Cannot open attachments in Outlook Express

I cannot open any attachments in emails, whether they are Word documents or PDFs. Even attachments that used to open won’t and I don’t know what’s caused the change.


I came across this question online and thought it merited an answer here, as I had actually helped someone deal with something similar a few years ago. The reason the attachments won’t open is because of a security setting in Outlook Express. Microsoft, in their wisdom, decided to block an avenue that helps viruses and other malicious programs spread; by turning on a setting in Outlook Express that blocks people from opening any attachment. (Which is a bit like trying to prevent a bank robbery by preventing customers from coming in the door).

Here’s hope you can rectify the problem. Open the security options window in Outlook Express by clicking Tools in the top menu and then Options. Look for the option “Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened…”, which will have a tick in front of it. Untick this option and click Apply.

The reality is, unless you have custom software written for you, you’ll always be at the mercy of a software provider to change settings at will. But the great thing is that you can usually search online and find a way to rectify the problem.

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