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  1. #1
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    Unable to open .docx attachments.

    Since a few days ago, I am unable to open a .docx attachment in an email message. When I try to open it, Word starts, and then throws up this message: "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; Open the file with the Test Recovery converter".

    Memory and disk space are not an issue, so it could be related to file permissions? On my PC, attachments are found in \Temporary Internet Files\Content Outlook\EPOFVKSQ\. When I try to open a .docx attachment, two copies of the file are placed in there - "File Name.docx" and "File Name (002).docx". If I navigate to that location and try to open a .docx by clicking on it, Word starts but the same error occurs. BUT, if I right-click on a file and select Edit, Word will open the file normally. What is going on here? As far as I can tell, the permissions for that location are OK, and I have certainly not changed anything. When opening an attachment from within Outlook, there is no option to Edit.

    Email messages received more than a few days ago, with .docx attachments, were OK at the time - the attachments would open normally in Word. But if I go now to the same messages, the attachments do not open but give the above error.

    I went to a known-good .docx file on my PC, and verified that it would open correctly in Word from its own location. I then sent the same file to myself as an email attachment. After I had attached the file to the message, but before hitting Send, I tried to open the attachment but got the same error. After sending and receiving the message I tried to open the attachment from the incoming message, same result again.

    I really need to be able to open incoming .docx attachments from within Outlook. Does anyone have any ideas?

    Running Windows 10 1511. and Office 365 version 1609, build 7369.2024.
    Last edited by Bundaburra; 2016-10-06 at 22:19.

  2. #2
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    Try clearing the temporary folder.

    You can try to repair your Office install.
    Joe

  3. #3
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    The temporary folder gets emptied automatically when Outlook is closed.

    Office quick repair did not solve the problem. Office online repair took "forever", because it downloads and re-installs the entire package, but did not solve the problem either.

    I tried deleting and re-creating the Temporary Internet Files folder, but that also did not solve the problem. The only difference is that I do not now have an Edit option in the right-click context menu. This indicates a problem with the permissions for the temporary folder, as the error message says - previously I could right-click and edit, now I cannot.

    So now I am totally unable to open a Word attachment in Outlook. Help please !!

  4. #4
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    If you save the attachment, then open it in Word, does it open correctly?

    Perhaps you could download and install the MS Word viewer. Temporarily set it to be the default program for opening Word documents. See if that will allow you to successfully open the attachments.

    While the viewer is not a permanent solution, it may give you a way to at least view documents directly from Outlook.

  5. #5
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    If I save the attached file to another location, it will then open correctly in Word. This indicates that there is nothing wrong with either the attached file, or with Word itself. Word works perfectly in all other respects, so I don't believe I need the viewer.

    If I save it to the same temporary folder that Outlook uses, which is effectively what Outlook does, Word cannot open it and throws the same error. However, if I save it at the next level up, still within Temporary Internet Files, Word will open it correctly. This seems to confirm the error message: a problem with file permissions. I need help from someone who knows about these.

    The structure wirthin the Temporary Internet Files folder is like this:

    C:\Temporary Internet Files\Content Outlook\7UYK5URL\ If I save the attachment into \7UYK5URL\, which is what Outlook does, I cannot open it with Word and I get the error. But if I save it into \Content Outlook\ (one level up), Word will open it normally. So there must be a difference in the permissions of the two sub-folders, but I cannot see it. Looking at the Security settings for each, they appear to be identical, and both say that their permissions are inherited from C:\ .

    To further confuse the issue, other types of attachments (.jpg, .pdf, xlsx, .txt) will open normally, and they get placed into the same \7UYK5URL\ folder. So there seems to be something different about Word? Maybe the problem really is with Word after all? I don't get it. Is there a setting within Word that I should change?

    For what it's worth, I did download the viewer and tried it out. It couldn't open a .docx file, as it dates from the old Word 2003 days (it offered to download the Compatibility Pack), but I found another email with a .doc attachment, and Outlook could open that using the viewer.
    Last edited by Bundaburra; 2016-10-07 at 19:02.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Save as (download to) your Desktop?

  7. #7
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    Problem solved (sort of). In Word, I had enabled Protected View for Outlook attachments (it's a setting in Trust Center). Seemed like a good idea at the time, but when I disabled this, Word attachments would then open normally.

    The little Help bubble on this setting says "when selected, attachments opened from Outlook 2016 will open in Protected View". Not so in my case - they would not open at all. So unless there is another setting, I will have to open Word attachments without Protected View enabled - which doesn't worry me too much.

    Is this a setting in Word that does not work properly, or am I still missing something?

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    mrjimphelps (2016-10-08)

  9. #8
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    Basic solution to opening and manipulating *.docx files is to install LibreOffice (free) and tell M$ to stuff it.

    Personally, I use Word 2003 for work (that version doesn't "do" *.docx files) and in the rare instance I need to look at a (customer/author/editor-supplied) *.docx file, I simply open it in LibreOffice and never break a sweat. I can then even save it as a *.doc file if I cared enough to bother.

  10. #9
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    windoz, awhile back, I too went with Libre [and Open] office suites. Anything anyone sends me can be opened by at least one if not both of the suites.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
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    @RolandJS
    Could you tell me what one of those two can open which the other can't? I'm curious.
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  12. #11
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockE View Post
    @RolandJS; Could you tell me what one of those two can open which the other can't? I'm curious.
    Not really, because I have not kept a record; I think I have to compare the file associations possible by Libre suite against the ones possible by Apache suite. One example if memory serves me correctly: Libre suite can open the old old WordPerfect/DOS 5.1 DOCs and reSave as Office 1997 DOCs, while Apache suite cannot.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
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  13. #12
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    Thanks, I was curious because I have found nothing missing that I personally need when using LibreOffice.
    I have, on occasion, updated the Apache suite for clients who use it (or who were still using the original OpenOffice version) but I don't have much experience with the Apache version myself (I switched from OpenOffice to LibreOffice when the developers jumped ship -- years ago).
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  14. #13
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockE
    I have, on occasion, updated the Apache suite for clients who use it (or who were still using the original OpenOffice version) but I don't have much experience with the Apache version myself (I switched from OpenOffice to LibreOffice when the developers jumped ship -- years ago).
    The signs are that Apache OpenOffice may close down development. Have a look at this post last month by Apache OpenOffice volunteer Vice-President: What Would OpenOffice Retirement Involve? (01 Sep 2016)

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    I use LibreOffice and have installed it on several of my clients' computers, mainly those that had Microsoft Works and LibreOffice still opens those files.

    As to "signs of the times" I'd suggest IBM may be dropping most of the old Lotus programs such as 1-2-3 and WordPro [formerly AmiPro].

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    As to "signs of the times" I'd suggest IBM may be dropping most of the old Lotus programs such as 1-2-3 and WordPro [formerly AmiPro].
    A friend of mine works for a large chemical plant where they originally used Microsoft Office; the company was bought a few years ago. After the buy out they were switched to Lotus (which the new owners had always used apparently). However, this year they've been switching (back) to Microsoft products. To me, that lends credence to your suggestion (even in the absence of other industry scuttlebutt).
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