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I am wondering if there is a method of opening .msg files in a similar manner to .xls and .docx, where you can open them natively. The current way sharepoint opens .msg files does not allow access to the attachments in the emails, nor can the message be forwarded unless explicitly downloaded.

Classic sharepoint immediately downloads the file, so it does not mitigate the issue experienced here.

Resources online seem to suggest that there isn't a solution for this yet, though those queries are nearly 2 years old.

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OOTB this is indeed not possible. The standard SharePoint email view shows the email contents in the browser but the attachments cannot be opened. The user has to download the msg email, open the email with their mail client (often Outlook) and then click an attachment to open using the local application (e.g. Word).

There are apps that offer this capability. See https://directory.collab365.com/office365-sharepoint/sharepoint-email-management-software/ and https://directory.collab365.com/listing/slim-companion-email-manager/

Some of the apps allow viewing of email attachments (pdf, images, xlsx, pptx, .. etc) directly in the browser. This helps users and reduces the amount of email content that is downloaded to local machines (i.e. reduce compliance and security risks).

Another approach is to instruct users to download msg emails and then open them using the local mail client. This process can be optimized by configuring the browser using GPO policies to directly open downloaded emails from your SharePoint tenant using the local mail client. This requires control of the end-users computers and the emails end up in the browser's download folder. Again, this may not be compliant with your organizations' security policies.

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  • Thank you for the detailed response. I will consider both options, though it seems using a 3rd party app will be unavoidable. And what worries me further is that there isn't much user feedback to see which is the most trustworthy.
    – Valltta
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 8:42

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