Outlook Express stops attachments

Tips & Hints

Since I've upgraded my Internet Explorer I can't open attachments

Posted 17 May 2003

We strongly recommend upgrading Internet Explorer to the latest service pack. It's security fixes and feature make computers much less vulnerable to viruses and malware. Unfortunately there are a couple of bugs with the update.

The most common bug, although Microsoft would argue it's a feature, is that you can't open attachments in Outlook Express. The idea is that most viruses rely on attachments to spread, so by stopping the attachments you stop the viruses. However many of us use attachments and not being able to open them is a nuisance.

The fix is simple. Open Outlook Express, click the Tools menu and select Options. Click on the Security tab and take the tick off "Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus." This will fix the problem.

While you are in the Options, you may also want to make sure that your connection settings are correct. For some strange reason, we've found the connect method is changed to dial up. If you have a broadband connection, this is another nuisance. If you are on a broadband or network connection, the normal setting is "Never Dial a Connection."

When you change these settings, it's essential to keep your computer up-to-date with the latest security patches from Microsoft and anti-virus definitions. We'd also recommend a firewall program. As we've said in the past, you also must use some common sense with file attachments.

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