Microsoft Outlook is an exciting email application with loads of useful features. While it is helpful, sometimes it becomes a headache. One such incident reminds me of an error message that makes you “Unable to open Outlook attachments.”

To help you resolve the “Unable to open Outlook attachments” error, I will explain an easy process that anyone can quickly implement.

Before I proceed toward the solution, let me first take you through some possible reasons causing problems in your way.

Instant Solution

Try the automated tool Outlook PST Recovery to repair and recover corrupted PST files and save them in DBX, MBOX, MSG, EML, TXT, RTF, HTML, MHTML and PDF formats.

  • Outlook is unable to access the temporary files folder.
  • Your anti-virus has been blocking the attachments. In this case, you can temporarily restrict your anti-virus to prevent Outlook attachments, and the issue will be fixed.
  • You do not have the required program installed on your computer. For example, you have received an .ai file, but you do not have Adobe Illustrator installed on the machine. So, in this case, you will not be able to open the attachment.
  • Attachment is corrupt.
  • There has been some corruption in the Outlook PST file.
  • The last but the most prominent reason can be that the temporary folder has already stored the same type of file with the same name for 99 times. For example, you have received an image.bmp file in the attachment. Whenever you open an Outlook attachment, a temporary file for that attachment is created in your machine or on the server as per the setup. When the count for the file with the same name reaches to 99, Outlook becomes unable to save more attachments with the same name.

Let’s see how to fix the most prominent reason blocking the attachments saving.

Method #1 – Use Save As

Perform the below steps to execute this method:

  1. Right-click the attachment and click Save As.
  2. Select a location other than Desktop or the default Download folder.
  3. Give a name to the attachment and save it.

This method works in most of the cases. However, if it does not work, skip to the next method.

Method #2 – Clean Temporary Files

Perform the below steps to execute this method:

  1. Click the Windows button on the top-left side.
  2. In the search bar, type %temp% and hit Enter. A folder will appear.
  3. Select all temporary files and hit Delete.
  4. Now, empty the recycle bin.
  5. Restart Outlook and try to open the attachment. It should work now.

Even if this method is failed, skip to the next method, which works in 95% of cases.

Method #3 – Clean Outlook Temporary Files

Before you execute any step of this method, please be warned that in this step, we are going to access the Windows registry and make some changes there. So, you need to be very careful while making the changes. Any wrong action can result in unwanted and shocking results.

Perform the below steps to clean Outlook Temporary files:

  1. Click the Windows button on the top-left side.
  2. In the search bar, type regedit and hit Enter. A window will appear.
  3. Select the Edit menu and go to the Find option.
  4. Now, type OutlookSecureTempFolder and start the search.
  5. Soon, you will see this name in the right window. Next to this name, under the Data column, you will see a path something like this
  6. Note down this path on a notepad and then copy it.
  7. Now, again click the Windows button and paste the path you just copied in the search bar and hit Enter. The related folder will appear.
  8. Select all the files in that folder and delete them.
  9. Restart Outlook.
  10. Now, access your attachments.

You may not face any problem now; hence, the “unable to open Outlook attachments” error is resolved.

These are the three ways to fix the Outlook attachment-related issues. Many users have been benefited from these methods, but in case, these are not helpful to you, a new Outlook installation may be required. But before that, you can download and use the PST Viewer tool. With this tool, you can select the PST file associated with your Outlook.

This tool can even open the attachments without any additional steps that had been performed above. If you can access and view email data with this tool, then you may need to reinstall Outlook. However, if this app cannot open the attachment, then it means your Outlook PST file has some corruption. To fix the issue, you can use PST Recovery tool. Once the PST is fixed, import it in Outlook, and you will be able to open attachments.

Download Now


Unable to view Outlook attachments is another serious and annoying issue for a user. We have discussed some possible reasons behind the issue and explained related solutions like cleaning system and Outlook temporary files, using Save as option to save attachments from emails and view them. For more severe issues like PST corruption, advanced and trusted tools like PST Viewer and PST Recovery are mentioned and suggested for users’ advantage.