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Cannot preview Outlook 2013 files in Windows 7 Explorer

Posted on 2016-11-03
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Last Modified: 2016-11-11
New install of Windows 7 OEM with Office Pro 2013. When browsing the folders in Windows explorer, with the preview pane on, saved email messages do not preview and instead show a warning that says "Microsoft Office Outlook. Either there is no default mail client or the current mail client cannot fulfill the messaging request. Please run Microsoft Outlook and set it as the default mail client."

Outlook is set as the default mail client. Other files can be previewed on the same machine - PDF, XLS, DOC, JPG, etc. but not email. The exact same email file (located on a shared server folder) can be previewed on other machines on the network.

The files open okay but give this error message each time. (See photo)

Thanks.
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Question by:Norm Dickinson
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Expert Comment

by:Austin Texas
ID: 41873356
  1. Right click the file and select Properties.
  2. It should say Type of File is .EML
  3. Next to Opens With, click the Change button and select Outlook.

Let me know if that works.
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Author Comment

by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 41873367
It opens fine either way. It just won't preview. Outlook is the default program.

The type of file is actually .msg, not .eml.

Also, after I click out of the popup message shown in the attached file, the following text appears in the preview pane.

"This file can't be previewed because of an error in the windows e-mail previewer."
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Accepted Solution

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Jason Crawford earned 500 total points
ID: 41873388
What is the Office bit-version you're using?

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3189902
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41873392
Outlook should be able to handle that just fine.

1. Uninstall Office, shut down, start up, install Office and patch fully. Test.

2. If that does not work, make a new, test, Windows User Profile (Account). Log into the new Windows Account. Set up Outlook and test.

Does either approach work?
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Author Comment

by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 41873428
I'll give that a try over the next couple of days. It is probably the 64-bit issue, as that's what is installed.
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 41873521
I can confirm that it is the design of 64 bit MS Outlook 2013 or above which causes the problem. No fix at all. Do not mess up your computer with registry edit as it will NOT help,

msg files will not display in windows explorer preview pane using Outlook 2013
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_outlook-mso_windows8/msg-files-will-not-display-in-windows-explorer/9642fed3-f661-4336-8a7f-c57a0b3d7d7d?page=1

If you read all posts in the above question, you will know the registry edit will NOT work for sure as it is the design of 64 bit MS Outlook 2013 or above which "does not have a previewer for MSG files" and it is not related to your setup.

The only workaround is to install software like "PowerDesk 9 Professional" as mentioned in the link below.
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_outlook-mso_windows8/msg-files-will-not-display-in-windows-explorer/9642fed3-f661-4336-8a7f-c57a0b3d7d7d?page=4
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by:Jason Crawford
ID: 41873523
Is there a reason why you installed the 64-bit version of Office?  Unless you have some other application that requires it, you can run the 32-bit version of Office on a 64-bit computer without any issues.  In fact Microsoft recommends it.
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 41873526
Is there a reason why you installed the 64-bit version of Office?

The reason is more efficient usage of memory especially when you have a large mailbox.
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by:Jason Crawford
ID: 41873527
Ok yes I understand the benefits of 64-bit technology, but are you aware of all the reasons Microsoft recommends the 32-bit version for the average user?
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by:Jackie Man
ID: 41873530
but are you aware of all the reasons Microsoft recommends the 32-bit version for the average user?

I am just an average or above user, but when you use many applications at the same time and you have only 4GB installed memory, you will notice the difference in using 64 bit MS Office and 32 bit one.
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Expert Comment

by:Jason Crawford
ID: 41873534
I never said you were limited to 4 GB of memory.  I never even said you were limited to a 32-bit CPU.  I never even asked you a question, yet here you are detracting from the OPs issue.  Read it for yourself then hit me up over IM if you want to continue to argue instead of hijacking this post

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee681792.aspx

32-bit Office is recommended for most users

We recommend the 32-bit version of Office for most users, because it's more compatible with most other applications, especially third-party add-ins. This is why the 32-bit version of Office 2013 is installed by default, even on 64-bit Windows operating systems. On these systems, the 32-bit Office client is supported as a Windows-32-on-Windows-64 (WOW64) installation. WOW64 is the x86 emulator that enables 32-bit Windows-based applications to run seamlessly on 64-bit Windows systems. This lets users continue to use existing Microsoft ActiveX Controls and COM add-ins with 32-bit Office.
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by:Jackie Man
ID: 41873542
I am not the one to initiate the argue but I am against the practice of recommending the OP to switch to another version (32 bit vs 64 bit) of the same software as you should know that the hassle of uninstall and reinstall is not the cup of tea for most users.
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41873716
Jackie, recommending to reinstall with different bitness is sound if there is no other way to get it work, no?

It is correct that Outlook x64 is able to handle large PST/OST files slightly more efficient, but that is no reason to stay with it. Other Office apps manage very large files better with x64, but this is applies to very few real-life applications.

The rules of thumb (still) are:
  • If you do not have Office installed, and no special appliances, go with the 32bit release.
  • If you have Office installed, and no issues with the bitness, don't change anything.
  • If you use 64bit Office, and things like Office Automation do not work because of that, you'll have to consider reinstall.
It is that simple.
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 41873739
@Qlemo

Your rules of thumb are very useful for explaining to end users.

Next time, I will try to use it when my clients insist to use 64bit release.

But, in this question, it is still uncertain whether using 32bit release of MS Office 2013 will help as the OS is still 64 bit and it is unlikely that a change will or can be made without much effort.

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/5a44e846-d566-477c-a3de-101593876c3c/cannot-see-contents-of-msg-files-in-windows-explorers-preview-pane-windows-7-?forum=outlook
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ID: 41874032
Great thread, never had a good experience with 64-bit.
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by:Qlemo
ID: 41874435
64bit OS makes things more complicated, but it should not matter here. I'm not certain about that, though, as Explorer is 64bit ;-). But since Office works thru COM, my experience is that I can use 32bit Office as I'm used to do on a 64bit OS, with all kind of automation and cross-application access.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 41877640
Thank you. It took a few days to implement, but the issue is internal compatibility between Microsoft's 64 bit OS and 64 bit productivity suite. Who'da thunk it? Thanks everyone!
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by:Jason Crawford
ID: 41883362
Glad I could help.  Take care :)
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 41883368
Microsoft's 64 bit OS is not using all 64 bit process for services. Some services are still using 32 bit API like the preview handler.

So, it is not related to internal compatibility between Microsoft's 64 bit OS and 64 bit productivity suite. Just some of the OS services are still running in 32 bit and cannot communicate with Office 2016 64 bit. It is a design issue for backward compatibility with older software.
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Author Comment

by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 41883795
Jackie Man, your answers were not helpful in this thread, I'm sorry to report, and your final conclusion is a circular reference which makes no sense. On the one hand you say that it's not a compatibility issue, and then go on to explain how it is. Please refrain from impulse analysis or reactions when trying to help, as it really does detract from the conversation. This was a simple issue of the 64-bit version of office not being compatible with a specific 32-bit feature of the 64-bit version of Windows, so no matter how you say it, it was a compatibility issue and your argument appears to be for the sake of argument, not to help or educate.
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by:Jackie Man
ID: 41883818
I am fine with what you say. It is just only my finding after reading a number of articles on how 64 bit version of MS Windows works with 32 bit and 64 bit applications.

As your problem is solved, there is no room for further discussion with you.
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