Attatchments on my email opening up as encoding

Not open for further replies.


I just got a laptop with Windows 7 and Office 2010. The first time I had to open an attachment it asked that default question and I clicked on MS Word. Now every attachment that comes, .doc or .pdf opens up as some kind of encoding. A little box appears to ask if I want it in Windows, MS Dos or Other encoding.

I tried to save the document and open it that way, but it still does not read right.

Please help.

If you have problems viewing attachments, and it comes up as gibberish in the text of the message rather than as an attachment,

it is possible that your mail application's encoding is different from the sender's email application.

In order to be able to view an attachment, the encoding between the sending and receiving systems must be identical.

Generally speaking, your email software will automatically encode the attachment and the recipient's software will automatically decode the file.

However older email applications may not support some of encoding protocols which may include:

MIME Encodings (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is an Internet standard for multimedia mail which allows different mail applications to exchange a variety of types of information.
Most current PC Email Applications are MIME Encoding Compliant.

No encoding does not encode the attachment at all. This can be risky to use for Internet mail and should be used only if you know that the attachment is a plain text file with no high bit characters.

ASCII text Indicates that the file is plain text with no formatting or high-bit characters.

UUencoding This encoding is widely on the Internet. This encoding is a good choice.

BinHex Used with Macintosh machines but not widely used on other operating systems. Before sending an attachment, check in advance that the recipient is able to deal with BinHex-encoded files.

If you are having problems properly Decoding a file, contact the sender to determine what email program they are using. You should try and determine which encoding scheme is in use and make sure your software supports it.


Harry Yuan
I am very occasionally having this problem, with Outlook 2003. I'm also using ESET Smart Security, and since there has been some suggestion that AV software can cause this problem I have disabled POP3 protocol checking, but it still happens.

The header contains the following which may be helpful:

MIME-Version: 1.0

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Then further down:

Content-Type: application/msword; name="Workshop Allocation Form.doc"

Content-Description: Workshop Allocation Form.doc

Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="Workshop Allocation Form.doc";

Content-Transfer-Encoding: base 64

The undecoded attachment gibberish then starts.

Can anyone help please?
If you use Safe mode, does it happen? you'll need to test it with a new message or a new profile, if you leave mail oin the server and can redownload the affected messages. If its fine in Safe mode, its something on your computer, if not, its either the server or the sender.

Are all messages with attachments affected or just some? If all, its likely on your side, if only some it could be anywhere.

Check outlook addins - what do you have listed - this is tools, options, other, advanced - addins (i think, its been awhile since i used 2003).

The header looks ok - the attachment was encoded in base64, normal if the message contacts a certain % of special characters. I don't recall what percent, but characters would be any thing other than standard alphanumeric. It's not the cause of the problem though, it just explains the gibberish. The problem is the header is corrupted and outlook can't figure out what to do. If it hid the message, not displayed gibberish, clicking forward sometimes fixes it.
Very many thanks Diane for your detailed reply. It has only happened a very few times, and in recent times from one source only. I'll try adjusting the settings to leave the message on the server so I can experiment rather the keep asking for a resend!

I've no experience of using Outlook Safe Mode but I'll read up your posting on the subject and give it a try.

If I forward the message to my Macbook it appears as gibberish just the same, so I assume the email has been corrupted on downloading.
Not open for further replies.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Q indexed browsing for attatchments Using Outlook 1
T Why do Outlook Desktop 2021 tasks from my wife's email show up in my task pane? Using Outlook 2
A Opening a link from an email automatically Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
D Outlook 2021 New email reminder Using accounts in Outlook 0
Rupert Dragwater How do I remove an email ending with Using Outlook 4
M A plug in (or method) to keep email message formatting after it expires Using Outlook 1
L VBA to Triage Incoming Email Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
R Legacy Outlook on Mac Email Cache Using Outlook 0
P Email address auto-completes work fine on laptop, but no longer on desktop Using Outlook 3
S Create Outlook Task from Template and append Body with Email Body Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 4
H Copying email address(es) in body of email and pasting in To field Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 1
A Search folder and move the email Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
P VBA to add email address to Outlook 365 rule Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
farrissf Outlook 2016 Optimizing Email Searches in Outlook 2016: Seeking Insights on Quick Search vs Advanced Search Features Using Outlook 0
D Delete selected text in outgoing email body Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
F Graphics in email / Mac recipient garbled Using Outlook 0
D Outlook VBA forward the selected email to the original sender’s email ID (including the email used in TO, CC Field) from the email chain Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 2
Witzker Outlook 2019 Macro to seach in all contact Folders for marked Email Adress Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 1
E Outlook 365 Save Selected Email Message as .msg File - oMail.Delete not working when SEARCH Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
S Email Macros to go to a SHARED Outlook mailbox Draft folder...NOT my personal Outlook Draft folder Using Outlook 2
R Outlook 365 VBA AUTO SEND WITH DELAY FOR EACH EMAIL Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
G Print email attachments when hit subfolder Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 1
C Spam Email? Using Outlook 2
G Automatically delete email when a condition is met Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 1
E Save Selected Email Message as .msg File - digitally sign email doesn't works Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 1
S Email was migrated from GoDaddy to Microsoft exchange. We lost IMAP ability Exchange Server Administration 1
R Outlook 365 How to integrate a third-party app with Outlook to track email and sms? Using Outlook 2
S Paperclip icon shows without attachment in email under Sent folder Using Outlook 0
B Outlook 2019 Automatically move email after assigning category Using Outlook 4
Rupert Dragwater How to permanently remove an email address Using Outlook 9
K vba code to auto download email into a specific folder in local hard disk as and when any new email arrives in Inbox/subfolder Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
F Auto changing email subject line in bulk Using Outlook 2
F Want to add second email to Outlook for business use Using Outlook 4
kburrows Outlook Email Body Text Disappears/Overlaps, Folders Switch Around when You Hover, Excel Opens Randomly and Runs in the Background - Profile Corrupt? Using Outlook 0
J Outlook 365 Outlook Macro to Sort emails by column "Received" to view the latest email received Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
A Outlook 2019 Help with forwarding email without mentioning the previous email sender. Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
J Macro to send email as alias Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
M Shift Delete doesn't delete email from server Using Outlook 3
K Incorporate selection from combobox into body of email Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
L Why are some email automatically going to "archive" Using Outlook 2
M Outlook Macro to save as Email with a file name format : Date_Timestamp_Sender initial_Email subject Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
B Outlook 2019 Custom Email form - Edit default email form Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 6
F Add a category before "Send an Email When You Add an Appointment to Your Calendar" Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
T Problem when requesting to view an email in a browser Using Outlook 0
J Outlook 365 Forward Email Subject to my inbox when new email arrive in shared inbox Using Outlook 0
HarvMan Archive Email Manually Using Outlook 1
L Fetch, edit and forward an email with VBA outlook Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 2
S New Email "From" box stopped working Using Outlook 0
Rupert Dragwater Duplicate email in Folder Using Outlook 7
M "Attachment Detacher for Outlook" add in, does it update the server copy of the email? Using Outlook 1

Similar threads