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We can't open 'file_location.msg'. It's possible the file is already open, or you don't have permission to open it.

    Question

  • We are having issues with Outlook 2016 (365) opening saved msg files. You can open the file once, but subsequent opens result in the above error message. Closing Outlook and reopening allows you to open the msg file again.

    If Outlook isn't open, you can open/close the file as many times as you want without issue.

    Tried opening Outlook in safe mode (outlook.exe /safe) and issue still present. Doesn't seem to be related to Com Add-in as originally suspected.

    Any ideas as to what is causing this? Seems to be happening to all machines.

    Win7, 8, 10 Pro with Outlook 2016 (365).

    Monday, May 23, 2016 4:00 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    It seems that Outlook client will lock the file and will not make it available for other users or other open attempts.

    I've found a few threads on the same issue , it seems to be a known issue in previous versions of Outlook clients, and was somehow reintroduced in Outlook 2016.

    (For example: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/officeversion_other-outlook/cannot-open-saved-msg-file/095ff296-5fd1-44fa-955c-61e4f4197430)

    Have you ever made any changes/updates to your system, which might be causing the issue?

    As a workaround, try to set the .MSG file to Read-Only, then you should be able to open, close, and re-open the .msg file just fine.

    Meanwhile, I will keep monitoring this, will submit it to the product team if it turns out to be an issue with a recently released update.

    Regards,

    Ethan Hua


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016 7:31 AM
    Moderator
  • Ethan,

    The only change we have made was upgrading from 2013 to 2016. We have tried all variables (clean install, upgrade, etc) and get the same result.

    As a stop gap, I am just having the users close and reopen Outlook when they run into this bug.

    We are running Office 365 v16.0.6769.2017

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016 2:15 PM
  • Hi,

    Thanks for the update. I can also reproduce this with build 16.0.6868.2062, seems to be an issue in Office 2016. We will submit this to the product team via our internal channel. Thanks for reporting this.

    As a workaround, in addition to request users close and reopen Outlook, you can try to set the .MSG file to Read-Only as mentioned in my previous reply. I have tested this on my end, and it works well.

    You can use the "Attrib" command to assign the read-only attribute to all files in a folder at a time, for example, navigating to the folder from a command prompt and typing attrib +r ./*.msg /s.

    Regards,

    Ethan Hua


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    Wednesday, May 25, 2016 3:09 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ethan,

    We're also experiencing the same error in Build 16.0.6868.2062. Windows 7 or Windows 10. Multiple users and multiple sites.

    Is it possible for us to get a 'bug reference number' or some way for us to track when this is resolved?

    -Sonia

    Thursday, June 2, 2016 12:11 AM
  • Sonia,

    We don't have the permission to submit an official bug for this, so don't have a "bug reference number" here. I will update if there is anything new.

    Regards,

    Ethan Hua


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    Friday, June 3, 2016 7:56 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ethan.

    We have 4 users who are experiencing this issue since the 2062 build.  Currently our builds are at 16.0.6868.2067. Our users often are dragging .msg emails to their desktop in order to upload to our internal systems. It is not ideal for us to constantly change these email files to read-only, nor making the desktop itself read-only. 

    Is there any update for other potential solutions?


    Wednesday, June 8, 2016 6:56 PM
  • Hi everyone,

    This issue has been resolved.

    To get the update immediately, open any Office 2016 app and choose File > Account > Update Options >Update Now.

    Thanks,

    Anahita


    Anahita Bahrami

    Monday, June 20, 2016 6:45 PM
  • Hi Anahita,

    Thanks a lot for providing the update! However, there doesn't seem to be any new updates found. Has the fix only just been put in? Could it take a while for Office Updates to detect it?
    Monday, June 20, 2016 6:50 PM
  • Hi there.

    We've updated the affected users to build 16.0.6965.2058 via "Update Now", however the problem is still present.


    Monday, June 20, 2016 7:54 PM
  • There is no update found as you mentioned

    The problem still exists

    Monday, June 27, 2016 4:37 PM
  • Hi. Is there any progress on this? As mentioned, no further updates have been found and the problem still exists. 
    Thursday, June 30, 2016 6:33 PM
  • Hi, any update on this?

    Office version 16.0.6965.2053 and 16.0.6965.2058 does not solve this problem.
    If we downgrade the office version to 16.0.6741.2063 the problem is gone.

    Friday, September 16, 2016 9:49 AM
  • Hi, I too am experiencing this issue. My current update is 16.0.6965.2092.

    I often need to re-review emails.

    Closing down outlook and re-opening it 25 times a day is silly; very unproductive to my day.

    Changing the files to read only is also not a viable option since I am not permitted to change or copy them due to company policy.

    What is the status?

    Monday, October 17, 2016 3:01 PM
  • I am having this same problem.

    Though we have a mixture of office 2010 and 2013

     It is happening for both versions

    The read-only trick helped only briefly.  This is a huge pain!!  Any other suggestions out there?

    Thursday, October 20, 2016 7:51 PM
  • Any update on this issue.

    Just had a several users experiencing this issue .... seems to be something after doing Pro Upgrades on their systems. That said, I did a test trying to open a save .EML file as copied to my desktop and getting this same problem.  Always been on PRO, so that is not a direct cause.  Suspect as mentioned this is some odd Office 365 (2016) repeating issue.

    Current Build is:  16.0.6925.1041) 32 bit since we are office 365.

    Users that have the issue are just reporting this ... so something updated and brought it back again. The have used eml files saved to desktop for quite some time.

    Of course, with outlook closed, the files can be opened fine, so its something blocked inside outlook while running.


    Monday, November 7, 2016 9:04 PM
  • Hi.

    Same problem here with Office 365 build 16.0.6925.2092.

    I don't understand Microsoft. They had a bug, they fixed the bug, they reintroduced the bug and now we (the clients) have the bug again.
    • Edited by DavidCunha Wednesday, November 9, 2016 1:45 PM
    • Proposed as answer by OF1020 Tuesday, November 15, 2016 11:03 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by OF1020 Tuesday, November 15, 2016 11:03 PM
    Wednesday, November 9, 2016 1:40 PM
  • Hi,

    Same problem with Office 365 build 16.0.6925.2092 ... new to these forums.

    I think I found a work around, please try and let me know if it works for you too.

    If I try to re-open message A from the file system, immediately after having closing it, I get the error; however, if I open message B, close message B and then try to open message A again it opens, no problem. 

    Let me know.


    Tuesday, November 15, 2016 11:09 PM
  • This issue is fixed in the latest Current Channel builds.  You can check the builds on this page, https://technet.microsoft.com/library/mt592918.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396. For users on Deferred Channel the fix should release in the major February 2017 update. If you need the fix immediately you can switch to Current Channel, https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3185078. Admins can switch channels in the portal admin settings at http://portal.office.com.

    I updated the Uservoice request for this with the same info, https://outlook.uservoice.com/forums/322590-outlook-2016-for-windows/suggestions/17025670-we-can-t-open-file-location-msg-it-s-possible-t

    • Proposed as answer by DavidCunha Thursday, January 12, 2017 9:17 AM
    Wednesday, December 14, 2016 5:07 PM
  • Thanks!
    Thursday, January 12, 2017 9:17 AM
  • Hi There, 

    Am seeing this issue on the current build of O365, checked file/folder permissions and the user has full control. 


    Friday, May 5, 2017 7:02 PM
  • We are seeing this issue in Outlook 2016 64 bit (not 365!) version is 16.0.4549.1000

    Is there a patch for non-Office 365 systems?

    Thursday, July 6, 2017 4:27 PM
  • I would like to amend this discussion with a way a common code practice is breaking now it seems related to this error.

    If I try to read an ItemAttachment's bytes as is standard practice with the following in C#:

    ItemAttachment itm = attachment as ItemAttachment;

    itm.Load(EmailMessageSchema.MimeContent);

    var bytes = itm.Item.MimeContent.Content;

    -- the file I then write using these bytes seems off in size from the original Outlook item.  Also, it opens with this same error being discussed above:

    Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. We can't open .msg It's possible the file is already open, or you don't have permission to open it.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017 1:03 PM
  • Btw, a note for your technical people:  I wonder if this is somehow related to an .msg file being cast more often now as an ItemAttachment than a FileAttachment in Exchange.  I noticed that the FileAttachment version works correctly but it seems there are issues with the ItemAttachment version.  I'm not sure why an .msg might be defined as the former vs. the latter.
    Wednesday, July 12, 2017 1:39 PM
  • This is happening in both O365 and Outlook 2016.  However in Outlook2016, we don't need to close out Outlook; close the pop-up error screen.  Then try to open the msg again.  

    All updates thus far have not resolve this issue. 

    Outlook 2016 MSO (16.0.8229.2086) 64-bit

    Friday, July 28, 2017 5:48 PM
  • I had the same problem.

    I tried to change permissions, without success.

    I changed the extension of one of the files to .eml and when I double clicked it, it opened inside outlook! Attachments were there and accessible.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017 7:46 PM
  • Temp Solution.

    Ensure that outlook 2016 is closed when opening up .msg files.

    That way Outlook doesn't lock up the .msg file and you can open it up and close it multiple times, and the error message does not occur.

    Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:07 AM
  • Hi, 

    Having this issue using Application.CreateItemFromTemplate with Outlook 2016 Pro.  Any updates?  Thanks.

    Monday, November 27, 2017 6:37 PM
  • Hi,

    Same issue with Outlook 2013, updated to the last version, currently 15.0.5015.1000.

    When we save a msg to a folder it keeps locked until we close Outlook.

    Regards,

    Wednesday, March 21, 2018 7:31 AM
  • This issue is fixed in the latest Current Channel builds.  You can check the builds on this page, https://technet.microsoft.com/library/mt592918.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396. For users on Deferred Channel the fix should release in the major February 2017 update. If you need the fix immediately you can switch to Current Channel, https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3185078. Admins can switch channels in the portal admin settings at http://portal.office.com.

    I updated the Uservoice request for this with the same info, https://outlook.uservoice.com/forums/322590-outlook-2016-for-windows/suggestions/17025670-we-can-t-open-file-location-msg-it-s-possible-t

    Still have this issue in Outlook 2016 MSO (16.0.9029.2256) 64-bit, version 1802 (Build 9029.2253)
    Friday, March 23, 2018 12:00 AM
  • I can confirm as well, still not solved...

    Outlook version is 16.0.9330.21.24, 32bit.

    This bug is bagging user for long-long years now...

    • Edited by Sirus86 Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:49 PM
    Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:47 PM
  • Hi Gabriel,

    Has there been any further progress to this issue for Outlook 2016 on Prem? We are on build 16.0.4639.1000 64bit and have users seeing this error periodically. 

    Thanks,

    Johnny


    Monday, June 25, 2018 1:15 AM
  • I am also looking for a solution to this issue. (I have already updated Outlook 2016 with all updates, yet problem continues.)
    Friday, October 12, 2018 2:52 PM
  • I resolved this by disabling the "Proofpoint Outlook Plug-in" add-in.

    I am running Microsoft® Outlook® for Office 365 MSO (16.0.11126.20234) 32-bit. I am able to save and open a *.msg file, but on the second attempt I get the following message: "We can't open '<path to file>'. It's possible the file is already open, or you don't have permission to open it." However, as soon as I disable the add-in "Proofpoint Outlook Plug-in" the issue is resolved, meaning I can open the same *.msg file more than once. I found reference to this same issue in other sites when searching online. Specifically I thought this report (https://www.add-in-express.com/forum/read.php?FID=5&TID=13947) was interesting, since it gives an example of the add-in code that caused the issue. So if anyone is still having this issue, please either try disabling all your Outlook Add-ins or start Outlook in safe mode (hold Ctrl and start Outlook). If the issue is resolved then it's related to a specific add-in. If so, try enabling each add-in one by one while trying to open the same *.msg file until the message goes away to see which add-in is the culprit.
    • Edited by Keith Jesso Monday, February 11, 2019 7:42 PM
    Thursday, February 7, 2019 2:19 AM
  • Thank's Keith,

    Yes, it was an add-in that was causing the issue. In my case it was the "convert to pdf" add-in that was the issue.

    I hope this helps others to solve this issue.

    First turn off all add-in's and check that it is working, then start-up each add-in one at a time while testing that it works, until you can identify which add-in is causing the issue. Hopefully this is not an add-in that is critical for your work.

    Kind regards

    Annesly

    Tuesday, February 26, 2019 11:36 PM