Do you want to fix “unable to open Outlook attachments” issue? But do not know how to fix “cannot open Email Attachments in Outlook 2016/2013/2010/2007/2003”? This blog describes the complete solution to view contents of Outlook Data File with attachment .Read this blog to know about how to fix “unable to open Outlook Default Email Folders” error.

Microsoft Outlook is one of the best email clients and it also acts as the personal information manager. It serves different functions including saving of contacts, tasks, calendars, etc. Using Outlook as an email client, users can easily email files along with attachments. But, at times, some error occurs and Outlook starts showing the message “Unable to open Outlook attachments” whenever user tries to open the PST file. Since, as we all know, that attachments are very important of emails, therefore, it lands the user into trouble and acts as a big obstruction in the user’s work. There could be number of reasons that restricts the Outlook users from opening the mail. Read this blog in detail to discuss all the reasons behind this error and the solution to overcome this issue.

Reason Behind “Cannot Open Email Attachments in Outlook 2016/2013/2010/2007/2003”

There are numerous reasons due to which users encounter this error message:

  • When the subfolders containing the temporary internet files default copies reached its maximum storage limit.
  • Sometimes, due to default security protocols, Outlook does not allow to open the attachments which are more prone to damage the Outlook database. That is why, the mail attachments get automatically locked and displays the error “Unable to open Outlook attachments”.
  • If any user tries to access the corrupted PST file, then they are encountered with the same error.
  • Continuously accessing the same Outlook attachment, occupies the temporary files stock in the temporary file folder. Thus, after certain duration of time, Outlook refuses to save the temporary file with the same name showing the error “unable to open Outlook Email attachments”.

Manual Approach to Overcome “Unable to Open Outlook Attachments”


When users encounter this error simply because of the temporary internet files, then this method can be used to overcome the same:

  • Click on Start option → Select the Run option.
  • REGEDIT.EXE will be viewed and then you have to click Edit option.
  • Navigate to Find Option → type OutlookSecureTempFolder in Find dialog box.
  • Now, find the registry key which saves the actual folder option.
  • Now, write down the folder location.
  • In the start menu, go to the Run option and type the particular location → Click OK.
  • Users will see that the folder will be automatically opened by the browser.
  • Delete all the present files in the folder.
  • Now restart your browser and open the inaccessible Outlook attachments.


Users can go for this method only if they are facing the “Unable to Open Outlook Attachments” error due to security protocols. In this below-discussed solution, the Outlook users are required to edit and restore the security settings in the registry of Microsoft Outlook. This key totally depends upon the different versions of Operating System.

For Windows XP:

  • Click on the Start Option → Select Run option.
  • Now type the command – %SystemRoot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe and click OK.
  • System Restore Welcome page will be displayed.
  • Users have choose the option “Create a restore Point” → Click Next.
  • A new page will be displayed, users are required to mention the location of new file for restoration.
  • Now, click on Create and then click Close.
  • Once, this much is done, then users are required to repeat steps 1,2,3 again.
  • Select the option to restore My Computer to older time and click on Next to continue.
  • A New Page will be displayed in which users have to select the system checkpoint. A list is displayed, users have to click on “Guide Help(Registry Backup)” and click Next option.
  • A system Restoration message is displayed, showing the list of configuration modifications made, now, users have to click OK. A confirmation page will appear after this, now click on Next to fix “unable to open Outlook attachments”.
  • Click OK to proceed.

For Windows 10

  • Click on Start button → Select Run → Type REGEDIT.EXE.
  • To proceed, users are required to type the Administration password if the password confirmation is prompted.
  • After opening the Registry Editor, users have to trace the registry key which users want to modify.
  • Now, click on File Menu → Click Export.
  • The Export Registry File box is displayed, showing the place where users wish to resave the name of the backup file to recognize it afterwards and now, click on Save.

In the above-section, we have discussed the two solutions that help the users to overcome the error “Unable to open Outlook attachments”. Using these approaches, users can resolve the errors but they are very complex and lengthy. Moreover, technical expertise is required to perform these approaches. Therefore, to overcome these limitations, users are always suggested to go for any third-party approach.

Automated Approach to Resolve “Unable to Open Outlook Attachments”

By using any third-party commercial utility like SysTools PST Viewer Software helps users to fix “unable to open Outlook Default Email Folders” issue and open the PST file in the healthy state along with the attachments in an effortless manner without any hassle. This utility also provides some remarkable features like Search option and much more. Using this software, users can search the Outlook items within the PST file. This option helps the users to search any important mail from large PST database.


Both the Manual as well as third-party Automated approaches are described in this blog to fix the error “unable to open Outlook attachments”. The Manual Approach is very large and complex. Therefore, it requires more time to execute. That is why, users are suggested to use the third-party software to complete the same task in less time and that too without any hassle. Using the Automated approach, users can easily open Outlook attachments without consuming much time.