Cannot Download Attachment in Outlook or Outlook Express

"Suddenly, I can't open attachments." "How dareMicrosoft delete my attachments without my permission." and my favorite,"Outlook Express ate all my attachments!" In fact Outlook Express does notdelete any attachments, not before SP2 and not afterwards either. What it doesdo is block access to attachments that might potentially contain a virus. Thewarning that appears in the InfoBar when you open a message states this quiteclearly. But surprise and frustration often cause people to miss the part about"access" and so jump to a faulty conclusion. Furthermore, if you normally readmessages only in the Preview pane, you will see only a grayed-out icon as youronly clue that access has been blocked.


This feature is not really new in SP2. It hasalways been present in Outlook Express 6, but it was disabled by default untilWindows XP Service Pack 1. Since then all subsequent updates, including SP2,have turned on the block automatically. E-mail attachments remain the mostcommon route for computer infections, and that is likely to remain true for theforeseeable future. But contrary to urban legend, it has been years since avirus could run automatically simply by a message being viewed. Today the onlyway a virus in e-mail can infect your computer is if you actually open theinfected attachment. And once that infection occurs, the virus, worm or TrojanHorse will begin sending more copies of itself to people in your address book,thus appearing to come from you or from one of your contacts. This bit of socialengineering is designed to trick the recipient into thinking the attachment issafe, and so makes it more likely he will open the attachment, thus exposing allhis contacts to the same shenanigans. This exponential spread of malware meansthat protecting your computer is not just a personal issue anymore. It affectsall of us who enjoy the Internet. It may take an entire village to raise achild, but it takes only one person opening the wrong attachment to launch aworld-wide onslaught of the latest malware. Outlook Express in SP2 makes it farless likely that that one person is you.

For further information and how to solve this problem, please read MicrosoftArticle as URL below:

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