How to create an email with a past date

How to send an email with an older date

One of the most useful features of email is that it provides date tracking for messages; if I know I bought something on Amazon on February 11, 2019, I can look through my emails from that day and find my receipt or tracking confirmation.

However, sometimes there are reasons why users want to play around with that date tracking and update an email to appear to have been sent at an earlier date and time than it actually was.

Perhaps you’re trying to persuade a teacher that you sent your work before a deadline, or convincing a boss that you sent an email about the Johnson Project when you were supposed to.

So, is it possible to send an email with an earlier date? ?

While possible, it’s important to note that these methods are only effective, and anyone who knows what to look for will be able to discover the actual date the email was sent.

With that in mind, let’s see how you can send an email with an earlier date. or.

How to Send an Email Retroactive

There are a few different ways to make an email retroactive, including changing the date and time on your computer, using Inspect Element or creating an SMTP server.

Change the date and time on your computer

A very basic way to send an email with an earlier date is to change the clock from your PC at the time you are trying to simulate before sending the email. Some older email clients, such as Outlook Express, will accept this date and send it to the email server with the local date and time.

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Here is the procedure:

  1. In Windows 10, right-click the clock on your desktop.
  2. Select Aadjust date/time.
  3. Change the date to whatever it needs to be and click OK.
  4. Type and submit your email.

Although this method may work, the email metadata will still contain the correct date. As such, this method can fail for a number of reasons:

  1. Depending on how your email is configured, your email provider may also overwrite the time and date.
  2. Subsequent relay servers (the computers that send your email to your destination) will ignore the computer’s timestamp and use the server’s time anyway.
  3. Your mail server’s metadata email will show the time you received the email. from you, not the time you wrote and sent it.
  4. The receiving email server will still stamp the correct received time before it is forwarded to the recipient.

For example, in the image of the metadata of a previous email, the actual time and date are included at four different times:

  1. Date delivered: Thursday, September 08 from 2016 17:31:45 +0100
  2. Received: from mail by with spamvirus scanned (Exim 4.80.1) for EMAIL ADDRESS; Thu, 08 Sep 2016 17:31:45 +0100
  3. Server (version=TLS1_0, cipher=TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA_P384) id 15.1.609.9; Thursday, September 8, 2016 16:31:40 +0000
  4. Received: from 15.01.0587.013; Thu, Sep 08 2016 04:31:40 PM +0000

To view metadata for any email in Gmail, click the three dots in the top right corner of the email . Then click “Show Original.” As you can see in the screenshot below, the metadata will show the correct date and time for each stop the email makes on its way to the recipient.

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Even if you could change the time on your computer, and it reflected in your email application, the actual time is visible for anyone to see if they dig a little.

(Interested (See our tutorial on how TCP/IP works.)

Creating an SMTP Server

So, the email server will put the date and the correct time in your email, but what if you can set up and control your own email server?

Email works with Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and SMTP servers No they are incredibly difficult to set up or use.

If you have an older version of Windows, particularly a server operating system like Windows Server 2000, then you may already have an SMTP server on your PC and all you have to do is turn it on and configure it to send your emails.

Windows 10 no longer includes an SMTP server, however.Fortunately, there are many free SMTP server programs out there, and you can download one of them. This is a lot of trouble to go through just to make an email date look different, but if it’s really necessary, this may be the only way.

Note that you must have a domain to use this procedure!

hMailServer is one of the most popular free email servers. I’ll give you a quick rundown of how to install and configure it.

  1. Get the latest version of hMailServer and download it.
  2. Run the installer. You can accept the default values.
  3. Be sure to write down the administrator password you choose, as you will need it later.
  4. Click Finish to complete installation.
  5. In the hMailServer interface, click localhost, click Connect and enter the password.
  6. Click Domains Tab.
  7. Click Add Domain.
  8. Enter your domain name and click Save.
  9. Click the domain name in the domain list on the left side of the interface, and then click the Accounts subfolder.
  10. Click Add and enter the information for the email account you are creating at your domain.

To set up actual mail transfers , you will need to get information from the ISP that you have registered the domain with.As I said, this is not a simple process and I have only given the basics here.

Using Inspect Element to Modify Webmail

If you’re using Gmail or another webmail client, then use Google Chrome’s powerful “Inspect Element” feature to temporarily modify the HTML code that displays an email on the screen, then take a screenshot of the displayed email to “prove” that the email has a particular date.

Note that this is essentially a forgery, so please be aware of your legal responsibility when engaging in this type of behavior.

  1. Open the email you wish to modify in your Gmail account.
  2. Right-click the displayed date and select Inspect from the context menu.
  3. Double-click the time text below gridcell in the element inspector and change the text to the date and time you want the email to display. The text in the email changes when you press Back in the Inspector.
  4. Quickly take a screenshot. The element will only display for a couple of seconds before Chrome changes it back to what the source HTML indicates to be the true text.
  5. Crop your screenshot to show just the email with the modified date.</li

Won’t fool the FBI, but it might be good enough for your professor.

Final Thoughts

If you need update an email for whatever reason, there are a few methods to choose from. However, while it may fool people who don’t bother to investigate, keep in mind that these methods are far from foolproof and may not work against more tech-savvy people.

Someone else advice or methods to send retroactive emails? Share them in the comments below!


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