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MS Outlook winmail.dat problem

By genesane ·
All of a sudden, my Outlook started messing up my outgoing e-mail by converting all my attachments into
winmail.dat and making them unreadable by some mail clients (occasionally, it combines multiple attachments
into one winmail.dat). And this is happening regardless the mail format: plain view, HTML, or RTF.
If I forward messages that are HTML pages (Techrepublic newsletters, for example), they coming all messed up too.
Actually, it began after I opened my .PST file, which I normally use with Outlook 2000, with Outlook 2003
and then moved back to Outlook 2000. Or maybe it was just a coincidence.

Any idea?


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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to MS Outlook winmail.dat pr ...

How did you open the .pst file in 2003 Outlook?

If you just transfered the file across to the home directory of the 2003 version it may have become corrupted but if you Imported it into that program any conversion necessary should have been performed on the import.

You can always try Importing the File back into the 2000 version but if it's been corrupted it's unlikely to import properly and you may get some errors. But after you import it you should have no problems with new attachments or forwarding's on new arrivals.

But when all else fails use your Backup to restore the original data store and Import it into the Program just to be on the safe side.

If you still have the problem after this you'll at the very least know that it's not a corrupt .pst file that is causing it.

You should also install Ad aware and Spy-Bot S& D update them to the latest definitions available and then reboot your computer start it in Safe Mode and run Spy Ware/Mal ware scans as well as an AV scan just to be on the safe side. If you find any Spy Ware remove it and rerun the program just to make sure that everything has been removed. The same applies to your AV Program as well run an AV Scan in Safe Mode to allow the possibility of removing any files that would normally load and be considered as Critical Windows Files and therefore incapable of being able to remove them in Normal Mode.


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by ctrservices In reply to MS Outlook winmail.dat pr ...

This often happens when transferring data to an older version of Outlook. Have you tried using the Inbox Repair Tool? If not, search for ?scanpst.exe? and tell it the location of your .pst file in Outlook 2000.

For seriously corrupted .pst files, run scandisk and then run scanpst.exe 3-4 times until neither program returns an error.

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by genesane In reply to

Thanks. Actually, it was the first remedy I tried, but to no avail.

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by barbmazor In reply to MS Outlook winmail.dat pr ...

We are having this same problem. I am googling everywhere trying to find a solution. :-( Did you solve it?

We just moved to Outlook 2002 with the purchase of PPC-6700 (cell phone/ pocket PC) We are working with a brand new file and have not imported any old emails or addresses into Outlook. (previously we used Mozilla Thunderbird for email)

So far we have tried:
tools>options>mail format tab and set it for "Plain Text"

and we have tried:
tools>options>internet format tab and set it for "encode attachments for UUENCODE"

Nothing helps.

I found this article:

I don't knwo what else to do.


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by genesane In reply to

Sorry it took that long to answer your message, Barb.
That problem started about four and a half month ago, and it really happened all of a sudden:
one day everything worked fine, and the next day it went sour.
I have tried practically every option I could think of and every suggestion I came across
without any signs of improvement. Actually, Yahoo!Mail, even though it's getting winmail.dat,
allows me to save the real attachment. But my Netscape mail client...
And here I want to thank you for that link. As I said, I'd tried all of those scenarios before,
but the small application, WMDecode from, that Dr. Bombay suggested,
works wonders. As long as winmail.dat contains any attachment, the application gets it out.
Also, I noticed that when I use OWA everything works fine. Therefore, I'm petty much sure, it's
my Outlook client.
And this where I'm at now.
Hope I help you somehow,


PS Just as I'd finished I checked my e-mail and found a message with a normal attachment.
I don't know if it's a some kind of glitch, or the problem got fixed by itself as mysteriously
as it started.

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by genesane In reply to MS Outlook winmail.dat pr ...

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