Outlook 2010 Unable to Open (Some) Attachments


  • Apologies if this has been addressed elsewhere - I have searched and can't find anything relevant.

    Since installing Office 2010 Beta 2 I am unable to preview Excel or Powerpoint files from Outlook ('This file cannot be previewed because there is no previewer installed for it') although I can preview Word files and PDFs, JPEGs, etc.

    Even more inconveniently, I am unable to open Excel or Powerpoint files as attachments from within Outlook - they start to open then essentially report a corruption. If I save and open the files from the local machine they open without issue.

    I have a suspicion that protected view may be at the heart of this as the Powerpoint splash screen states that it is using protected view just before offering to repair the file and then declaring it corrupt.

    Whether it is related or not, I don't know, but as soon as Outlook opens I get a ghost Word window open and I cannot close it via normal means, although I can do so via Task Manager. Having closed it down it tend to reappear each time I open a reply.

    I am running Windows 7 and would welcome any assistance or advice.
    Wednesday, December 23, 2009 6:42 PM

All replies

  • Update: I have discovered how to disable Protected View for attachments and I can now at least open Powerpoint and Excel files from Outlook. The previewer is still not working. I have tried for both ppt and ppx format files.

    I would still appreciate help to overcome this issue
    Sunday, December 27, 2009 10:10 AM
  • I'm having this exact same issue, as are a few other people apparently.

    Had anyone posted a solution?  Thanks.
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 5:46 AM
  • I have a similar problem in that when trying to open Excel files from Outlook web it often stalls, sometimes locking the browser.   However, Word files open no problem.

    I wonder if this is related.
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 3:06 AM
  • Hi,

    I'm having exactly the same problem. Can not open word attachment in Outlook 2010.
    The same problem if I save it to the disk.

    Word experienced an error trying to open the file.

    Thursday, January 14, 2010 7:04 PM
  • Hi all,

    See if this helps:

    Save the file / attachment locally. Right-click, select Properties, click Unblock at the bottom, and finally click OK.
    Now you should be able to open the file as expected.

    • Proposed as answer by Frank-Ove Monday, January 18, 2010 11:51 AM
    Monday, January 18, 2010 11:51 AM
  • UPDATE: The issue below appears to have resulted from the Word file being sent from a Mac. I think Outlook got confused by the separate, tiny Mac resource file attached that shared the same name. I had the original email forwarded to gmail, stripped out the resource file, and forwarded it to Outlook 2010, and it opened fine.


    I'm having a problem opening Word attachments in the CTR version of Outlook 2010. I looked at the article you mentioned but couldn't locate the reg keys they talked about or the Protected View tab that was described as appearing in in File -> Options -> Trust Center -> Trust Center Settings. 

    I am able to click-drag the Word attachments to my desktop or right-click them and save them, but the file size is always 0 bytes, even though it shows as being 39KB inside Outlook.

    Even more disconcerting, when I forward the email and attachments to my Gmail account and then download the attachment to my desktop, it shows up as having the correct file size, but when Word tries to open it, all the formatting has been lost. Word docs that were not routed through Outlook 2010 work fine, however, so it doesn't seem to be Word 2010 at fault here. It seems like Outlook is messing up these attachments.
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:26 AM
  • Hi All,

    Thanks Frank, that solution helped me to open the "corrupted" file

    Hope Microsoft  fixes it soon




    Thursday, January 20, 2011 4:06 PM
  • same issue with attachments started for me with latest patches... now have to save each attachment locally and open (they all open fine)... when trying to open from email, just tries forever. Very frustrating and time consuming.
    Monday, January 30, 2012 2:38 PM
  • I have had the following issue. Upgrading to Office Professional 2010 from either Office 2003 or Office 2007 broke the ability to preview CSV files or in some cases Excel files as well. I have found the following fix:

    1st - Download and install from

    2nd - Download and install the Previewer Handler Pack from MSDN . it adds support for several popular files formats including ZIP, PDF, XML, MSI, BIN, CSV, XPS, and XAML files. Download sample previewers from MSDN.

    After I did both steps outlined above it fixed my issues. I hope this helps..

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012 12:55 PM