Help with error opening Word attachments in Outlook 2003

By Sunny Puddle ·
I work at a Help Desk and trying to fix a user's Outlook attachment error. If Word is open, she double-clicks the Word attachment and it opens in Word. If Word is not already running, when she double-clicks the attachment and then Word opens, but the document does not open. If you then minimize Word, there is an Outlook error message visible "The System can not find the file specified".

I have tried tweaking the File Association settings for .doc, the Open action per the advice at

but this did not help.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

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Not sure

by Jacky Howe In reply to Help with error opening W ...

but if you open outlook go to tools Options and Mail Format are the boxes ticked under Message format. Also check Secirity and make sure that the first box is unticked.

MS Word may have been corrupted.
Do a search for and rename the file. Restart Word and a new file will be created. is located in C:\Documents and Settings\"Username"\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates folder. It is a hidden file, so you will have to unhide hidden files. In Explorer go to the Menu and select Tools, Folders Options, View. Check "Show hidden files and folders". Click OK.

Repair MS Word. With Word open, go to Help, Detect and Repair.

If that dosn't work, go to Add and Remove Programs and highlight Microsoft Office. Click on Remove. A menu will pop up allowing you to choose repair or reinstall. Try a Repair.

< cut'n paste probs >

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It's also possible the temp folder is full or corrupt...

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Not sure

... When you open an attachment from within Outlook, it opens temp copies in the OLK??? hidden secure temp folder. If that folder is full or corrupt, attachments won't open. The folder is hidden and can only be navigated to by directly typing the path in Explorer. The folder is named something different on every computer. You'll need to find the path in the registry by looking in this key:


Key name is OutlookSecureTempFolder

The path you're looking for is inside that key and would look something like this for Outlook 2003:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLKxxx

where xxx is a randomly generated number.

Once you find it, highlight it and copy it to the clipboard. Then click cancel and get out of the key without changing anything and close the registry editor. Then use Windows Explorer and paste the path into the address bar and press enter.

When you finally locate the contents of the folder, first make sure all office applications are closed, then delete the contents of that folder. Close Windows Explorer and restart Outlook. Your attachment should now open.

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Good point :)

by Jacky Howe In reply to It's also possible the te ...

Thumbs I forgot about that and I wouldn't mind betting that that is the problem.

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KaChing!!! $$$$$$$ ]:) <nt>

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Good point :)
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Similar but here's what worked for me.

by landr66 In reply to It's also possible the te ...

I agree, temp copies of opened attachments are stored in hidden temp folder. My user's problem was that we went here: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Security, add string value: OutlookSecureTempFolder, add the value: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\<sub foldername>, make sure the sub folder exists in that location. Problem went away.

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All good suggestions - but did not fix

by Sunny Puddle In reply to Not sure

I had done most of those things already - finished doing all of the things on your suggested list and did empty the OLK Temp folder. I also tried using a known good working and no luck.

I set the windows of Outlook off the the side of the monitor and watch when the error pops up. Clicking Open on the Attachment security dialog box launches Word but the error "The System cannot find the file specified" pops up in Outlook before Word finishes opening. Word starts to open before the error msg appears and then when the message appears, Word finishes loading but with a blank screen, not the document attachment or a even a blank document

It seems to me to be an Outlook-based problem as to how it treats attachments (security?). I did change this user's IE security settings as she was having some minor issues in a secure website. However this issue preceeded the security issue and other users who access the same secure web site and have identical IE settings don't have this issue.

Thanks for all of your suggestions - it is appreciated. But the hunt is still ongoing.

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A bit more checking

by Jacky Howe In reply to All good suggestions - bu ...

Can another User log on and reproduce the symptoms, if not it could be a Profile issue.
Try chkdsk c:/r
Try a System Restore.
If Google Toolbar or Desktop is installed, uninstall it.

Method 1: Start Outlook in safe mode
To start Outlook in safe mode:

Windows Vista 1. Click Start, type outlook.exe /safe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter
Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, or Windows 20001. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type outlook.exe /safe , and then click OK.
Starting Outlook in safe mode starts Outlook without extensions, the preview pane, or toolbar customizations and could indicate a damaged profile or conflicting third-party application or add-in. See method 2 to create a new e-mail profile. To obtain help in identifying a conflicting application or add-in, you may want to contact support.

Method 2: Create a new e-mail profile
You may be able to resolve these problems by creating a new e-mail profile. For more information about how to create profiles in Outlook, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
829**8 (**8/) How to create a new e-mail profile in Outlook 2007 and in Outlook 2003

Backup User information and Reinstall Office.

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Excellent suggestions

by Sunny Puddle In reply to A bit more checking

Thank you for the follow-up. I will try these on Monday when I get back to work. My next step was to work on the profile issue to see if it happened when she logged on to a different machine or if it happened to a different user on that same PC. BTW - she has a roaming profile, If it is a profile issue, may convert it to local as she does not "roam".
I will keep you posted.

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No Problems :) <NT>

by Jacky Howe In reply to Excellent suggestions
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Reinstall msoffice

by mdjameer In reply to Help with error opening W ...

hi Friend,

Please reinstall msoffice .i think your problem willbe resolved after reinstalling msoffice

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