Upon trying to open or preview an attachment (.pdf, .doc, .wav, etc.), an error comes up saying “Unable to create file…” and asks you to check the folder’s permissions. If you right-click the file and save it to the system locally, it opens without an issue.
Outlook uses a hidden temp folder (or sometimes two folders) to create these files in when previewing them or opening them using Outlook or one of the previewers installed with it. When multiple attachments with the same filename are opened (i.e. “collate.doc”), Outlook will incrementally number the filenames in the temp folder from 0-99; when it reaches that maximum (99) it cannot create a new temp file and thus won’t let you open or preview the file.
Locate the hidden folder(s) using the Registry Editor’s search feature and delete the contents, then restart Outlook and the problem should be resolved.
Steps (7 total)
Click “Start” -> “Run…” and type “regedit” (In Windows Vista or 7, just type it into the search box and hit enter)
Click “Edit” -> “Find…” and type OutlookSecureTempFolder
When RegEdit has found the entry, it will tell you where your temp files are stored. It will look similar to C:Documents and Settings*USERNAME*Local SettingsTemporary internet FilesOLK*RANDOM NUMBER*
Open My Computer and navigate to this location (if you doubleclick the entry in RegEdit, it will open a dialog box which will allow you to copy the path).
Delete all of the files in this folder
Now return to the Registry Editor and perform the same search again. If it cannot find an entry or shows the same folder, you should be all set. If it finds a different folder (which is commonly similar to C:Documents and Settings*USERNAME*Local SettingsTemporary internet FilesContent.Outlook*ALPHANUMERIC VALUE*), you must repeat the steps above and delete all of these files as well, otherwise the error will still be present.
Restart MS Outlook and the attachment should be able to open without any errors.
NOTE: In Windows 7, the path is usually something like “c:usersAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet Filescontent.outlook*RANDOM*”
Myke Schwartz, PEI