What email viewer to use: Systools or Email Detail Viewer?

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When comparing the most popular email viewers, we paid attention to the most important functions, affordability, and user-friendliness of the software. You certainly don’t want a viewer that will tamper with your file, or render it incorrectly. You are also looking for an app that will be light on your computer as well as on your wallet. We will set you up with this article that will go through the pros and cons of two of the most popular email viewers: Email Detail Viewer and SysTools viewers.

What is Email Detail Viewer?

Email Detail Viewer is a powerful app for opening and viewing MSG, EML, EMLX, MIM, VCF, and Winmail.dat files. It gives unlimited access to those emails without Outlook or any other email desktop client on your PC. It has a great number of features and capabilities like sorting, printing, and previewing attachments right from within the viewer interface.

What is SysTools?

SysTools is a software provider that specializes in email processing software and has been significantly productive when it comes to the number of softwares they publish. Its email viewers come in separate installers, and sometimes are supplied by different companies in what is known as software syndication practice. So you might come across their tools under the names FreeViewer or MBOXViewer among others.

General interface

Screenshots of Email Detail Viewer

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Screenshot of SysTools EML Viewer

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Screenshot of SysTools MBOX Viewer

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The UI of both software is easy to master, they both offer a file tree on the left pane and share similar tabs. When an email from the list is opened, we can see its content on an adjustable sub-section of the main window, which will occasionally switch to showing either the HTML, Metadata or raw email depending on the clicked tab. Both viewers adhere to this window configuration, and we think both have nailed it.

Winner: it’s a tie

Desktop version (Is it stable, easy to install and lightweight)

Both softwares seem to be lightweight on execution, but SysTools viewers will occupy a large space on your disk after installation, namely over 100MB, and we think this is an overkill especially since their viewers will only open one filetype, and so you should expect another 100 MB for installing another SysTools for another viewer. With that, we also noticed a slight delay when SysTools is trying to load the emails, and as you know these micro delays can add up to be a huge setback to your workflow. And finally, our repeated testing has shown that launching a SysTools viewer takes considerably more time on startup than with Email Detail Viewer, a difference in the order of 6~7 seconds. Email Detail Viewer on the other hand has always been nifty, stable and running smoothly in concert with other tasks in the background without suffering from lags or resource exhaustion.

Winner: Email Detail Viewer

Email formats

If there is one factor that plays the most into your choice of an email viewer, that must be the support for a wide range of email files. It is true that SysTools can open more file formats, but we should not forget that technically SysTool is not one single viewer software, but rather a multitude of software viewers, each needing to be installed separately to open its namesake email filetype.

This is in contrast with Email Detail Viewer which is one unique software that opens both MSG and EML plus its extended variation, the EMLX all under one cover. These two major file formats account for more than 90% of single emails being saved, so you are almost certain your saved email file will always be in either of those two formats, which are fully supported by Email Detail Viewer. That’s why we consider Email Detail Viewer more universal in that regard.

Email Detail Viewer: Supported Files

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Winner: Email Detail Viewer

Features: Sorting emails

Email Detail Viewer is capable of sorting your emails in the integrated file list. This is done by clicking on the corresponding column heading that you want as your sorting criteria like name, date, attachment presence, and so on. SysTools viewer offer the same experience as it employ the same sorting method. So by clicking on the column header elements, you get the email listing sorted accordingly. We think both software viewers have made a judicious choice by integrating this capability, as it goes a long way helping users fetch some email by date, or by sender, which in turn allows for easy sifting through the emails.

Email Detail Viewer: Clicking on the Column Headings will sort emails accordingly

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SysTools EML Viewer: Clicking on the Column Headings will sort emails accordingly

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Winner: It’s a tie

Features: Viewing Metadata Header

When comparing Email Detail Viewer with SysTools, we see small differences in this feature, since both software tools demonstrate the capability of viewing Metadata Headers. It depends on how useful those Metadata are to you, but most people will see no differences in their content unless you are an IT administrator or expert. However we think Email Detail Viewer gives a better presentation of these Metadata info, by making use of the bold text when needed.

Email Detail Viewer: Header View

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SysTools EML Viewer: Header View

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Winner: Email Detail Viewer

Features: Support for non-Latin scripts

We understand that emails come in different languages and may even incorporate emojis and other Unicode special characters. That’s why we created a test email with as many unconventional characters as we can put in and we viewed it on both software tools. We were pleased to see that both of them do not corrupt the text and that they render the non-Latin characters as it should be, whether it’s in Arabic, Hebrew, Cyrillic, Japanese, or even traditional Chinese.

Email Detail Viewer: Showing characters from different languages

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SysTools EML Viewer: Showing characters from different languages

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Winner: It’s a tie

Features: Converting to PDF

Email Detail Viewer has the unique advantage of converting email files into PDFs right away for free by clicking on the “Print” button on the toolbar. This is usually a premium feature in other email viewers. SysTools and its clone viewers do not offer this option, and will therefore not allow the user viewing the email to keep a copy for themselves by printing it, or by exchanging it as PDF with non-users of email viewers. We think this a major shortcoming in SysTools since we deem that a “printing” option should always accompany any viewer of any type.

Email Detail Viewer: Print to PDF

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Winner: Email Detail Viewer

How adapted it is to enterprise infrastructures

It is important today for softwares to work on virtual desktop infrastructure such as Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktop. Email Detail Viewer distinguishes itself by being built from the ground up with that application in mind, as it is capable of being batch-installed by your network administrator and offers concurrent users licenses which is not explicitly advertised as part of SysTools viewers offering. In the age of cloud-connected companies, we think it is crucial to have software that works across the different computers of your company, and in that department, Email Detail Viewer is largely ahead.

Winner: Email Detail Viewer

Does it break the bank (Price) 

Email Detail Viewer is actually free for personal use, so it can’t get any cheaper than that, and we can already call Email Detail Viewer a winner here. SysTools viewer along with its affiliates come at the price of $69, which is unlocking some of the capabilities that Email Detail Viewer already offers for free, like exporting to PDF. It’s also worth mentioning that the Email Detail Viewer team is very flexible with the pricing, launching numerous discounts along the year and quoting special prices for enterprises wishing to customize the Email Detail Viewer with their own logo to highlight their corporate identity.

Winner: Email Detail Viewer

How engaging is their customer support

Email in Detail and SysTools support services are quite responsive, returning emails in a short amount of time and rendering assistance to customers who are requesting guidance with their respective viewer software. Email in Detail goes a little bit beyond that by providing support in different languages, including French and Turkish, and by writing copious usage instructions to customers even those who are on the free version of Email Detail Viewer, it doesn’t make a difference on the speed nor quality of their response.

Winner : It’s a tie

Email Detail Viewer vs SysTools: Conclusion

We conclude by summarizing these comparative information in a table, that will delineate the strong and weak points of each viewer software:

Email Detail Viewer

  • One installer for all 3 filetypes
  • Large choice of filetypes
  • Preview of attachments from within the app
  • Shows metadata
  • Batch prints emails as PDFs for free!
  • Display of non-Latin emails
  • Free to personal use with no limits
  • Horizontal View & Vertical View
  • Interface only in English
  • Only work on Windows PC and Linux (using Wine)

SysTools Viewers

  • Shows metadata
  • Large choice of filetypes
  • Preview of attachments from within the app
  • Needs separate viewer for each filetype
  • The file tree navigation is not intuitive
  • Takes large memory space ( > 100 MB)
  • Name of email file not showing, just folder

SysTools Viewers

These aggregating tables make a strong case for Email Detail Viewer as your email viewer of choice. We think SysTools has its merit, but it just falls short on many characteristics of Email Detail Viewer, especially on its price being totally free and on its unique ability to print and export emails to PDF out of the box. The Email Detail Viewer is definitely a must-have in your document processing toolset.