Why you are not receiving attachments from your friend using MS Outlook Express?

A common problem when you are using Microsoft Outlook Express and your friend is using Microsoft Outlook. If you look at the size of the received email you will find that it is rather large for just a text email. The attachment is actually there, you just cannot see it!

This is caused by the WINMAIL.DAT file format Microsoft Outlook uses.

If your friend sets Outlook to send messages using RTF format, then any attachments your friend sends will be combined into a file called WINMAIL.DAT. RTF is, in theory, a "standard" format. But Microsoft is using it in a strange way that only Microsoft Outlook understands it, not even Microsoft's own Outlook Express!

Attachments sent in WINMAIL.DAT format will be unusable to those who do not use Outlook. Even worse, the way that the attachment is added to the email means that many email packages will not even show that there is an attachment present. If you received an email claiming to have an attachment but it is not there, this may be the reason.

Ask your friend if he/she is using Microsoft Outlook. He/She can stop using the RTF format by, in Outlook select Tools -> Options -> Mail Format. If the current selection under Message Format is "Microsoft Outlook Rich Text" then change it. We would suggest either "Plain Text" or "HTML". Different versions of Outlook (and different configurations) have different options and in different places - if you are stuck let us know.

If you are using Oulook and your friends cannot receive the attachments that you sent, check this out.