P7M File Extension – What Is It & How to Open & Read It?

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P7M File

P7M Files Extensions Are Used for Securing Email Messages That You Send & Receive

P7M file extension is associated with the S/MIME signature file. S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension) is a signature file used for sending and receiving secure information through an email client. Nonetheless, if you’ve received a smime p7m file and have questions like what a p7m file is, then keep reading.

A SMIME.P7M file is an encrypted file that contains signed or an encrypted email message. P7M files use the robust cryptographic standard for securing email messages, including digital signature, encryption, authentication, and protection of the information and data received and sent over emails.

smime p7m file in email

In other words, the P7M file extension is a S/MIME signed or encrypted email message. Usually, it comes in web-based email clients. Similarly, when an attempt to read a S/MIME encrypted email message is made, it offers an empty message and a P7M file as an attachment rather than showing an encrypted email message.

What’s Inside a SMIME.P7M File?

A smime.p7m file consists of an email message that the sender of an email has encrypted. Likewise, the signature provides you information regarding the sender’s identity, and encryption ensures that only the intended recipient can read an email message.

How to Open an SMIME P7M File?

Like any other file, first, you can try opening smime.p7m file by double-clicking on it. Likewise, you can choose a default application to open it.

And, if you aren’t able to open the file through this method, we recommend going through some of the other methods.

  • Those who receive smime.p7m file as a S/MIME signature file, a program is needed that helps to view such p7m file extension. For instance, if you’re using the Windows operating system, you can open smime.p7m file through P7M Viewer. It’s the program that shows the content of the S/MIME P7M file, and it also allows you to read signed and encrypted messages.
  • Those who’re using Mac OS X can try opening smime.p7m file through Apple Keychain Access. It’s a program for storing passwords and also lets you view and manage digital certificates. Furthermore, Keychain Access is also available for download from the Apple website.

Usually, smime.p7m file is seen in the web-based email readers whenever the user tries to secure an email. For instance:

web based email

What’s Within a SMIME.P7M File?

SMIME.P7M file contains raw content that looks something like below:

Content-Type: application/x-pkcs7-mime;smime-type=enveloped-data;name="smime.p7m" Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64 Content-Disposition: attachment;filename="smime.p7m

And, using SMIME.P7M viewer original message can be viewed like:

hello world p7mviewer

Sometimes situations come where you cannot view the content of a smime.p7m file after opening it. And, if you’re among those, then the most common reason could be that content is in an encrypted form, and you don’t have a private key. Otherwise, the file got corrupted and received in a damaged condition that isn’t recoverable.

Wrapping Up

SMIME.P7M file is the default file that often arrives with an email attachment. And it usually consists of encrypted email content. Henceforth, if you ever come across a p7m file extension, then no need to worry about it, as it’s usually seen as an attachment in webmail hosting. Likewise, it only means that your received message is authentic and came from an intended person.

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Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta is a Cyber-Security Enthusiast who constantly updates herself with new advancements in the Web/Cyber Security niche. Along with theoretical knowledge, she also implements her practical expertise in day-to-day tasks and helps others to protect themselves from threats.

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