Outlook 2010/2013: Office document attachments aren’t opening

When I try open the attached office document files, I get Word/Excel/Powerpoint experienced an error trying to open the file like the following popup.


Don’t search any Outlook settings. This is not the Outlook issue. It is the respective program (Word or Excel or Powerpoint) refused to open the document from unsafe origins.

The solution is to fix the corresponding program. You may end up fixing all office programs. To fix the issue follow the instructions.

  • Open Word (or Excel or Powerpoint).
  • Click File tab and select Options.
  • Click Trust Center and click on Trust Center Settings… button.


  • Click to select Protected View


  • Uncheck Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments. You may choose to uncheck all the options here, I would left other checked.

Now try open the attachment from Outlook. It will open normally. Enjoy!

32 thoughts on “Outlook 2010/2013: Office document attachments aren’t opening

  1. Thank you so much for this. The MS answers forums were sending me on a wild goose chase and you provided a straight forward solution that worked straight away.

  2. thanks so much.. it solved the problem of error.. though I got an “attachment security warning” .. I think I should be able to resolve that as well.. I agree with the prior observation made here, that the other sites have not been helpful at all.. this has been most precise and worked.

  3. After months of dealing with the problem, it’s great to see a blog post that deals directly with the root cause. What a relief to open up files in Outlook directly!

  4. Does anyone know why this would suddenly become an issue for many users in a Domain? Was there an update that may have changed the way these files open?

  5. Didn’t work. I need to open an attachment via the network in OWA. I can copy the file onto my desktop and open it but can’t open it directly from the attachment. I’ve already fixed the issue with opening from network drive but as mentioned, via OWA files won’t open when clicked on unless they are saved to desktop and then opened.

    1. Ha…ha.. OWA is different beast. My blog is about Outlook. But for OWA , attachments behalf differently in different browsers. Best way is to tell OWA users to save it locally and open it.

      1. That’s kind of a pain. Defeats the purpose since I just open to print or copy the contents and then have to delete them if I save them to my desktop. Very annoying.

  6. Perfect! just what I needed. Was working fine until one of Microsoft’s automatic security updates broke it. Thank you.

  7. Thanks! This worked. Now, can you help with Signatures? I am using Outlook 2013.
    Prob. 1: I created a template for Signatures which included a colour logo and coloured font. I selected the saved template for both new e-mails and replies/forwards. When I did a new e-mail, all was fine. When I did a reply, nothing appeared.
    I tried copying the original signature and deleting the template then re-creating the signature by pasting the original into the new and saving. I selected the options for both new and replies. All is fine for new, but the logo disappears and the coloured texts changes to the gray that is in the rest of the body of the signature.
    Prob. 2: I also tried deleting and re-creating, but when I inserted the logo, it was huge and dragging one of the corner boxes wouldn’t shrink it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s