Leading Email eDiscovery Software for Legal Professionals

Aid4Mail – A fast, reliable, and user-friendly eDiscovery tool to collect, search, and export emails. Download your free trial now!

As an eDiscovery professional, you face the challenge of dealing with vast amounts of email data. Traditional tools often fall short, making the discovery process slow and less effective. Missing crucial evidence can mean the difference between solving a case and hitting a dead end.

Imagine dedicating weeks to email discovery, only to realize your software missed key information. Dealing with multiple email formats and service providers adds to the complexity, risking data integrity and slowing progress. The frustration can feel overwhelming, making your crucial work even more challenging.

Image to illustrate email eDiscovery

Enter Aid4Mail, a user-friendly tool specifically designed to tackle these challenges head-on. It’s fast—processing data up to 10 times quicker than its competitors. This speed transforms weeks of work into just days, without sacrificing accuracy or thoroughness.

Aid4Mail’s comprehensive support of email formats and services, including PST, OST, and webmail, streamlines the legal discovery process. Its versatility ensures that legal teams can efficiently collect and process evidence from diverse sources, at the same time. This is critical when managing cases with complex digital communication trails, and directly supports legal professionals in constructing thorough and defensible case strategies.

Data integrity is at the heart of Aid4Mail. It preserves folder structures, attachments, and metadata exactly as they are. This ensures that electronic evidence is forensically sound and adheres to the principles of the EDRM (Electronic Discovery Reference Model). Aid4Mail’s ability to preserve the original state of electronic evidence is also crucial in upholding the principles of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), and other legal standards. This is what makes Aid4Mail such an indispensable tool for litigation support and compliance auditing.

Aid4Mail’s advanced filtering options, empowered by Boolean searches, facilitate precise decision-making in litigation by enabling legal teams to quickly isolate relevant evidence from vast datasets. This capability enhances the efficiency of review processes, allowing for more strategic allocation of resources and better-informed legal arguments, ultimately impacting case outcomes positively.

Experience Aid4Mail’s impact on eDiscovery for yourself. Download the free trial and see how it transforms your work. With Aid4Mail, you’re not just choosing a tool; you’re elevating your investigative capabilities to new heights.

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Not convinced yet? Please read on for in-depth coverage of Aid4Mail’s many unique capabilities. It’s a long article, but you don’t have to read it all. Use the floating Table of Contents menu on the right (or below, if you’re on a phone) to jump to a section that interests you.

Why You Need a Specialized Email Discovery Tool

In today’s digital-first environment, email is not just a communication tool but a critical repository of business, legal, and personal information. As the volume of digital communication continues to expand exponentially, the need for specialized email discovery tools becomes increasingly apparent. Here are more reasons why an advanced tool like Aid4Mail is indispensable for efficient, effective email discovery:

Addressing the Needs of eDiscovery Professionals

Aid4Mail simplifies the eDiscovery process by providing advanced filtering options that allow legal professionals to pinpoint relevant data with precision. This targeted data collection is crucial for managing the vast volumes of information typical in legal cases, ensuring that review teams are focused on pertinent data, and optimizing review efficiency and effectiveness. Furthermore, Aid4Mail’s support for a wide range of email formats and platforms ensures comprehensive data collection, crucial for thoroughness in legal discovery and compliance checks.

Unprecedented Volume and Complexity

The sheer volume of emails generated daily presents a significant challenge for eDiscovery. Traditional methods and general-purpose software are not equipped to handle the complexities and scale of modern email archives. Specialized tools like Aid4Mail are designed to efficiently process and analyze large datasets, ensuring no critical information is overlooked.

Diverse Formats and Platforms

Today’s digital landscape is characterized by a plethora of email services and formats, ranging from cloud-based platforms like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace to local clients such as Outlook and Thunderbird. A specialized email discovery tool offers broad compatibility, enabling the collection and analysis of data across different environments without the need for multiple tools or manual conversions.

Legal and Compliance Requirements

The stakes in legal and compliance contexts are high, with stringent requirements for data integrity and authenticity. Aid4Mail’s functionality is designed with legal compliance at its core. This ensures that all aspects of email data, from metadata to message statuses, are preserved in accordance with the stringent requirements of legal standards such as the FRCP. Such attention to detail ensures that the evidence collected is not only reliable but also fully compliant with the requirements for discovery in litigation, audits, and investigations.

Efficiency and Time Management

Time is often a critical factor in eDiscovery, especially in legal disputes and compliance audits. Specialized tools streamline the discovery process, offering features like keyword search, filtering, and incremental processing to quickly identify relevant information. This not only accelerates the review process but also significantly reduces the time and resources required for eDiscovery.

Data Security and Privacy

Handling sensitive information requires adherence to strict security and privacy standards. Specialized email discovery tools provide robust security features, including secure access protocols and encryption, to protect data integrity and confidentiality during the discovery process. This is especially important when dealing with personal information and proprietary business data.

Aid4Mail’s robust security measures, including end-to-end encryption and secure access protocols, are designed to protect sensitive data against unauthorized access and breaches. These features not only ensure compliance with privacy laws such as GDPR and HIPAA but also safeguard the confidentiality of sensitive information throughout the eDiscovery process, a critical consideration for law firms and corporate legal departments.

Cost Effectiveness

The complexity of eDiscovery can lead to significant costs, particularly when dealing with large volumes of data and multiple data sources. A specialized tool like Aid4Mail reduces the need for external services and minimizes the hours spent on manual data processing, offering a more cost-effective solution for organizations of all sizes.

Adaptability and Future-Proofing

The digital communication landscape is continually evolving, with new platforms and formats emerging regularly. Investing in a specialized email discovery tool ensures adaptability to future changes, with ongoing updates and support to accommodate new technologies and eDiscovery challenges.

In conclusion, the necessity of a specialized email discovery tool like Aid4Mail is clear in the face of modern digital communication challenges. By offering efficiency, broad compatibility, legal reliability, and cost-effectiveness, such tools are essential for any organization or professional involved in eDiscovery. Whether for litigation, compliance, or corporate governance, the right tool can transform the complexity of email discovery into a streamlined, manageable process.

A Comprehensive Email Collector

A professional email collector must support a wide range of file formats and service providers. It should also be optimized for speed to efficiently handle large volumes of data in a reasonable time. And it must do all it can to preserve data integrity during the collection process and report issues when they occur.

Aid4Mail’s speed optimization directly addresses the eDiscovery need for timely data collection, enabling legal teams to process terabytes of email data swiftly. This capability is essential for meeting the critical deadlines encountered in litigation and regulatory compliance cases, ensuring that no valuable time is lost in the preliminary stages of discovery.

Aid4Mail performed 6 to 10 times faster than its competitors in tests with local files. For example, an email collection taking a week to complete with a competing solution would require just one day with Aid4Mail—a considerable time-saving!

With Aid4Mail, you’re in complete control of your data, and all processing is performed on-premises. This is safer because it avoids sharing sensitive data with third-party service providers. It can also significantly reduce costs by avoiding additional fees based on the volume of data processed.

Support for Most Email Formats and Services

Local Email Storage

The following file formats are supported:

  • PST, OST, and MSG files from Microsoft Outlook
  • OLM files from Outlook for Mac
  • Mbox files from Mozilla Thunderbird, Google Takeout, etc.
  • EML files, used to store a single email message
  • Maildir files in native format from an IMAP server
  • Apple Mail (EMLX) in native format

Aid4Mail can process PST files with or without Outlook. It’s noticeably faster with Outlook, and you can further reduce processing time by using native filtering. It also integrates an advanced email parser that can accurately extract emails from corrupted mbox files. This is essential because of the prevalence of damage in those types of files.

Note that some competing products claim to support EMLX files from Apple Mail. Our tests found those claims to be misleading, resulting in significant data loss. We’re confident that Aid4Mail is the only eDiscovery collection tool that can accurately extract Apple Mail messages with all their contents and metadata.

Microsoft Outlook and Exchange

Aid4Mail provides several methods to collect emails from Microsoft Outlook and Exchange accounts. You can access the account through an Outlook profile (using MAPI), the IMAP protocol, or Microsoft’s Graph API. Each method offers native pre-acquisition filtering, which can significantly speed up email collection.

Note that, to collect mail from Exchange Online Archives, and Public and Shared folders, you must use an Outlook profile.

Outlook profile selected as Source format in Aid4Mail
The Outlook profile configuration screen

Webmail Service Providers

Collect emails from all webmail service providers that support the IMAP protocol. These include Microsoft 365 (formerly Outlook 365), Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL, etc. Aid4Mail can also access Gmail accounts through the Google APIs. Fast native pre-acquisition filtering is available for all these accounts.

Aid4Mail supports the OAuth2 login protocol, enabling secure access to your (or your custodian’s) webmail account.

Google API selected as source format in Aid4Mail
The Gmail account configuration screen

Remote Authentication

Collecting email from your custodians’ cloud-based accounts is made easier with Aid4Mail Remote Authenticator—a free stand-alone utility that they can download and run without installation. It enables the account owner to grant Aid4Mail secure, temporary access to their email service, or IMAP account, without providing full login credentials, and without having a copy of Aid4Mail.

The Aid4Mail Remote Authenticator program.
The Aid4Mail Remote Authenticator program.

Archival Formats

Aid4Mail can extract mail from the following archival formats:

  • Google Takeout
  • Google Vault exports (zipped MBOX files)
  • Mimecast exports (zipped EML SJF or EJF files)
  • Proofpoint exports (password-protected zipped EML files)

Note that you’ll need the Enterprise edition of Aid4Mail to process Google Vault, Mimecast, and Proofpoint exports.

Incremental Processing (Differential Acquisition)

Processing errors typically relate to:

  • Server timeouts, overloads, or bandwidth limits
  • Lost internet connections
  • Insufficient free disk space on the target drive, etc.

This is where incremental processing (differential acquisition) comes to the rescue. Aid4Mail identifies the emails that have been added since (or missed during) the last cycle and processes only them. In other words, it lets you pick up where you left off; no need to start all over again.

Aid4Mail offers incremental processing for all supported email formats and performs it natively, server-side, when collecting from cloud services like Microsoft 365, Gmail, and Yahoo! Mail.

This ability is usually missing in other tools. It is a significant time-saver because Aid4Mail can determine whether it has already processed an email before downloading it. As a result, resuming an aborted acquisition is very fast and reduces the risk of reaching those dreaded service bandwidth limits.

Options for configuring incremental processing.
Options for configuring incremental processing.

Built for Speed

Processing Local Files

Aid4Mail is highly optimized for speed without sacrificing reliability or accuracy. When processing local mailbox files, it can parse, collect, and convert emails up to 10 times faster than competing email-collecting tools—a considerable time-saving!

We conducted speed tests using a standard ASUS laptop (2022 model with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor and an internal SSD drive). Our tests included converting the publicly available John Podesta email collection, a 5 GB file containing 50,887 emails.

In our first test, Aid4Mail converted the Podesta emails from mbox to Outlook PST in 2 minutes and 59 seconds. That’s a rate of 284 emails per second!

mbox to pst conversion speed test
Completed progress information for the mbox to PST conversion.

In our second test, Aid4Mail converted the same data from PST to mbox in 8 minutes and 10 seconds, a rate of 103 emails per second. The slower performance in this second test is due to additional processing to preserve metadata and improve conversion accuracy. Despite this, Aid4Mail still performed faster than competing tools. With a high-end computer, you can expect even better results.

PST to MBOX conversion speed test Aid4Mail
Completed progress information for the PST to mbox conversion.

Note that you can download the Podesta mbox file from the internet for free. Use it to test your current eDiscovery tool and compare its performance with Aid4Mail. We’d be happy to provide you with a download link if you can’t find it. Just contact us with your request.

Remote Accounts

Aid4Mail is optimized for cloud-based email accounts, offering two time-saving features often missing in other tools. Both involve native, server-side processing of emails and are covered in the following sections:

  1. Incremental processing
  2. Native pre-acquisition filtering

With these capabilities, Aid4Mail can collect emails up to 100 times faster than tools without them.

Concurrent Processing

With Aid4Mail Investigator and Aid4Mail Enterprise, you can run multiple processing tasks simultaneously, taking full advantage of your computer’s hardware and saving more time. Consider a scenario where you need to collect email accounts from several employees under investigation, or one where you need to gather multiple source formats from a single custodian.

For example, you might need to collect data from a custodian’s Microsoft 365 account, Gmail account, local Thunderbird files, and archived EML files, and combine them into the same batch of target PST files. With Aid4Mail, you can set up the project in advance and let it run overnight so that no time is wasted.

Concurrent sessions handling different types of format conversions.
Concurrent sessions handling different types of format conversions.

Alternatively, you may have four tasks that use the same input but require different filters, with the results output to separate folders within the same PST file. In Aid4Mail, all four tasks can be run concurrently, and unattended, while you are working on something else. You can see an example of this in the screenshot below.

Concurrent sessions handling different searches from one source file and different outputs.
Concurrent sessions handling different searches from one source file and different outputs.

Data Integrity

Data integrity and preservation are essential parts of legal discovery. Without them, you risk compromising your case due to loss of evidence. Large mbox files and Outlook PST files often contain data corruption, and some email client programs worsen the situation by deviating from format standards in undocumented ways. Even fully intact email is vulnerable to data loss during collection, format conversion, and target storage.

Aid4Mail stands out from other eDiscovery software in its ability to maintain data integrity. It is built on a foundation of 25 years of email processing, significantly longer than other email collection tools on the market. Not only does Aid4Mail avoid data loss during processing, but it can usually repair pre-existing data corruption, and work around non-standard file format implementations.

Aid4Mail’s advanced capabilities in repairing pre-existing data corruption not only prevent loss but also ensure that crucial evidence is retrievable and usable in legal contexts. This functionality is particularly valuable when dealing with legacy data, or when ensuring compliance with legal discovery obligations where the integrity and completeness of evidence are paramount.

Read on for details of how Aid4Mail excels at preserving data integrity.

Folder Names and Structure

Preserving folder structures and names during mail collection helps to quickly distinguish between emails like Sent, Drafts, Deleted, Spam, and Received messages. It also reveals how custodians grouped and organized their incoming mail. This makes it easier to sift through extensive email collections and find clues to the most significant messages.

Aid4Mail lets you include or exclude folders during the acquisition process. This can significantly speed up email collection, especially if you can exclude large folders with unnecessary content. However, folder filtering only works reliably when based on an accurate representation of the source account. Aid4Mail provides this.

The Folder selection screen.
The Folder selection screen.

Aid4Mail excels at preserving data integrity with respect to the email folder structure. It particularly stands out among other solutions when handling Google Takeout files, Google Vault exports, Maildir stores, and local Thunderbird mailboxes. This is because Aid4Mail understands the unique implementations of these formats and is able to work with (or around) them.

Attachments and Embedded Contents

During email collection, certain storage formats have a higher risk of data loss of attachments and embedded content. This concerns formats that don’t store or deliver emails in native MIME format; for example, Apple Mail EMLX files, Thunderbird and RFC 1521 emails with detached attachments, and emails acquired through Microsoft Outlook.

Again, Aid4Mail understands the unique implementations of all these formats. Unlike many email acquisition tools, it handles them correctly and recovers their attachments (as long as they haven’t been moved or deleted).

Header Metadata

If processed incorrectly, specific email formats and protocols are susceptible to loss of header metadata. This occurs when collecting messages through Outlook’s MAPI protocol or accessing MSG, OST, and PST files through third-party DLLs.

We’ve seen results from eDiscovery collection tools that lost important information, including:

  • Email addresses
  • Sender’s time zone
  • IP address
  • Server relay information
  • Original Message-ID
  • Thread index

This level of data loss is potentially disastrous when performing eDiscovery email searches. You can easily avoid these serious issues by using Aid4Mail.

Email Status Information

Email status information tells you about the actions taken on a received message. For example, whether it was read, replied to, or forwarded. It also indicates the status of an outgoing message, whether it is still a draft, unsent, or sent. Emails can also be flagged (or starred), and marked as double-deleted. This is crucial information as it provides valuable insights into the lifecycle and interactions associated with an email.

Some email acquisition tools do not collect email status information at all, or only partially collect it. Aid4Mail stands out again by preserving this important data, whether the emails are obtained from cloud-based accounts or from local stores such as Google Takeout, OST, and PST files.

Format Errors

There are many different email client programs and cloud-based systems for sending messages. Unfortunately, some don’t fully respect standards, or they contain bugs that produce email format errors.

We have encountered a considerable number of these format errors during our many years of creating email solutions, even from companies like Microsoft and Google. The result of our extensive experience is that Aid4Mail can fix many of these errors, ensuring emails and their metadata render without data loss.

Enhancing Legal Outcomes through Technology

By leveraging Aid4Mail’s advanced email parsing and conversion technologies, legal teams can ensure that the data integrity of emails is maintained from collection to court presentation. This includes preserving the original formatting and metadata of each email, essential for establishing the authenticity and context of the evidence. Aid4Mail therefore acts as a bridge between the technical and legal domains, providing a seamless transition for email data into the legal review and litigation process.

Progress and Error Reporting

Aid4Mail provides detailed progress information and error reporting to ensure a smooth experience. You can track the progress of your task through real-time indications of both the amount of data processed and the estimated time to completion. You have access to a detailed progress report and, when necessary, an error log. The software displays various counters indicating how many folders and emails have been collected, excluded by your filter criteria, and failed due to errors.

Real-time progress information.
Real-time progress information.


Keyword Search and Filtering

Collecting the appropriate data and finding specific, incriminating information is crucial. Fortunately, Aid4Mail’s email search and filter features are second to none.

In addition to basic folder filtering available in all editions, Aid4Mail Investigator and Aid4Mail Enterprise add email content search, including attachments and embedded files. Features range from basic date and keyword filtering to support for complex search queries with Boolean constructs, wildcards, Regular Expressions, multilingual stemming, and more.

Aid4Mail’s efficient processing and advanced filtering capabilities enable legal teams to swiftly identify pertinent information, drastically reducing the time to evidence. This not only streamlines the discovery process but also enhances the legal team’s ability to meet tight discovery deadlines and respond proactively to litigation and regulatory inquiries, optimizing legal outcomes.

Native Pre-Acquisition Filtering

When accessing PST files, Gmail, Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), MS Exchange, or IMAP accounts, you can use Aid4Mail’s native pre-acquisition search to limit the scope of collected emails. This works by filtering mail directly on the server before downloading, or by filtering internal indexes in the case of PST files.

By narrowing the date range, and including specific keywords and message properties in your filter, you can avoid downloading unnecessary emails altogether. This will significantly speed up collection and acquire a higher ratio of responsive emails.

Settings for native filtering.
Settings for native filtering.

Minimizing the volume of emails retrieved from cloud accounts has a key advantage: it reduces the likelihood of service-provider data throttling. Throttling can significantly slow down email delivery or cap daily downloads. However, it can be effectively mitigated using Aid4Mail’s native pre-acquisition filter, circumventing such frustrations.

⚠ Beware of email tools that have an undisclosed search cap, which may significantly affect your results. For example, a popular email collector we tested could not retrieve more than 500 emails from a Gmail account. The software reached this cap without warning, and hundreds of emails were missing from the collection! This does not happen with Aid4Mail.

Search Syntax and Features

Aid4Mail does not rely on concordance indexes for its search and filter capabilities. Instead, it uses a fast, live search engine that operates on emails as soon as they are collected. The search syntax is easy to learn, similar to that of Gmail and Microsoft 365.

Search queries can include:

  • Fielded searches (search specific parts of each email including attachments and file metadata)
  • Boolean constructs (AND, OR, NOT, etc.)
  • Comparisons operators (>, <, =, <>)
  • Proximity search operators (like Google’s AROUND and Microsoft’s NEAR operators, and more)
  • Deduplication
  • Wildcards and Regular Expressions
  • Multilingual stemming (up to 24 languages) and tokenization

Aid4Mail search queries offer unique features that even Google and Microsoft cannot match! For example:

  • Filter out non-personal emails (bulk mail, mailing lists, etc.) with a single operator.
  • Filter emails by day of the week or time of the day sent.
  • Find two search terms within the same sentence or paragraph instead of arbitrarily deciding how many words separate them.
  • Use keyword search lists that can include thousands of simple or complex criteria.
Item filtering settings with a complex search query.
Item filtering settings with a complex search query.

Metadata and Attachments

Responsive data may not always be present in the message body of an email. Sometimes, it can be found in other parts, such as the header, attachments, or embedded files (e.g., PDFs, pictures, and videos). Or even in metadata associated with these files. Therefore, examining these elements can provide valuable insights and help conduct effective eDiscovery projects.

Aid4Mail provides fielded search operators, acting on email header metadata like the sender, recipients, date, etc. Unique operators enable you to search for emails sent on specific days of the week, or times of the day. For example, you can find all emails sent over lunchtime during workdays.

A search query to find emails sent within a specific time frame.
A search query to find emails sent within a specific hour of the day.

Email status information is valuable metadata, rarely exploited during investigations because many eDiscovery tools don’t support it. Aid4Mail does and offers a search operator specifically for status information. Use it to exclude unread emails, or only collect flagged/starred emails, for example.

A search query to find emails that were read and flagged/starred.
A search query to find emails that were read and flagged/starred.

Aid4Mail can search the contents of attachments and their metadata recursively. This means it can continually dig deeper into a nested structure of attachments in order to find search terms.

For example, if:

  1. An email has an attachment that is another email message
  2. The attached email has its own attachment, a ZIP file
  3. Inside the ZIP is a PDF file
  4. The PDF contains the text being searched

Aid4Mail will find the searched text!

Similarly, if:

  1. An email contains an attached ZIP file
  2. Inside the ZIP is another email
  3. This second email contains an attached TAR archive
  4. The TAR archive contains an image
  5. The image metadata contains the searched text

Again, Aid4Mail will find it!

Filtering with Python

Aid4Mail’s support for Python scripts enables you to completely customize filters and add new features.

Here are some examples:

  • Integrate OCR capabilities into your search or scan images for nudity.
  • Perform sentiment analysis on email content to gauge the emotional tone or intent of communications.
  • Implement language detection to aid investigations involving multilingual communication.
  • Use IP geolocation libraries to trace the physical locations associated with IP addresses, in email headers, to determine sender locations.
  • Identify and cross-reference social media profiles mentioned in emails, to link email identities with online personas.

Accurate Email Conversion and Data Extraction

Significant time and effort have gone into making Aid4Mail one of the most versatile and accurate email conversion tools available. Its high-end email parser can convert messages, their contents, and metadata into a variety of formats for review and analysis with other tools.

Data Integrity and Preservation

During the acquisition, review, or production phase, a professional email collector must usually convert email from one format to another. If not performed correctly, significant data loss can occur. Certain format conversions are more prone to this than others, notably conversions between Outlook files (PST, OST, and MSG) and MIME formats (mbox and EML).

Data loss can affect various aspects of email data. The following may be missing altogether:

  • Embedded images and attachments
  • Original email SMTP header and Message-ID value
  • Sender or recipient email addresses
  • Message status information (unread, read, replied, etc.)

Other parts of the email may be present but incorrectly converted:

  • Folder names
  • Dates, especially time zones

Data loss is sometimes unavoidable due to the constant evolution and complexity of mail systems and formats. However, it can be mitigated by using a specialized and up-to-date email discovery tool like Aid4Mail.

Aid4Mail’s conversion engine boasts over 25 years of expertise and is updated regularly to respond to changes in the products it interacts with. In conversions between MIME and Outlook formats, Aid4Mail outperforms most of its competitors. It is one of the few tools that can convert native Apple Mail files (EMLX) without any data loss, as well as Thunderbird and RFC 1521 emails with “detached” attachments.

We know how to preserve data integrity, that’s how we built our reputation!

Email Backup Option

Sometimes, format conversion fails due to issues with the target API (typically with MAPI or IMAP). When this happens, it is essential to have a backup of the source email for preservation purposes.

Aid4Mail stores email backups locally under a folder structure that mirrors the source account. Emails collected through Outlook, or from PST and OST files, are backed up as MSG files. Emails from other formats are backed up as EML files.

Remove Journaling Envelope

Organizations use email journaling to create and maintain a secure and tamper-proof record of all email communications. They do this to satisfy compliance and legal requirements, as well as for data retention and disaster recovery.

A journaled email comprises:

  1. The journal envelope, containing:
    1. A header with essential metadata such as sender and recipient addresses, timestamps, and transport information.
    2. A body with the journal report that typically includes sender and recipient addresses (including Bcc and distribution list recipients) and the original Message-ID value.
  2. An attachment containing the complete, unaltered original email message.

In an investigation, journaled messages present several challenges. For example:

  • Depending on the email client program, the original message is shown as an attachment, and so can only be accessed after extraction.
  • When using fielded searches on header metadata, important information only available in the original email header, or journal report, may be missed.

Aid4Mail solves these challenges with two unique features:

  1. Remove the journaling envelope during collection.
  2. Preserve essential metadata by adding the sender, and all recipient addresses, from the journal report to the original email header.
Aid4Mail’s setting to remove the journaling envelope.
Aid4Mail’s setting to remove the journaling envelope.

Review and Ingestion Formats

Aid4Mail can convert emails to formats commonly used in eDiscovery projects. These include PST, PDF, CSV, EML, and mbox, as well as more unusual formats like HTML, XML, and plain text. PST files, frequently used for ingestion into an ediscovery platform, or for review in Outlook, are by far the most popular format.

Emails are often converted to PDF files, a convenient format for presenting evidence in court or sharing with others. Aid4Mail offers standard PDF as well as variants, including PDF/A. You can insert Bates stamping into PDF pages, embed attachments in their native format, password-protect files, and more.

Screenshot of a PDF page created by Aid4Mail showing an email message.
Screenshot of a PDF page created by Aid4Mail showing an email message.

By converting emails to HTML, you can view them in any web browser, rendered as in a mail app. Attachments are stored separately in their native format, relative to the HTML file, and accessible from a link in the email message. You can even customize the HTML data to fit your requirements.

Aid4Mail includes a convenient HTML email viewer. It displays a list of all available emails as well as the content of the selected item. You can filter emails by folder, or by keywords in the date, subject, sender, and recipient fields.

You can upload the HTML output to a website and share the link to the viewer page with others. Your audience can then access faithfully rendered messages, and attachments in their native format. Don’t forget to scan all the files with an anti-virus before uploading.

Screenshot of a browser window showing the HTML email viewer created by Aid4Mail.
Screenshot of a browser window showing the HTML email viewer created by Aid4Mail.

Data Extraction

To perform metadata and attachment analysis in your investigation, you will need to extract relevant data from emails. Aid4Mail offers flexibility and complete control over this process. Its high-end email parser can reliably extract:

  • Regular email attachments
  • Embedded message content (like inserted pictures)
  • The message in plain text format
  • Available message metadata
  • Unique email identifiers, including PR_ENTRYID and EDRM MIH values

Aid4Mail’s configuration editor enables you to choose exactly which data to extract.

The configuration editor for selecting metadata that will be saved in the target delimited file.
The configuration editor for selecting metadata that will be saved in the target delimited file.

Extracted attachments and embedded contents are saved in their native formats. Metadata and message text are saved in CSV (comma-separated values) files, either database-compliant or Microsoft Excel-compliant, or as TSV (tab-separated values) files.

Ease of Use and Accessibility

Aid4Mail offers a friendly interface for performing conversions quickly. And, unlike many other legal discovery software tools, Aid4Mail supports high-resolution displays and provides accessibility features. You’ll also find plenty of resources to help with your email processing tasks.

Get Help When You Need It

We’re known for our customer support! All editions of Aid4Mail come with:

  • Context-sensitive help with a description of each setting. Press F1 in Aid4Mail to open it in the right place.
  • A comprehensive user manual, available in PDF and Windows Help (CHM) formats for offline use.
  • A large selection of online Knowledge Base articles.
  • An AI chatbot on our website that can answer most technical questions within seconds.
  • Access to our award-winning helpdesk, which typically responds to questions within a few hours.

Accessibility Features

Aid4Mail includes accessibility features to provide a more inclusive and user-friendly experience for a broad spectrum of users. This includes people with disabilities and anyone who finds such features beneficial.

High-contrast mode and a user-interface zoom assist users with visual impairments. Those with cognitive disabilities or mobility impairments can navigate the interface with a keyboard or dictation instead of a mouse. Screen readers, like Windows Narrator, are also supported.

Aid4Mail’s user-interface displayed under high-contrast mode.
Aid4Mail’s user-interface displayed under high-contrast mode.

Aid4Mail vs. Other Ediscovery Tools

Aid4Mail specializes in emails and their attachments and can collect and find mail that other eDiscovery tools miss—it is an industry leader in this domain. Due to this specialization, Aid4Mail’s workflow differs from traditional solutions like OpenText Encase, Exterro FTK, and Magnet Axiom. By focusing on its primary tasks, collecting, filtering, and converting emails takes a fraction of the time needed by other eDiscovery tools.

Here’s why:

  • Once configured, Aid4Mail can operate without user intervention. There is no manual review stage to interrupt the streamlined workflow.
  • Aid4Mail’s native pre-acquisition filtering can significantly reduce the volume of data downloaded from IMAP accounts and mail servers like Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, and Gmail.
  • With no review stage between email collection and conversion, Aid4Mail doesn’t need to build search indexes. This saves a lot of time and system resources.

As a result, you can process terabytes of email data, unattended from start to finish, fast and accurately. And, unlike hosted eDiscovery solutions like Relativity, Everlaw, and LogikCull, the whole process happens on-premises, so you don’t incur third-party charges for the volume of data collected and processed. This significantly reduces costs.

If you need to examine a small email collection, Aid4Mail offers convenient searchable formats, enabling you to review with the optimal app for your chosen output—PST files in Microsoft Outlook, Mbox files in Mozilla Thunderbird, PDF files in Adobe Reader, HTML files in your browser, CSV files in Microsoft Excel, and plain text files in a text editor.

If you cannot cull your email collection to an adequate size, consider transferring Aid4Mail’s output to a comprehensive eDiscovery platform like Relativity, Encase, Axiom, etc. Aid4Mail is an excellent complement to such tools, thanks to its fast email collection, native pre-acquisition filtering, and advanced search capabilities.

Why Choose Aid4Mail?

Fookes Software has been developing software since 1989. Our first email tool was launched in 1999, followed by Aid4Mail in 2005. We have more than two decades of experience processing email data, longer than any other vendor of email-collection tools.

All core functionality in Aid4Mail is developed in-house. As a result, you benefit from key features that are tightly integrated and optimized for speed. We are in complete control of our code, including major components like email parsing and conversion, the filtering engine and its search syntax, MAPI access to Outlook accounts, and even the IMAP protocol used to connect with services like Yahoo! Mail and AOL.

Important clients around the world rely on our software, and the numbers keep growing. They include:

  • US government and law enforcement agencies
  • Top law firms
  • National libraries
  • Prestigious universities
  • Major banks
  • International NGOs
  • Half of the Fortune 50 companies

Unique Functionality Missing in Other eDiscovery Tools

Aid4Mail has a number of features that you won’t find in competing tools or, if they exist, are less well implemented. These are presented here, listed by Aid4Mail edition. (For a detailed feature comparison between the three Aid4Mail editions, check out our Aid4Mail 5 feature comparison table in PDF format.)

1. Aid4Mail Converter

Aid4Mail Competing Products
High-speed email collection and conversion engine slower and less accurate
Very fast native incremental processing
Process Apple Mail mailboxes in native format
Restore Google Takeout folder structure
Reliably extract emails from corrupted mbox files
Recover and preserve email status information not at all or partially
Remove the journaling envelope while preserving its metadata
Reorganize and group emails by sender, recipient, date, etc.
Remote authentication of custodian accounts not common

2. Aid4Mail Investigator

All the unique features of Aid4Mail Converter, plus:

Aid4Mail Competing Products
Native pre-acquisition search with cloud-based accounts and PST files not common, results capped
Search all mail formats using a Gmail and Microsoft 365 compatible syntax
Find two search terms within the scope of a sentence or paragraph
Filter emails based on the day of the week or the hour of the day
Exclude non-personal emails (bulk mail, mailing lists, etc.)
Reorganize mixed email collections by individual account owner

3. Aid4Mail Enterprise

All the unique features of Aid4Mail Investigator, plus:

Aid4Mail Competing Products
Collect mail from native Google Vault, Mimecast, and Proofpoint exports
Command-line interface for automation and seamless integration with other tools very limited
Licensing options for offline use, virtual machines (VM), servers, and USB key installations less flexible

Practical Applications in eDiscovery

Aid4Mail’s robust eDiscovery features make it an invaluable tool for legal professionals engaged in civil litigation, compliance, and FOIA requests. Designed for both efficiency and precision, it provides tangible benefits in real-world legal scenarios. Here, we explore some of the practical applications of Aid4Mail, illustrating how it revolutionizes the way legal teams approach electronic discovery.

Streamlining Civil Litigation

In civil litigation, the ability to quickly and accurately sift through vast amounts of email data can significantly impact the outcome of a case. Aid4Mail facilitates this by offering litigation attorneys and law firms a powerful platform for eDiscovery collection and analysis. By leveraging Aid4Mail’s broad format compatibility and advanced search capabilities, legal teams can efficiently identify relevant communications, even within extensive datasets. This not only accelerates the discovery phase but also enhances the overall strategy by ensuring that critical evidence is not missed or overlooked.

Streamlining FOIA Compliance and Responses

Aid4Mail significantly simplifies the management of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for public sector entities and organizations governed by public information laws. Its advanced search and extraction capabilities enable swift and accurate identification of relevant communications, facilitating compliance. This streamlined process not only enhances transparency and accountability but also ensures the protection of sensitive information, aligning with legal obligations for confidentiality and data integrity. Aid4Mail’s adaptability across various email formats further ensures comprehensive coverage, making it an indispensable tool for efficient FOIA request handling.

eDiscovery for Small Law Firms

Small law firms, often limited by resources, can particularly benefit from Aid4Mail’s efficiency and user-friendly interface. Aid4Mail levels the playing field, allowing smaller teams to undertake complex eDiscovery tasks without the need for extensive IT support. Its incremental processing feature is a boon for ongoing cases, enabling small firms to stay updated with minimal effort. By reducing the time and costs associated with eDiscovery, Aid4Mail empowers small law firms to compete more effectively, even in cases against larger adversaries.

Corporate Counsel eDiscovery Management

Corporate counsel tasked with managing eDiscovery, for internal investigations or litigation, faces unique challenges. Aid4Mail’s capabilities in handling eDiscovery for Office 365, alongside its support for other corporate email systems, streamline the process of internal data collection and review. By enabling efficient search and analysis of email data, Aid4Mail facilitates corporate counsel in proactively managing legal risks and ensuring regulatory compliance. This protects the organization from potential legal exposures.

Managing Internal Investigations

Aid4Mail facilitates internal investigations by providing comprehensive search capabilities. These allow corporate legal teams and HR departments to swiftly locate and review emails related to internal complaints, misconduct allegations, or policy violations. Aid4Mail’s ability to handle vast amounts of data across various email formats ensures thorough investigations while maintaining privacy and data integrity.

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Due Diligence

During M&A activities, due diligence requires meticulous examination of electronic communications to identify potential legal, financial, or regulatory issues. Aid4Mail can streamline this process by efficiently processing and filtering large email datasets, enabling legal and financial teams to focus on relevant information and make informed decisions faster.

Intellectual Property (IP) Protection and Litigation Support

Aid4Mail helps with IP protection efforts and litigation by enabling precise searches for emails. Particularly for those containing discussions about proprietary information, inventions, or trade secrets. This capability is invaluable for identifying unauthorized disclosures and gathering evidence for IP litigation cases, helping organizations safeguard their valuable assets.

Compliance Auditing

Organizations facing strict regulatory requirements can use Aid4Mail to ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations. By enabling targeted searches for specific terms, dates, or compliance-related content, Aid4Mail helps compliance officers efficiently review email communications and prepare reports. These tasks are essential to ensuring adherence to legal and regulatory frameworks.

Disaster Recovery and Email Migration

Aid4Mail supports disaster recovery efforts by enabling organizations to retrieve and convert email data from damaged or obsolete systems. It also facilitates smooth email migrations between different platforms, or to cloud services, ensuring that critical communications are preserved and remain accessible.

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Investigations

Financial institutions can use Aid4Mail to streamline the review process of vast email datasets for AML compliance. By efficiently searching through communications, institutions can identify suspicious activities such as unusual transaction patterns or communications with high-risk entities. This ultimately facilitates quicker response times to potential AML violations.

Tax Compliance and Audit Support

Aid4Mail can streamline the process of sifting through large volumes of email data to identify non-compliance with tax laws. It enables auditors to efficiently search for specific terms, transactions, and correspondences related to tax filings, exemptions claimed, and other pertinent information. Easy access to relevant data subsequently leads to more thorough audits and investigations.

Fraud and Evasion Investigation

Government tax offices can employ Aid4Mail to detect and investigate cases of tax fraud and evasion. By analyzing email communications for evidence of undeclared income, false deductions, or other fraudulent activities, investigators can gather the necessary evidence to pursue legal action against offenders.


In each of these scenarios, Aid4Mail stands out as a versatile and powerful eDiscovery tool that adapts to the specific needs of its users. Whether employed to navigate the intricacies of civil litigation, manage compliance and FOIA requests, or enable small law firms to efficiently handle eDiscovery tasks, Aid4Mail delivers tangible benefits that enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of legal processes. Its practical applications in eDiscovery not only demonstrate versatility but also underscore Aid4Mail’s value as an indispensable asset to the legal profession.

Flexible licensing options

Aid4Mail licenses allow you to process an unlimited number of mail accounts and files, no matter their origin. You can purchase a one-year license, or three years at a reduced price. Either way, you benefit from free software updates and our award-winning customer support during the license validity period.

If you’re not ready to commit to a full license, we offer a low-cost two-week Aid4Mail Converter license as an alternative to our free trial.

On purchasing a license, you will receive an activation code that gets you up and running with Aid4Mail within minutes of payment. After activation, trial mode is disabled, and your license is linked to your computer and Windows login account. See the Aid4Mail EULA for details.

If you need to run Aid4Mail on a computer that doesn’t allow Internet access, simply contact us for an offline activation code. There is no charge for this option, but it is less flexible than online activation.

It is also possible to run Aid4Mail in a virtual environment. Pricing is determined by the number of concurrent users plus the total number of users and installations. Contact us for a quote.

If you’re ready to buy an Aid4Mail license, visit our Buy Now page for pricing details, an overview of each edition, and links to our online store.

Go to Pricing

Ready to Transform Your eDiscovery Projects? Try Aid4Mail Today!

Step into a new era of eDiscovery with Aid4Mail. By downloading the free trial, you’re not just testing another tool; you’re unlocking a suite of capabilities that will revolutionize your approach to email investigations:

  • Experience Unmatched Speed: Witness firsthand how quickly you can sift through vast volumes of emails, turning weeks of work into just days.
  • Explore Diverse Formats and Services: Test the tool’s versatility across various email formats and services, ensuring you’re equipped for any investigation scenario.
  • Assess Data Integrity Features: See how Aid4Mail meticulously preserves every detail of your email evidence, maintaining its admissibility in legal contexts.
  • Evaluate Advanced Search & Pre-Acquisition Filtering: Streamline your discovery with Aid4Mail’s precise search tools. Quickly filter and find relevant emails, saving time and enhancing case focus.
  • Enjoy User-Friendly Functionality: Experience the ease of navigating Aid4Mail’s interface, making complex eDiscovery tasks simpler and more efficient.

Join the ranks of professionals who have elevated their eDiscovery capabilities with Aid4Mail. Click the link below, download the free trial, and start experiencing the future of email discovery today.


Download Your Free Trial Now


Don’t let crucial evidence slip through the cracks. Aid4Mail is here to ensure it never does.

Client testimonials

Aid4Mail exceeds our expectations on the speed in which it can convert data. It can convert larger amounts of data in no time at all. I would say it’s at least twice as fast as the rest of our tools
Jon Hanna, ESI Manager – Advanced Discovery (USA)
I just used Aid4Mail to do an O365 collection and create a PST. I write to say ‘THANKS’ because Aid4Mail performed like a champ. I’m grateful to have your product in my toolkit. Please keep up the good work!
Craig Ball, Texas Attorney and Forensic Technologist (USA)
I often recommend my clients utilize Aid4Mail to assist in the conversion, search, and export of emails to aid in their eDiscovery cost containment strategies. Aid4Mail impressively allows flexibility in handling the myriad email formats found on modern computers, and is one of my must-have tools.
Richard D Lutkus​​​ – Partner – Seyfarth Shaw LLp (UK)
I work for a law firm and we used your product to convert a MBOX file to PST. This software worked brilliantly, it even fixed corruption that existed when we attempted to do it manually or with other software. Thank you for that.
Gregory Kerr, Lubin Olson & Niewiadomski LLP (USA)

Aid4Mail Rated 5 Stars at SourceForge!

An Aid4Mail user wrote on SourceForge. “I’m a litigation paralegal and a satisfied user of this product (various versions) for approximately 15 years. Over the years I have found this program to be a great timesaver for me as well as the attorneys I work with.” Read more user reviews here: Click to read more user reviews.


Application Programming Interface (API)

A method of communication between two pieces of software. Using a mail service’s API to access data usually offers benefits over using more general protocols like IMAP. For example, access to additional metadata, native filtering, and reduced bandwidth limitations. Email-related APIs used by Aid4Mail include MAPI, Microsoft Graph API, and Google APIs.

Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM)

A framework that outlines standards for the recovery and discovery of digital data. The EDRM model is used to guide the process of handling electronic data during legal proceedings, including phases such as identification, preservation, collection, processing, review, analysis, production, and presentation of digital evidence. It’s widely adopted by legal and IT professionals to ensure a clear and efficient approach to eDiscovery processes.

EDRM Message Identification Hash (MIH)

A standardized method of identifying duplicate emails across multiple data sets from any vendor platform that supports it. The MIH is an MD5 hash value generated from the email’s Message-ID metadata field. It offers a universal method to recognize identical emails, enabling legal and investigative teams to efficiently manage, review, and deduplicate email collections. This solution enables cross-platform duplicate detection without the need to reprocess data, saving significant time and resources. The EDRM MIH is intended to complement existing vendor-specific deduplication methods, serving as an additional tool for more effective email management in discovery, disclosure, and investigations.

Electronically Stored Information (ESI)

Any data or information that is created, stored, or used in digital form. ESI encompasses a wide range of data types, including emails, documents, presentations, databases, audio, and video files, social media content, and electronic records stored on digital devices like computers, smartphones, and servers.

Email Message-ID

A unique string of characters in the email header, that identifies a message in the context of a particular email conversation or thread. The Message-ID is assigned by an email system when a message is created, and is used to track, reference, and relate individual emails. This helps to manage message threading and prevent duplication. In eDiscovery and email analysis, the Message-ID can be crucial for tracing the origin and trajectory of an email.

Email SMTP Header

Metadata in an email message, containing detailed routing information. The SMTP header is automatically generated and located before the email message body. Although there is no limit to what can be added to it, key elements include the sender and recipient addresses, timestamps marking the email’s path through multiple servers, and unique identifiers for each server. Email service providers use the SMTP header to authenticate the email sender, and to correctly allocate incoming mail. In eDiscovery, the SMTP header is an essential resource for tracing the origin and path of an email, and understanding the network behavior of email communication.

Email Status Information

Metadata associated with an email that indicates the actions taken on it. For incoming mail, this includes whether the email has been read, replied to, or forwarded. For outgoing messages, it indicates whether an email is a draft, and whether sent or unsent. All emails can also be flagged, starred, or marked as double-deleted.

Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF)

A standard for storing information as metadata in image files. EXIF metadata is commonly used by digital cameras and smartphones, and typically includes the camera model, capture settings (shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc.), and the image date, time and location (GPS coordinates). It is useful for organizing and cataloging images, and can be crucial in eDiscovery for verifying the authenticity and origin of photographic evidence.

Fielded Search Operator

A command used to narrow down search results by targeting a specific field or attribute of an email or document. It enables you to search for an element like the sender, recipient, subject line, date, or other metadata field.

Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)

An Internet Standard protocol (RFC 3501) supported by most email applications that enables direct access to mail on a remote server. IMAP allows multiple apps to access the same mail account, even from different devices. This feature is the main reason IMAP is generally preferred over POP, an older protocol that requires mail to be downloaded to the device.

Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI)

An API for accessing Microsoft Outlook and Exchange. Aid4Mail uses MAPI to read and write to Outlook profiles, and PST/MSG files when the “Process using Outlook” option is turned on.

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME)

An Internet standard for email messages that supports both data and metadata, non-ASCII character sets, multiple fonts, non-textual content, and multiple attachments of various file types. It is an extension of the original Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP).


A property used in Microsoft Outlook and Exchange to uniquely identify various types of objects within the messaging system, such as emails, calendar events, contacts, etc. It is a binary value that acts as a unique key, allowing each item to be retrieved, moved, or manipulated within the system. This identifier is crucial for developers and administrators working with Outlook and Exchange APIs, or scripting, as it enables precise access and control over individual messaging objects within the store.

Responsive Data

Data that is pertinent to matters of the case (in a legal context) and meets the criteria specified in a discovery request. It can be in various forms, such as emails, documents, images, or other electronically stored information (ESI).

RFC 1521

An early part of the MIME standard that defines support for non-ASCII character sets, multiple fonts, and non-textual content. We refer to this standard when discussing certain types of attachments based on the Message/External-Body subtype format that Aid4Mail supports.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

A standard protocol for email transmission. Mail servers use SMTP to both send and receive email messages. Email client programs typically only use SMTP to send messages (to the mail server for relaying), using IMAP or POP to retrieve them. SMTP was created in the 1980s and has since been modified and extended multiple times. The version commonly used today is extensible, with extensions for authentication, encryption, binary data transfer, and internationalized email addresses.


The process of reducing words to their base or root form. For instance, the words “running,” “runs,” and “ran” are all stemmed from the root word “run.” This technique is used in search algorithms to improve their effectiveness, by allowing for the matching of word variants with a common stem. Stemming enhances the ability of search engines or text analysis tools to find relevant results when the exact form of a word is not known.


The process of breaking a string of text into smaller units, or tokens, usually words or phrases. Tokenization helps to identify key elements in a text. It is fundamental in text analysis and search algorithms, where the tokenized text is used for further processing like indexing or evaluating search queries.

Virtual Machine (VM)

The virtualization of a computer system that provides the functionality of a physical computer and its operating system. With enough computing power, multiple virtual machines can run independently from one another on the same underlying hardware.

About Fookes Software

Fookes Software Ltd
La Petite Fin 27
1637 Charmey (en Gruyère)

For over 25 years we have been developing award-winning tools and productivity software. We also have more than 20 years of expertise in the field of email processing and analysis.

Our clients include Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, law firms, universities, and professionals specializing in e-discovery and forensics from around the world.

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