Predate ('Fake') an email sent date

Posted on 2010-11-19
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I know that this is a crazy question!

But, is it possible to send a new email and predate its sent date. Its fine if the fake date appears only in my 'sent items'.
Question by:dshrenik
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Accepted Solution

JimBeveridge earned 500 total points
ID: 34178364
Email is just text. You can edit it to say anything you want. This is easy in Thunderbird or Eudora because you can manually edit the mailbox file. (You would need to delete the .msf or .toc index file and force them to rebuild.)

Making this change in Microsoft Outlook is substantially more complicated and requires a tool like OutlookSpy, as well as quite a bit of knowledge about how Outlook works. In any case, Outlook will register the fact that the email was modified and mark it as modified with today's date.

Also, if you are thinking about doing this to fool someone (or to falsify evidence), remember that any companies involved in the email's transmission probably have a log of the email, and whoever received the email also has a copy. Computers are great at keeping track of things. Finally, if you change something, any digital forensic examiner who looks at your email is going to realize pretty fast that it's been altered.

Author Comment

ID: 34178394
I'm doing this to fool anyone - just asked out of curiosity! :)
If possible, can you give me the procedure how to do the same? Thanks!

Assisted Solution

JimBeveridge earned 500 total points
ID: 34178472
For Thunderbird or Eudora, edit the mailbox file and just edit the line that says "Date". Then you delete the .msf file or the .toc file for the mailbox file.

For Outlook, you use OutlookSpy to modify the property PR_CLIENT_SUBMIT_TIME, and possibly some other properties. Modifying properties in Outlook is not a trivial task and requires someone who really knows what they are doing.

It's not possible to do what you want with online services like Yahoo or AOL. It can be done with Gmail, but it requires an expert who knows how to subvert IMAP to the task.

Author Comment

ID: 34178479
Is there a simple way to do it with Gmail?

Assisted Solution

JimBeveridge earned 500 total points
ID: 34178523
The simple way is to pay a software developer $10,000 to develop custom software that will let you do this with two clicks.

If you want the simple AND cheap way, sync a Gmail IMAP account with Outlook Express or Windows Mail, export to EML, edit the dates in the EML, delete the original, and import the EML back into OE or WM. (This assumes that Gmail isn't keeping some metadata that I'm not remembering off the top of my head.)

Other than that, the answer is no.

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