there any way to open the Original Message view without opening the email?

It could be a browser extension or anything, preferably working on desktop Firefox.
I want to avoid installing an email client, though.

Example of what Original Message shows

example of Gmail's 'Original Message' page

  • I'm fairly certain opening an email cannot trigger a bug. Clicking on attachments or links in the email yes, but not opening
    – depperm
    Apr 6, 2022 at 11:15
  • Trigger bugs in GMail would be fairly difficult (but of course possible) so I wouldn't consider a serious chance of account takeover or something like that. What's very likely is that the spam has tracking images, links and the like and the sender will know that you opened it and that'll inform the spammer that your email is valid and active, triggering more spam. Disable the images in the browser or even better, use a real email client with strong focus on security.
    – Alejandro
    Apr 6, 2022 at 16:39
  • Same problem to block the sender: it's not possible until you open the email !!!
    – Josem
    Nov 8, 2023 at 8:13

1 Answer 1


Answer: Without using a third party IMAP client to retrieve the email from Google's servers... no. The web client requires you to open the email to reach the "Show Original" button.

Advice: Do not open suspicious emails at all. HTML-formatted emails can call third party resources to deliver a browser exploit. Even after disabling automatic HTML loading, zero-click exploits exist. There may not yet be one for your device/browser combination, but there may be one in the future. Practice safe cyber.

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