Cannot open tiff files in outlook 2003

smnphoenix used Ask the Experts™
I have a user that has currently been unable to open tiff attachements. If she gets a tiff file any other way but through outlook she is able to open it fine.

The error that is thrown is,

Can't create file: FAX.TIF. Right-Click the folder you want to create the filein , and then click Properties on the shortcut menu to check your permissions on the folder.

This user gets maybe twenty of these through the fax server every day.
Please help!
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Have you check the file associations with the tif extension?  try setting the imaging and fax viewer as the open application.


Yes a tif file opens fine if it is on the desktop, but I cannot even save the file to the desktop. When I do an open or a "save as" I get the same error.

From a similar question:

There are many causes for this problem. Most often, this problem arises
because some other imaging application that you installed has set itself as
the default viewer for TIF files. To view faxes from the Fax Console, the
Windows Imaging and Fax viewer must be your default viewer for TIF files.
You can easily restore that setting in Windows Explorer > Folder Options.
File Types. For most users the command line should read:

"rundll32.exe <drive>:\WINDOWS\system32\shimgvw.dll,ImageView_Fullscreen %1"
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Maybe there are permission problems.  Does the user have rights to the Outlook temp directory?  Can you set the Outlook temp location to a local directory?


I thought about the last one, the user is an admin. Also the user can open any other kind of attachement from outlook, just not tif.

utlook 2000, XP, and 2003 Can't Open E-mail Attachments
You may receive the following error message when opening attachements in Outlook (such as PDF faxes): "Can't open this item. Can't create file: send2fax1.pdf. Right-click the folder you want to create the file in, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu to check your permissions to that folder"
Microsoft Outlook uses a temporary folder to save and open the attachments. By default that folder is:
C:\Documents and Settings\%USER_NAME%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLK#\ (where # is a random number)
Some of the latest security updates for Windoes 2000 and XP are preventing folders to be created in that folder. The solution is to use the regular TEMP folder.
1. Using REGEDIT.EXE locate the following key:
My Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Security
Note: Depending on your version you may have to modify that path after the "Office" key. You may have folders 8.0, 9.0, 10.0, 11.0, go the highest number. This is probably the version that you use.
2. Modify the Key "OutlookSecureTempFolder", by replacing "Temporary Internet Files" with "Temp". For example:
OLD VALUE: C:\Documents and Settings\kamen\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLK177\ (you may have different number than 177)
NEW VALUE: C:\Documents and Settings\kamen\Local Settings\Temp\OLK177\
3. Restart Microsoft Outlook.

Forgot to quote the source: :)

What OS?  Maybe you need to add a TEMP setting to the environment variables.
This is an interesting problem.  Have you tried a Detect and Repair?
Start-Run-SFC may also help in case there are some corrupt or missing system files.


Had the exact same error but for .doc files only!  but not all of them, some would open strangely enough!  I found just clearing everything out of the OLK### folder fixed the problem.  But could well re-occur one-day.  Interestingly enough this was only happening for our HR users who open potentially hundreds of .doc files a day, the OLK### dir had 40Mbs of .doc files!

Clear them out and it works!


I have the same issue with a WINXp Outlook 2003 user, but I tried the accepted answer from MOB-bom and it didn't work for me, I still got the same error when opening an attachments.  If anyone has any other ideas I'd love to hear them!
We have the same exact issue over here.  clearing the temp folder out fixs it for a day.

Thanks for the great answer.  The reg key solved the problem immediately.

This problem also has another culprit. The same error can occur if a seperate outlook application is running that was never closed properly, and it can make the error seem mysterious, because it goes away upon reboot or a logoff. So make sure and check that there is not more than one OUTLOOK.exe process running on the machine before you edit the registry. :)

That work for me!

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