How to Fix Attachments in Outlook Not Opening

In the tech sector, attaching files to emails has become normal. However, users may sometimes be unable to open attachments in Outlook. When they face problems in opening attachments in Outlook, it hampers their work and they get frustrated. Are you also one of those victims who are facing a similar situation? If yes, then I have good news for you. Now, you don’t need to be frustrated anymore as I have some tried-and-true methods by which you can solve the issue of attachments in Outlook not opening.

So, are you ready? Then, let’s get started!

outlook attachment error

What are the Causes for Outlook Attachment Not Opening?

The error message 'Outlook cannot open attachments' can be triggered for several reasons. Some of the most important ones are listed in the section below. Take a look:

  1. The temporary files folder cannot be accessed by Outlook.
  2. The attachments have been blocked by your antivirus software.
  3. The necessary software is not installed on your computer.
  4. The attachment is damaged.
  5. The Outlook PST file has some corruption in it.
  6. The temporary folder already has 99 versions of the same type of file with the same name.

How to Fix Unable to Open Attachments in Outlook?

As you know the reasons why Outlook cannot open PDF attachments, it’s time to know the 6 effective fixes to solve the error of Outlook PDF not opening.

So, let’s check them out below!

#Fix 1: Install the latest Outlook Updates

If you cannot open outlook attachments, then you need to install the latest updates of Outlook.  You can do so by following the below-mentioned steps:

Step 1 Start Microsoft Outlook. Then, choose the File tab.
Step 2 Open the Office Account tab. Next, choose the Update Options button.
Step 3 Then, choose Update Now from the menu that appears.

choose update options

Step 4 Start Outlook again.

#Fix 2: Remove Temporary Internet Files Folder

The first thing Outlook does when you download an attachment is to save a copy of it to a subdirectory in the Temporary Internet Files folder. The application may display the "Can't open attachments in Outlook" error when this folder reaches its storage limit. To fix the problem, remove the files from this folder. Here are the steps:

Step 1 Start the Run utility by pressing the Windows+R keys.
Step 2 Input Regedit.exe in the Run tool window. Then, press Enter.

run dialog box

Step 3 Select Find from the Edit menu in the Registry Editor tool.
Step 4 Type OutlookSecureTempFolder into the Find window that appears.

Then, click the Find Next button.

Step 5 Find the registry key that contains the path of the folder.

Double-click the folder's location in the right panel to copy it.

Step 6 Paste the folder's location into the Run utility.

Then, press Enter. The folder will open if you do this.

Step 7 Delete every file that is present in the folder.
Step 8 Try restarting Outlook and opening the attachments.

If you are still unable to open PDF in Outlook, then move to the next fix.

#Fix 3: Disable Anti-virus Program Temporarily

Antivirus Software sometimes wrongly views legitimate and safe files as malicious. You can temporarily disable your antivirus program if it is mistakenly blocking an attachment by labeling it as a virus. Following that, you can download the attachment and activate the application later.

#Fix 4: Clear Outlook Cache

The next method to solve the issue of PDF not opening in Outlook is to clear the Outlook cache. This is because a corrupt Outlook cache may also stop Outlook attachments from opening. If that happens, then clearing the cache in Outlook can help you.

To clear the Outlook cache, follow the below-mentioned steps:

Step 1 Press Windows Key+R to display the Run dialog box.
Step 2 In the Open field, enter the following command.

type the name

Step 3 File Explorer will open and display a RoamCache folder.

Click the Trash icon at the top to delete all the files in the folder after selecting them all.

roamcache folder

Start Outlook again. Then check to see if the issue of being unable to open attachments in Outlook is resolved.

#Fix 5: Check Attachment Handling Settings

If the File Previewer is not enabled, then you get an error Outlook not opening attachments. So, in this case, you must check the attachment handling settings in Outlook. Here is how you can do it:

Step 1 Click the File menu in the top left corner of the Outlook app.

choose file

Step 2 From the left sidebar, select Options.

choose options

Step 3 Click the Trust Center Settings button after navigating to the Trust Center tab.

choose trust center

Step 4 Uncheck the "Turn off Attachment Preview" checkbox under the Attachment Handling tab.

choose attachment handling

Step 5 Make sure all of the reviewers are activated by clicking on "Attachment and Document Previewers" after that.

trust center

Step 6 After that, restart Microsoft Outlook to see whether you can access attachments.

#Fix 6: Repair PST File

If you can’t open attachments in Outlook even after implementing the above fixes, check the performance of PST files. If the PST files are damaged or broken, it could be the cause of why Outlook cannot open attachments. In this scenario, you need to repair the corrupted PST files and you can do it using a professional email repair tool. 

But which one of the email repair tools must you go with?

There are several email repair tools available on the internet, but I recommend Wondershare Repairit for Email. Why so? This is because this utility is a one-stop repair solution. This tool repairs corrupted PST/OST files in all cases of email corruption. I also use this tool when I cannot open attachments in Outlook. So, I personally recommend using this tool.

Here are some features that make this tool special:

Feature 1: recovers any size of deleted emails.

Feature 2: repairs damaged emails with a 100% success rate.

Feature 3: Before saving, make all repairs visible.

Feature 4: Compatible with Windows and Mac devices.

Steps to repair corrupted PST files using Wondershare Repairit for Email

Repairit for Email can still fix your PST/OST file in three simple steps, no matter how badly damaged it is. Install and download Wondershare Repairit for Email on your computer first. Then follow the 3 steps listed below.

Step 1 Find the corrupted PST files and add them

Open Wondershare Repairit for Email. Select "Select Files" to include the corrupted PST files.

select emails

After selecting the required files from the chosen place, click "Repair." You can enter a single email address or a list of addresses.

add email

Step 2 Repair the added damaged emails

The added corrupted emails will be instantly repaired using Repairit for email.

start repairing emails

Step 3 Preview and save the repaired emails

You may access all of the repaired emails on the left side once the repair process is complete. Double-click a single email file to view a preview of its contents and select a location to save it.

preview repaired emails

So, this is how you can repair corrupted PST files using this professional email repair tool. After doing so, you can resolve the problem of Outlook cannot open PDF.


That’s it! I have explained why are attachments in Outlook not opening and how to fix this issue. So, if you cannot open Outlook attachments, you can follow the fixes explained in this article. In case the problem is caused by a damaged or corrupt Outlook data file, you can use a professional email repair tool such as Wondershare Repairit for Email to repair the corrupt PST file.