Windows 10 - .msg files on disk show Explorer popup error

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Ian Thomas

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account (as MS Exchange)
If I save an email from Outlook 2013 to disk - as .msg format file, and at some time want to view that file's contents via the Preview pane in Windows Explorer, I get a popup error message.

Outlook is my default mailer, though Windows 10 has the Mail app (I have not uninstalled it).

I have set Outlook 2013 as the default again, and restarted Windows - but I get this annoying error when I select any .msg file if the View > Preview Pane is set on (which it may be, and I may want it to be for other files).

If Preview is OFF, double-clicking the .msg opens it in Outlook (which is what I want).
I could do without previewing of .msg files (but would prefer that previewing worked - it should, shouldn't it?).
I couldn't edit the above within 10 minutes, but need to add the following -

I am using 64-bit Microsoft Office 2013 (Outlook). I have seen a post that this annoying problem (no previewer provided for Outlook?) is "by design" - but I know that .msg files will preview OK from Windows Explorer on a Windows 10 PRO machine with 32-bit Office installed.

So, is my remedy to the problem to find some 3rd-party .msg format previewer?
I'm not aware of any 3rd party previewer for msg formats.

The problem is the 64bit version - there is no 64-bit previewer - and it is 'by design' (although that is not the best way to describe it) in that integration with the OS is not as good. Unless you need large file support (over 2GB) in Access or Excel, 32bit is recommended.
Last edited:
In Outlook 2013 64-bit, if a message is attached (rather than inline), or if a .msg file (saved from Outlook) is attached in the same way that one would attach a PDF DOC TXT or ZIP, Outlook has an inbuilt previewer that will allow one to see those. As expected.
However, there are different ways" to host previewing in Windows, and the way that is done for Outlook is not the same as the previewer hosted by File Explorer (Win10) / Windows Explorer.
I am loathe to uninstall Office 2013 64-bit and substitute 32-bit (and I suspect installing Outlook 2010 32-bit, which I have and used prior to Outlook 2013) is not advisable.
Writing a MSG/EML previewer for File Explorer is an option, but I may discover a way to circumvent the popup error message I posted an image of. Outlook 2013 will open .msg files on double-clicking - not as good as a preview in Explorer, but OK if I can get rid of the popup.
(I will try to mark this as Closed / Best Answer)
FWIW, Office 32 bit is as good and fast as the 64bit version - the only people who NEED the 64bit version of office are people who work with 2GB+ access or excel files.
Recently i've created an 64 bit previewer, tested on windows 10 64 bit and windows 2008 r2 64 bit with office 2016. Drop me a line at if you're interested.
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