iOS email - view source?

Hi guys!

With the increasing inflow of spam and phishing emails, I sometimes find myself almost clicking and following a dangerous link. The graphic layouts and stylings of the emails are getting almost indistinguishable from the real thing. I feel it’s just a matter of time before they get me… I knew the alert from Spotify was false, because it was sent to my work email and not my personal - but it looked exactly right.

What would be helpful: a way to “view source” of the HTML formatted emails. On iOS, it isn’t too easy to hover over links to see where they go or even see the senders email address before you click. With all fancy JavaScripting going on, I’d rather not touch anything if I feel an email is phishy.

Is there a good way to dump the entire text contents of an email into a viewer or editor? I mainly use Spark and GMail as clients.


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In Gmail by the Reply button there’s a down-arrow: click it and choose Show original to see the source code. To download the original message as a TXT file, you can use the Download Original button. Or, hit Copy to clipboard to copy all the text so that you can paste it anywhere you like.

Eh, sorry, no there isn’t.

At least I can’t see it in the iOS Gmail app on iPad nor iPhone. Also not in the Gmail mobile view on the phone.

If you open gmail in the web browser on iOS, tap the button with three horizontal lines in the upper left, and scroll all the way to the bottom of that menu, you should see an option for the desktop view. Tap it, then tap on the message you want to see and there will be a an option to show original in the same row as reply.


How about not clicking any links in emails? Maybe I’m missing something but usually any service allows you to navigate to their website and perform most required actions. That’s why banks don’t (shouldn’t) put links in emails. My phone company is the same.

If it’s a verification email, well you just requested it seconds before it arrived.

I wouldn’t trust myself to have correctly determined the actual URL is legit. So I just avoid clicking links in emails from services I use.

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Thanks guys!

Running the desktop version of Gmail on the phone could be a workaround, given the relative low amount of these things making its way past the GMail spam filter. I was hoping for something a tad bit more elegant, like a share sheet extension, but I also see the limited market for a product like this.

I agree that companies shouldn’t put links in email, but they routinely do. Most days the links are useful too, which is why I sometimes click when I trust the source. For example, weekly newsletters and other subscriptions.

A big red flag is when the link text suggests one domain and the URL itself another*. So seeing the URL is sometimes useful.

I wonder if a long press on a URL in an email client would pop up what the URL is. If not it’d be a good feature.



* in Little Lilac :slight_smile: we are trained on a number of aspects of this and one of them is that collar fails to match the cuffs in this way. It’s far from the only red flag, of course.

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Links in newsletters are usually “tracking links” anyway (they first pass you to the newsletter service so they can track your click before passing you to the target URL) so I’m not sure that view source will be of much use.

My corporate email replaces all links from external mails with a link via a service called link protect presumably to precheck for known or likely phishing attempts.

Force touch on a link in default mail app on iPhone previews the link.

Long touch shows the URL.