The 4 Best Winmail.dat Viewer for Mac in 2021

Jose Henline
time October 07, 2021 Preview 18.4K
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“I sometimes receive email messages with a ‘Winmail.dat’ file attached that I cannot open. I am a newbie to Mac, can somebody recommend me some document reader to open or view winmail.dat for Mac?”
“What is a winmail.dat file, and should I look for a Winmail dat reader for mac to open and view it?”

When working with Windows users, many Mac users find that some emails are packaged in the Winmail.dat file and cannot be read locally by the Mac. If you have encountered the same problem and want to find the best Winmail.dat Viewer for Mac to open the file, this post will give you the answer. We have listed 4 Winmail openers for Mac below, you can choose the one that fits your needs the most. 

Introduction: What is a Winmail.dat File?

When composing emails in Microsoft Outlook, Rich Text Format is applied to maintain the formatting. However, if the email recipient is not using Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express or Exchange, the email will be wrapped in a Winmail.dat file.

Therefore, a Winmail.dat is a file which including the email subject, recipient, sender, message body and attachments with rich text formatting. In addition to that, it can be opened by Microsoft mail clients only.

For users who don't use Microsoft mail clients, a third-party Winmail.dat reader for mac will be needed to view its contents.


The Best Winmail.dat Viewer for Mac

Cisdem Document Reader for mac

Price: License for 1 Mac (lifetime): $29.99; license for 2 Macs (lifetime): $44.99; license for 5 Macs (lifetime): $82.99

Recommended by authorities like New York Times and CNET, Cisdem Winmail Viewer is always regarded as the best tool for opening Winmail.dat files on Mac system.

Cisdem Winmail Viewer for mac is a one-stop solution to open winmail.dat files on Mac and allows any attachments contained in them to be previewed and saved. No matter how large the Winmail file is, Cisdem can load and open it fast and well. Besides, it enables users to open multiple Winmail.dat files under different tabs at the same time, so you can switch between and compare all files for your purposes.

While, the full version of Cisdem Document Reader, which not only supports opening Winmail.dat files, but also allows viewing WPD, WPS, VISIO, OXPS/XPS, DJVU, PDF files on Mac. With a set of viewing tools, you can open and view all these supported files comfortably. Still, it provides extended features, like rotate, bookmark, search, extract images, convert to PDF/Text/Image format.

Steps to Open Winmail.dat File on Mac with Cisdem:

  1. Download and install Cisdem Document Reader on your Mac first;
    Free Download
  2. Drag and drop one or more Winmail.dat files to the program, or click Open File to add files from your local computer;cisdem winmail.dat viewer for mac02
  3. Open and view Winmail.dat files on mac.
    The Winmail.dat file will be automatically opened after you add it and all the attachments contained in the file will be displayed below the program.  cisdem winmail.dat viewer for mac01


3 Top Third-Party Winmail.dat Viewer for Mac

#1. TNEF's Enough

Price: Free.       

With a 19-year history, TNEF’s Enough from Josh Jacob has served countless users on Winmail.dat solution. It is a program allowing users to read and extract files from Microsoft TNEF stream files, including Winmai.dat and application/ms-tnef. It works good on latest macOS 10.15 Catalina and earlier.

Steps to Open Winmail.dat File on Mac with TNEF’s Enough:

1. Install and launch the application on your Mac;

2. Right click the Winmail.dat file, choose “TNEF’s Enough” in Open With;

3. If the file successfully opens, you'll be presented with a window showing the contents of the file.

open winmail.dat by tnef's enough

  1. Allow opening Winmail.dat and application/ms-tnef;
  2. Free to use;
  3. Support batch open Winmail.dat files.
  1. Cannot open and view Winmail.dat directly in the app, you have to save the files first;
  2. Fail to open Winmail.dat files sometimes;
  3. Interface isn’t user-friendly;
  4. Winmail.dat file may show more or less information, including the body of email;
  5. Multiple windows will pop up when opening files in batches.
  6. Only the above-mentioned file-opening method is supported.


#2. Letter Opener for macOS Mail

Price: $79.99 per year, you can use this app on every Mac you own with one license key.

Letter Opener for macOS Mail is a plug-in that make it possible for users to display the content of Winmail.dat files inside macOS mail. That’s to say, even the Winmail.dat emails can be viewed and processed the same way as other emails in Apple Mail. There is no need to go back for composing emails in other email clients after displaying the Winmail.dat file.

Steps to Open Winmail.dat File on Mac with Letter Opener for macOS Mail:

1. After you’ve installed the app on your Mac, launch Apple Mail. Go to Mail > Preferences;

2. Click “Manage Plug-ins..”in the following window;

3. Enable the checkbox via Letter Opener and click Apply and Restart Mail;

4. Then double-click the Winmail.dat file in Apple Mail to open it.

open winmail.dat in apple mail

  1. Automatically convert and display Winmail.dat file inside macOS Mail, which is convenient for managing email;
  2. Directly process (edit, reply, forward, copy, search) Winmail.dat emails in Apple Mail;
  3. Support multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, etc.
  4. Support Winmail.dat, MSG and XPS files.
  5. Provide 14-day free trail.
  1. Doesn’t support latest macOS 11.0 Big Sur;
  2. Too expensive for what it does;
  3. Multiple windows pop up when opening files in batches;
  4. No conversion function.


#3. MSG Viewer for Outlook

Price: $17.99, each software license is valid for a single user only up to 2 computers.

MSG Viewer for Outlook 3.99 is another app for opening Winmail.dat files on Mac. It allows you to open those vexing Microsoft Outlook MSG, OFT, and Winmail.dat files on Mac. Batch processing and conversion to native Mac formats (eml or vcf) are also supported. Beside that, it enables to import and save contacts in vCards.

Steps to Open Winmail.dat File on Mac with MSG Viewer for Outlook:

1. Properly install MSG Viewer for Outlook on your Mac, then double-click on any Winmail.dat file of your choice (Or right-click and select Open With → MSG Viewer for Outlook);

2. This app will launch in the background automatically, convert Winmail.dat file and then display it.

3. (Optional) If you want to convert Winmail.dat file to PDF format, you can open the Preference dialog in the top right corner of the program. Select the "Convert to PDF" option from the "Default E-mail client" or "Default Address book client" drop-down menu.

set preferences

After setting, double-click the file you want to convert. This program will automatically convert the Winmail.dat file into PDF format and save it to your Mac, you can find the converted PDF file in the pop-up window.

  1. Support opening Winmail.dat, MSG and OFT files;
  2. Convert files to native Mac formats;
  3. Import and save contacts to vCards;
  4. Allow to customize preferences;
  5. PDF conversion is supported.
  1. Interface is not that user-friendly;
  2. Cannot show attachments in emails with digital signatures or encryption;
  3. Different windows will appear when opening files in batches;
  4. There have been 0 updates within the past 6 months;
  5. Doesn’t support latest macOS 11.0 Big Sur.


Key Factors for Choosing the Best Winmail.dat Viewer

There are many Winmail.dat file readers for Mac on the market currently. Some are free, while others are charged; some are only for Winmail.dat, while others support multiple formats. As a result, we must choose the best Winmail.dat reader based on certain essential features. Here are 4 key factors to help you make decision.

1. User-friendly interface

The simplicity of the interface has a direct impact on the user's intuition impression. You need to evaluate if the software’s interface is easy to use, otherwise even if it has powerful functions, it won’t help you accomplish the desired impact.

2. Supported file formats

Some apps are specifically designed for the Winmail.dat file, although the majority of apps can also read other types of files. I suggest you choose an app that supports multiple file formats, viewing different types of files in one app can help you save time and money.

3.Batch opening

With so many different types of files to work with, choosing an app that can open files in a variety of formats in batched can help you enhance your job productivity.

4. Show full Winmail.dat file contents

The ability to display the complete contents of a Winmail.dat file and the attachments it contains is a must-have function for a professional viewer.

Comparison Chart

  Cisdem Document Reader for mac TNEF’s Enough Letter Opener for macOS Mail MSG Viewer for Outlok
User-friendly Interface Yes No Yes No
Supported Formats winmail.dat, pdf, xps, vsd, wpd, oxps, vsdx, wps, djvu, etc. winmail.dat winmail.dat, msg and xps winmail.dat, msg and oft
Batch Open Yes Yes (but multiple windows will pop up) Yes (but multiple windows will pop up) Yes (but multiple windows will pop up)
Show Full Winmail.dat Contents Yes No Yes No

Extended: How to Open Winmail.dat Files on iPhone/iPad?

Sometimes work follows you around, and you have to process email on your phone promptly. To open Winmail.dat files on iPhone or iPad, a third-party Winmail.dat viewer is also necessary.

In fact, when discussing what is the best app for opening Winmail.dat on macOS as above, the tools we listed are also available for iOS. For example, Letter Opener for iOS. It is free to download and try, but offers in-app purchases for full features.

Main Features:

  • Open and view Winmail.dat files;
  • Convert to iOS native formats;
  • Export files to another app;

How to Open Winmail.dat Files on iPhone?

  1. Go to AppStore, download and install Letter Opener for iOS;
  2. Tap the Winmail.dat file and open with Letter Opener;
  3. View, convert or export the Winmail.dat file on your iPhone as needed;winmail.dat viewer for iphone


You can choose any one of these 4 top apps to open Winmail.dat files on your Mac. But after a thorough comparison on their features, user experience and prices, it’s no doubt that Cisdem Document Reader for Mac would be the best Winmail.dat opener for mac 2021.

Just have a try on the free trial version and open your Winmail.dat files quickly and easily.

Free Download

What’s your best app for opening Winmail.dat files on Mac? Is it on our top list? Please share with us in the comments.

Jose Henline
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Jose specializes in reviews, how-to guides, top lists, etc. on PDF, data recovery and multi-media. On his spare time, he likes to travel or challenge some extreme sports.

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  • Amy

    Thanks, I really like your posts. Each time you post a new article, I will take a look at it.

    6 years ago Reply

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