Outlook Express has removed access to unsafe attachments, Part 3

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Peter P. writes:

" Hello Dennis,

I am having a problem with Outlook Express, and can't figure out how to solve it. Whenever I get an email with attachments, the info when I click on the paperclip is grayed out, and I can neither save the attachment files or display them.

When I click Tools -> Internet Options and select the 'Security' tab, I see that the box labeled 'Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened' is check marked. Unfortunately, this option is grayed out [ghosted] and I cannot change the setting.

I am running Windows XP with SP1 [Service Pack 1] and I have all the latest fixes from Microsoft. Can you help me? "

My response:

The option to "not allow attachments to be saved or opened" is a security feature present in Microsoft Outlook / Outlook Express. It was implemented after email viruses started slamming the 'net heavily last summer.

Normally, you can disable the "do not allow attachments to be saved or opened" feature -- but only if your user account has administration privileges under Windows XP. To find out what user access is assigned to your account, click Start -> Control Panel -> User Accounts.

Side note: If your user account does not have administration rights, you won't be able to modify your privileges unless it is done by a user who has administration rights. For example: if John Smith has "guest" access, and Sally Smith has "admin" access, login as Sally and modify John's account privileges.

If you still can't access your attachments after changing your access rights, check out a previous Gazette article which offers alternative solutions.

Shortly after publishing this article, Peter wrote back again:

" The account that I am using does have administrator privileges. Regrettably, the 'Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened' option is still ghosted. I had a look at the the software package called "DetachOL" (referenced in from your other article) and it essentially detaches all file extensions from the Outlook Express security check by modifying the Windows registry. Unfortunately, I am reluctant to do that. I just want to be able to save a few extension types like .ZIP. Do you have any other suggestions? "

My response:

If you have administration rights and the menu is still ghosted, my only other suggestion for you is to repair Internet Explorer (which should also reset Outlook Express).

Microsoft has a page entitled "How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express 6" (KB318378), accessible here. I also found a very well written tutorial from the Elder Geek web site, which explains pretty much the same (although the layout is clearer):


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