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Why are outlook 2007 attachments being converted to winmail.dat?

Posted on 2014-01-28
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Last Modified: 2014-01-29
When the user sends an email with attachments, and these can be word, pdfs, and excel files, the files are coming out at the receivers end as winmail.dat files.
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Question by:jmcdm60
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7 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Spyder2010
ID: 39815022
This article explains why attachments coming out of Exchange are formatted this way, as well as steps that can be taken to stop this from happening:

http://email.about.com/od/outlooktips/qt/Prevent_Winmail_dat_Attachments_from_Being_Sent_in_Outlook.htm
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Steven Harris
ID: 39815103
If you are receiving the winmail.dat files, this is a sender error, not a receiver (your) error.  The incoming emails are formatted as RTF and their file attachments are converted to winmail.dat files.

If you are the sender, try changing your default formatting to HTML.

There a re a few options (not always reliable) such as WinMail Decoder Pro that attempt to convert these files; however, my experience has been that this only works 50% of the time.
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Author Comment

by:jmcdm60
ID: 39815308
The formatting on the emails is HTML, that was the first thing I checked.
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Author Comment

by:jmcdm60
ID: 39815318
I had already tried this exact link as well and the problem still exists.

http://email.about.com/od/outlooktips/qt/Prevent_Winmail_dat_Attachments_from_Being_Sent_in_Outlook.htm
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LVL 18

Accepted Solution

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Steven Harris earned 2000 total points
ID: 39815331
Which version of exchange is in use?

You may want to look at the IMC.  Per KB149203:

Configuring the Internet Mail Connector (IMC)
The administrator can configure the IMC to send or not to send rich-text information by following the steps below:

Bring up the properties of the Internet Mail Connector.
Select the Internet Mail property page.
Click on the button labeled Interoperability. This should bring up the Interoperability dialog.
The Send Microsoft Exchange Rich-Text Formatting list box controls the sending of rich-text data. There are three values to choose from:
If the value is set to User, the recipient's properties are used to determine whether or not to send rich-text information.

If the value is set to Always, rich-text information is always sent, regardless of the recipient's properties.

If the value is set to Never, rich-text information is never sent.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Md. Mojahid
ID: 39817168
The data in a winmail.dat file is not usable. To resolve this issue, ask the sender to re-send the message in plain text format. The following methods can be used by sender to prevent sending Rich Text messages encapsulated in the Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format (TNEF).

Method 1: Change the default message format

The sender can change the format of the email messages that they send by using the following steps:  
On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click Mail Format.
In Compose in this message format, click to select Plain Text, and then click OK.
NOTE: To send to certain recipients that use RTF format and others recipients that use plain text format, the sender must set the option for the recipient in either the Personal Address Book or the recipient's contact record.

Method 2: Modify the recipient's entry in the Personal Address Book

The sender can use the following steps to remove the RTF format from the recipient attribute in the Personal Address Book:  
On the Tools menu, click Address Book.
In Show Names From, click the Personal Address Book.
Select the addressee that you want to set as plain text, and then click Properties on the File menu.
In the SMTP-General tab, click to clear the Always send to this recipient in Microsoft Exchange rich text format check box, and then click OK.

Method 3: Change the specific contact format

The sender can use the following steps to set plain text in the recipient's contact record:  
Open the recipient's record in the Contacts folder.
Double-click the recipient's e-mail address.
In the E-Mail Properties dialog box, click Send Plain Text only under Internet Format.

Method 4: Set the Outlook Rich Text Format Internet e-mail setting

In Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007, click Options on the Tools menu.
Click the Mail Format tab.
Click Internet Format.
Under Outlook Rich Text options, click either Convert to HTML format or Convert to Plain Text format.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jmcdm60
ID: 39817459
The issue was discovered to be on the Exch server where some updates had been done. I don't know exactly if it was the IMC but the issue caused by changes to the exch server.
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