Office documents as email attachments: Experienced an error trying to open the file.

I just saved a few Office documents received as email attachments and tried to open them when I got the following error: “office experienced an error trying to open the file.”. This is actually due to the “internet” security protection of Windows…

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I have been doing that for month, with Outlook 2010, on this PC and never got such an error. Fortunately I immediately thought to check the “Security” on the file. That was the issue.

Unblock file downloaded from Internet
Unblock file downloaded from Internet

That’s easy to fix:

  1. Right click the attachments saved as files and select “Properties”.
  2. Click Unblock.

If you have several files to be unblocked, you can also use one of the SysInternals: Streams v1.56 to unblock them all at once:

  1. Open a command prompt as Administrator.
  2. Run the command streams on the files to be unblocked. E.g.: streams -d *.*

Actually, a attachment saved from Outlook seems to be (?now?) considered as a file downloaded from Internet. And there are information stored in an alternate filestream that are used by Windows to block the files downloaded from Internet. The “streams” command is nuking that alternate stream. So, Windows stops blocking the files.




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