In this article we will see a example for extracting / reading / accessing the emails from MS Outlook using C#.Net.
We will see a sample application, which read mail from outlook and display its contents in our application.
The screenshot of sample application is shown below
Reading Emails from Outlook C#.Net

Before starting the coding, you have to add the reference

MS Outlook Reference C#.Net

The version of Reference may change depending on version of MS Office you are using. Another important thing is, after adding reference Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook , right click on Reference, go to properties of reference and set Embed Interop Types -> True . This avoids Runtime COM Exceptions.

Now Add NameSpace using Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook;and start coding.

The c# code for the button click Read Mail is given below

private void btnReadMail_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
            try
            {
                try
                {
                    ItemNo = Convert.ToInt32(txtItemNo.Text);
                }
                catch(FormatException ex2)
                {
                    // MessageBox.Show();
                    MessageBox.Show(ex2.Message + “\nEnter Valid Number greater than zero”, “Outlook Reader”, MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Warning);
                    return;
                }
                // Check whether there is an running Outlook process
                if(Process.GetProcessesByName(“OUTLOOK”).Count() > 0)
                {
                    // If so, use the GetActiveObject method to obtain the process and cast it to an Application object.
                    myApp = System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal.GetActiveObject(“Outlook.Application”) as Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.Application;
                }
                else
                {
                    //if not, creating a new application instance
                    myApp = new Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.Application();
                }
                mapiNameSpace = myApp.GetNamespace(“MAPI”);
                //selecting Inbox folder
                myInbox = mapiNameSpace.GetDefaultFolder(Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.OlDefaultFolders.olFolderInbox);
                mapiNameSpace.SendAndReceive(false); //performs SendRecieve Operation without showing Progress Dialog
                if(myInbox.Items.Count > 0 && ItemNo <= myInbox.Items.Count) //if checking mailcount starts
                {
                    string subject = string.Empty;
                    string attachments = string.Empty;
                    string body = string.Empty;
                    string senderName = string.Empty;
                    string senderEmail = string.Empty;
                    string recepients = string.Empty;
                    string creationdate = string.Empty;
                    bool isMailItem = true;
                    Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.MailItem MyOutlookItem = null;
                    try
                    {
                        //if the item is not a mail Item Application will throw COM exception
                        MyOutlookItem = ((Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.MailItem)myInbox.Items[ItemNo]);
                    }
                    catch(System.Exception ex)
                    {
                        MessageBox.Show(ex.Message + “\nThere Item “ + ItemNo + ” is not a Mail Item”, “Outlook Reader”, MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Warning);
                        isMailItem = false;
                    }
                    if(isMailItem)
                    {
                        // Retrieving the Subject
                        if (MyOutlookItem.Subject != null)
                        {
                            subject = MyOutlookItem.Subject;
                            //while working with database, trying to use the values in sql query,
                           //replace ‘ with ” or some symbol, to avoid sql exceptions
                            subject = subject.Replace(”’, ‘”‘);
                        }
                        //Retrieving the Attachment Name
                        if (MyOutlookItem.Attachments.Count > 0)
                        {
                            lblAttachCount.Text = MyOutlookItem.Attachments.Count.ToString();
                            for (int j = 1; j <= MyOutlookItem.Attachments.Count; j++)
                            {
                                attachments += MyOutlookItem.Attachments[j].FileName + “; “;
                            }
                        }
                        else
                        {
                            lblAttachCount.Text = MyOutlookItem.Attachments.Count.ToString();
                            attachments = “No Attachments found”;
                        }
                        if (MyOutlookItem.Recipients.Count > 0)
                        {
                            lblReciCount.Text = MyOutlookItem.Recipients.Count.ToString();
                            for (int j = 1; j <= MyOutlookItem.Recipients.Count; j++)
                            {
                                recepients += MyOutlookItem.Recipients[j].Name + “< “ + MyOutlookItem.Recipients[j].Address + ” >; “;
                            }
                        }
                        attachments = attachments.Replace(”’, ‘”‘);
                        // retrieving the Body
                        body = MyOutlookItem.Body;
                        body = body.Replace(”’, ‘”‘);
                        // Sender Name
                        senderName = MyOutlookItem.SenderName;
                        senderName = senderName.Replace(”’, ‘”‘);
                        // Sender Email
                        senderEmail = MyOutlookItem.SenderEmailAddress;
                        senderEmail = senderEmail.Replace(”’, ‘”‘);
                        // Creation date
                        creationdate = MyOutlookItem.CreationTime.ToString();
                        txtCreateDate.Text = creationdate;
                        txtSenderEmail.Text = senderEmail;
                        txtSenderName.Text = senderName;
                        txtRecipients.Text = recepients;
                        txtSubject.Text = subject;
                        txtAttachments.Text = attachments;
                        txtBody.Text = body;
                        myApp = null;
                    }
                }
                elseif (ItemNo > myInbox.Items.Count) //else checking mailcount
                {
                    MessageBox.Show(“There are only “ + myInbox.Items.Count + ” items in your Inbox.”, “Outlook Reader”, MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Information);
                }
                else
                {
                    MessageBox.Show(“There are no items in your Inbox.”, “Outlook Reader”, MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Information);
                }
            }
            catch(System.Exception ex4)
            {
                MessageBox.Show(ex4.Message, “Outlook Reader:Error”, MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error);
            }
        }

The Outlook not only contains mail Items but also may contain Report Item,Meeting Item,Note Items etc,. Hence if you are trying to Cast a Non-MailItem as MailItem, application will throw a run-time COM Exception.The following line of code given below is kept in try catch, to check if the item is MailItem or not.

 //if the item is not a mail Item Application will throw COM exception
 MyOutlookItem = ((Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.MailItem)myInbox.Items[ItemNo]);


Suppose, If you are trying to cast the NoteItem as MailItem, it will throw a Run-time COM Exception like, 

Unable to cast COM object of type System_ComObject to InterfaceType “Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.MailItem” . This operation failed because the QueryInterface Call on the Com Component for the Interface with ID'{00063034-0000-0000-C000-00000000046} failed due to the following error.  No such interface supported (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80004002)(E_NONINTERFACE)

Download the source code from the link below.

Download Source Code

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