How to solve the most common attachment related problems in outlook


You've probably all come across outlook errors and messages like these:

"Can't create file: 'FILENAME'. Right-click the folder you want to create the file in, and then click properties on the shortcut menu to check your permissions for the folder."

Sometimes you may also experience the issues that attachments cannot be opened from within outlook (e.g. nothing happens when you double-click an attachment, although it is previewed correctly) but you can open it as soon as you save it to the desktop for example.

Another common issue is that you are not able to add attachments to emails. Again with various error messages you may come across.

You may also experience issues with just one filetype like *.xls for example whereas Word documents can be opened just fine.


Here is a short and simple solution which is definitely worth giving a try when you are experiencing any kind of attachment related issues in Outlook (2000 - 2013)

Clear the contents of the OutlookSecureTempFolder!

And here is how to achieve this:

01. Search the registry for the key "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Security\OutlookSecureTempFolder".
OutlookSecureTempFolder location in windows registry
02. Double click this key and copy the folder path to your clipboard.
copy the folder path
03. Open the path you just copied from the registry in Windows Explorer.
OutlookSecureTempFolder in Windows Explorer
04. Move all files (in case you want to play it safe) located in this folder to another location or simply delete them. (As those files are just temporary files that are created when you open an email attachment you usually can find another copy of those documents within your Outlook items)

05. Close and restart Outlook.


Some background information
Whenever you open an attachment in Outlook (of a trusted filetype), a temporary file is created in the OutlookSecureTemp folder. Usually those files are automatically deleted as soon as you quit Outlook or close the attachment. However, sometimes those files are not removed as expected (e.g. when Outlook or your computer crash while an attachment was opened)

Other benefits of the OutlookSecureTempFolder

Scenario 1:
You open an attachment from within Outlook and work on it for some time. Now, due to whatever reason, Outlook or your computer crashes before you are able to save the document in a location of your choice! Until now you'd probably have started working on this document from scratch again.
But thanks to the OutlookSecureTempFolder there may still be another (more recent) version of the document available! (assuming that you at least hit the Save button while working on the attachment once)

Scenario 2:
You are working on an attachment for some time and hit the save button. Now you close the attachment and are wondering where the file is located -> it's still in the OutlookSecureTempFolder!


Possible OutlookSecureTempFolder registry locations:

Outlook 2003

Outlook 2007

Outlook 2010

Outlook 2013


Further information on the OutlookSecureTempFolder and related issues can be found here:

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