Open attachments

Email messages that include attachments are identified by a paper clip icon in the message list. Depending on the format of the message, attachments appear in the attachment box or in the message body.

Double-click an attachment to open it.

Are attachments safe?

By default, Outlook blocks potentially unsafe attachments (including .bat, .exe, .vbs, and .js files) that can contain viruses. If Outlook blocks any attachment files in a message, a list of the blocked file types appears in the InfoBar at the top of your message.

Security Note    Even with Outlook attachment protection, be careful in opening any attachment, especially if it’s from someone that you don’t know or trust. When in doubt, confirm the authenticity of the attachment with the sender. Also, keep your computer antivirus software up-to-date.

Preview attachments

For many attachments, you don’t have to open the file to see the contents. You can preview attachments in the Reading Pane or in open messages. Click the attachment that you want to preview and it will show instead of the message body. To go back to the message, click Attachments > Message > Show Message.

Some attachments can’t be previewed. Double-click the attachment to open the file.

Also, although preview is available for most messages, it’s not available for messages that use the RTF message format. These messages aren’t as common and can be quickly identified when you see attachment icons within in the message body. Double-click the attachment to open the file.

Applies To: Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013

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