Can't open Office attachments in Outlook 2010


  • Hi,


    I'm having trouble opening attachments in Outlook. I recently updated from Office 2007 to Office 2010. 

    My PC is in a domain, here's what I can do:

    • I can send an office attachment to somebody inside the domain and he/she can see it by OPENING.
    • I can send a notepad attachment to somebody inside the domain and he/she can see it by "Protected view" and by opening.
    • I can receive, to my domain account, from somebody outside my domain an email containing a notepad attachment and I can see it by "Protected view" and by opening.

    What I can't do:

    • I can't receive an email from outside my domain containing an Office attachment an see it by "Protected view" or by opening.
    • I can't receive an email from inside my domain containing an Office attachment an see it by "Protected view" or by opening. (With some mail's, dunno why)
    • I can't receive an email from inside or outside my domain containing an Office attachment an see it by "Protected view".

    What I have done:

    • Open Outlook in safe mode and try to see/open the attachments. (Without success).
    • Clear a temp folder. (Without success).
    • Modify a registry (Couldn't do it because I didn't had some registry, so, without success).
    • Right click a word document, and inside the "open with" option mark "Always use this program...". (Without success).
    • Save an Office attachment to my PC and right-click it and open "properties", click the "Unblock" button and open it. (Actually, this did work, but it's a tediously way to send Office attachments).
    • Disable all my Outlook add-ins (including the antivirus). (Without success).

    As you can see, I can't see (Protected view) or open Office attachments (only Office attachments). Would some expert give me an advice? disable protected view on the trusted center inside word (file\options\trusted center\etc) isn't an option to me.

    Whenever I try to see an Office attachment on protected view I get this error:

    "This file cannot be previewed. Try opening the file in the program in which it was created."

    Whenever I try to open an Office attachment I get this error:

    "Word experienced an error trying to open the file. Try these suggestions. Check the file permissions for the document or drive. Make sure there is sufficient free memory and disk space..."


    Thanks in advance.



    Tuesday, May 17, 2011 6:37 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Have you tried to create a new profile for this error. Close your Outlook, Follow the steps to create.

    1. Go to Control Panel, Mail – it’s in the User Accounts category or switch to Classic view. In 64-bit versions of Windows you’ll find Mail under the 32 bit group.  Alternately, you can right click on the Outlook icon on the Start menu and choose Properties.
    2. Click the Show Profiles button.
    3. Click Add to create a new profile. If you are making a new profile due to problems with the old profile, do not copy the old profile and do not delete it. Make a new profile using a new name.
    4. Choose a unique but descriptive name for your profile.
    5. Enter the name you want to use for your display name, your email address, and your password. If your mail provider supports autodiscovery Outlook will set your account up for you.

    If this still occurs, repair your Office 2010.

    • Open Control Panel and click Programs and Features.
    • Right click the Office 2010 program that you want to repair, and select Change.
    • Next click Repair > Continue.
    • Restart your computer.

    Hope this helps.



    Thursday, May 19, 2011 2:52 AM
  • Thanks, in the following hours I will try your suggestion.



    Thursday, May 19, 2011 4:58 PM
  • Hello

    I just wanted to comment that we've experienced the exact same issue as the OP above, during our Windows 7 x64 and Office 2010 (x32) deployment in our office. It certainly has something to do with Office 2010's new "Protected View" features. The strange thing is this only happened to one user so far of the 4 we've deployed to. The other three do not have this issue, yet they're running on the same hardware and deployment image.

    In any case, the user was unable to open any Office attachments from external e-mail contacts, yet opening Office attachments sent from people within the company worked fine. To solve the problem temporarily, we loaded Word, Excel and PPT 2010, went to File --> Options --> Trust Center Settings --> and unchecked the "Enable protected view for Outlook Attachments" option. The user was now able to load Office attachments from external emails as per normal.

    I find this very odd as I have the exact same version/deployment of Office 2010 on my own desktop PC and I'm able to leave the "Enable protected view for Outlook Attachments" option checked. I have no problem opening Office attachments from external addresses, although they do load in Protected Mode. Yet, with the same options, this other user could not? Surely this must be a bug with Office 2010s protected mode features.

    I tried doing the "repair" of Office 2010 as suggested above, but that did not solve the problem. This also isn't profile related, as I can login to our problem user's computer with my account and will experience the same issue, then log back on to my computer and will not see the problem.



    • Proposed as answer by Zarabeth Thursday, June 07, 2012 3:12 PM
    Thursday, May 19, 2011 5:12 PM
  • Well, that didn't work, and as mvietori said, the "repair" option on control panel didn't work either.  Another idea?


    Have a good day.



    Thursday, May 19, 2011 6:59 PM
  • Hi,

    If you have installed virus scanner, try to disable it.

    Also try to change the association to always open with Word Application.

    Right click on a a docx file and choose open with. Select word and ensure that you have checked "always open with".

    Hope it does help.



    Friday, May 20, 2011 2:31 AM
  • Thank you Harry,


    As I mentioned before, I have already done the "always open with" thing, without success.

    I have also disabled all my outlook add-ins (including my virus scanner) and still have that problem. I have to mention that my outlook 2007 installation was working just fine with my antivirus and all that stuff. I don't know whats the problem with outlook that it doesn't want to open office attachments (I can view and open .txt files and .pdf files).


    Another idea?


    I appreciate all your suggestions.


    Friday, May 20, 2011 6:11 PM
  • Which file types are enabled for the File Block Settings in Word 2010 and what is the Open behavior setting set to?
    You can find this in Trust Center as well.

    Can you successfully preview the attachments in Outlook via the Attachment Preview function?
    Does it matter if the Word document has been created on your machine and sent to yourself?

    As this issue is for every user on this computer, can you repro this issue in Windows Safe or boot mode or Diagnostic startup?
    If not, you'll have to selectively start services and enable boot options to find the culprit.

    Also, since you said that Word crashed, what was being logged to the Event Viewer about that?
    It can actually be a Word add-in that is causing you these issues and not an Outlook add-in. For instance, note that the Adobe Acrobat 9 plugin is not compatible with Office 2010.


    Robert Sparnaaij [MVP-Outlook]
    Outlook guides and more:
    Outlook Quick Tips:
    Friday, May 20, 2011 6:34 PM
  • Hi Roady,

    I disabled all add-in I found, and still have that problem.

    I have the following checked for the File Block Settings:
    *Word 95 Binary documents and Templates
    *Word 6.0 Binary documents and Templates
    *Word 2 and earlier Binary documents and Templates

    The open behavior is set to "Open selected file types in Protected View".

    I can't see any Office document via the "Attachment Preview". (Is this Protected View?)

    If I created the document, and send it with my domain account, I can open it (but I can't see it on Attachment Preview). If I send it with another account (not my domain account) I can't open it or see it.

    I can't remember the word crashing part...

    I'll try the safe-mode thing.

    Thanks again
    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 10:05 PM
  • Well, I couldn't try the windows safe mode thing, instead, I'm disabling all my services hopping to find my answer.


    I unchecked your answer as I haven't found a solution to this problem with Outlook.


    I'll keep in touch.




    Thursday, May 26, 2011 3:40 PM
  • I haven't found the service that is giving me trouble, however, I can't disable this service "Office Software Protection Platform",...


    Still searching for the light.



    Friday, May 27, 2011 2:47 PM
  • An update on my comments above, we appear to have found what caused the issue. It seemed to have something to do with the User Profile Migration Tool. We have migrated many users from XP to Windows 7, all of whom elected to go with fresh Windows 7 profiles instead of using USMT to transfer their XP profiles. There was only one user who wanted to have their profile migrated via USMT, and this is the only user who ran into the issue with not being able to open Outlook attachments. This also was isolated to her workstation, not her profile, as she was able to login to other computers and not encounter the issue. Something that was done in the USMT process messed up Office on her new Win7 workstation.

    In any case, to resolve the issue, we simply re-imaged her computer and began with a fresh Win7 profile instead of using USMT to migrate her WinXP profile.

    • Proposed as answer by katshay8 Tuesday, February 09, 2016 12:07 AM
    Friday, May 27, 2011 3:58 PM
  • I haven't found the service that is giving me trouble, however, I can't disable this service "Office Software Protection Platform",...

    That service is for Office's activation status.

    Why can't you start Windows in Safe Mode? Stopping services isn't the same as them not being loaded in the first place.

    Robert Sparnaaij [MVP-Outlook]
    Outlook guides and more:
    Outlook Quick Tips:
    Friday, May 27, 2011 4:00 PM
  • Roady,


    I can successfully start windows safe mode, what I can't do is start outlook, it gives me a validation error (or something similar).

    After disabling all my services in windows normal mode, I got the same error, after starting several services, Outlook started just fine. I'm not familiar with how outlook validates, but I think that it searches for a product key every time it starts, I think that all product key's are found in a server (in the place where I work) and I think that's the reason I could try the windows safe mode before. (I still have to try this).

    I'll let you know when I try this.



    I don't know how the IT migrated my profile, however, I created another profile (Control panel, Mail, Add...) without deleting my other profile and still got that problem.



    Have a good Friday,


    Friday, May 27, 2011 5:34 PM
  • Well, after a few days, I was unable to start outlook in windows safe mode, I couldn't start some services and I  think that's why I could start it (it gives me an validation error).


    Still searching...



    Monday, May 30, 2011 2:27 PM
  • Alex,

    Based on the error messages you posted it sounds like Protected View for Outlook Attachments is turned on.  I know you said you looked and it did not appear to be set.  Something I would try is to turn on the settings and then turn them off. 

    Go into the Back stage->Click on Options-> Click on Trust Center->Click on Trust Center Settings->Click on Protected View-> and uncheck "Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments".

    • Proposed as answer by Zarabeth Thursday, June 07, 2012 3:13 PM
    Monday, June 27, 2011 4:27 PM
  • Thanks a  ton Gabriel

    I was facing a similar problem today and this last entry did the job.

    Thanks Again.


    • Edited by Frigoglass Monday, December 10, 2012 7:05 AM
    Monday, December 10, 2012 7:05 AM
  • What would be the solution when  nobody in a company can not open any kind of attachments including; .exe, etc.? This is in Office 2010 environment and with Sophos as a Enterprise Anti-Virus Software running in everybody's machines. 
    Thursday, November 28, 2013 3:49 PM