Delay in opening Outlook attachments? Try these simple methods

Aftab Alam
Aftab Alam linkedin | Updated On - May 10, 2023 |

Read time 5 minutes

Attachments are vital to Outlook email communication as this facility helps users to share documents among them. But sometimes email attachments take too much time to open. Though there are different reasons behind the slow opening of attachments, many of them can be solved from the user end itself. Some methods usually followed are:

  1. Disable the Protected View for Outlook attachments
  2. Disable Dynamic Data Exchange
  3. Run Outlook in Cached Exchange Mode
  4. Check the Size of Outlook Data Files
  5. Disable the Antivirus Programs
  6. Update MS Outlook
  7. Run Outlook in Safe mode
  8. Extract Outlook attachments

Delay in opening the attachments can cause frustration in Outlook users, and also can lead to productivity losses. That is why it is necessary to fix this issue immediately.

Instant Solution

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Disable the protected view for Outlook attachments

If the Outlook attachment that is opening slowly is a Microsoft Office file (usually an MS Word or Excel document), then it is possible that a protected view for Outlook attachments is enabled. You can disable the protected view property to open attachments fast in Outlook.

Follow the steps given below to disable the protected view in Microsoft Office Word & fix Outlook attachment problem.

  1. Click on the File menu in the toolbar.
    Disable Protected View for Outlook attachments
  2. Now select Options from the given list. It will take you to Word Options.
    Speed up opening Outlook attachments
  3. In the Word Options dialogue box, go to the Trust Center at bottom and click on Trust Center Settings.
    Outlook attachment settings for MS Office files
  4. Under Protected View in the Trust Center dialogue box, uncheck the third option Enable Protected View for Outlook Attachments, and click OK.
    How to enable Protected view for Outlook attachments

Now Word files will not be protected as an attachment in the Outlook application. So they will be opened faster in Outlook.

Note: You will have to disable the protected view property for every Office application separately.

Run outlook in cached Exchange mode

If you are using Outlook with an Exchange account, then it is recommended to enable Cached Exchange Mode. Otherwise opening Outlook attachments may become slower. This is how you can enable it:

  1. In Outlook, select File>Account Settings> Account Settings.Select Account setting
  2. Select your Exchange account in the E-mail tab, and click the Change option.Select your Exchange account
  3. Check the Use Cached Exchange Mode checkbox and it will enable the cached mode for your Outlook.Use Cached Exchange Mode
  4. Now, close the Outlook application and restart it.
Disable Dynamic Data Exchange

To fix the slow performance issue in Outlook, try disabling Dynamic Data Exchange. Here’s how you can do it.

  • From the Start menu, select the Control Panel, and tap on the Folder option.
  • Under the File type button, choose the attachment file type & click on the Advanced option.
  • From the Open Action tab, go to Edit & then clear up the DDE checkbox.
  • Tap on OK & exit the window. Access Outlook again & try to open the attachments again.
Update MS Outlook

Update MS Outlook

Users who are using older versions like Outlook 2003 and 2007 may face delays in opening attachments. The newer Outlook versions can handle more emails and their large-sized attachments more effectively than the older versions. So update your Outlook to the latest versions to get rid of slow email attachment opening problem.

Run Outlook in safe mode

Run Outlook in safe mode

Anti-virus programs or firewalls may scan emails and cause issues while opening attachments. You can solve this Outlook attachment problem by running Outlook in safe mode. This can be done by running outlook.exe /safe in the Run command interface.

Check the size of Outlook data files

If you are experiencing delays while opening Outlook attachments, one possible cause may be that your Outlook data files are too large. This can happen if you have a lot of email messages or other Outlook data stored in its folders, and it can affect the speed at which Outlook opens attachments.Check the size of Outlook data files

To check the size of your Outlook data folders, open Outlook and go to File > Account Settings > Data Files. You should see a list of all the Outlook data files on your computer, including their file sizes. If any of these files are particularly large, you may need to take steps to reduce their size or archive them to free up space on your hard drive.

Disable the antivirus programs

Another potential cause of Outlook attachment issues is antivirus programs running in the background. These programs can sometimes interfere with Outlook, causing delays or even crashing the program altogether.

If you suspect that your antivirus program may be causing problems, you can try disabling it temporarily to see if this resolves your Outlook issue. Note that it is important to have an antivirus program installed and running on your computer, so you should only disable yours as the last resort. Some possible options include using a different antivirus program or installing Outlook-specific security features such as Outlook Protected Mode.

To disable your antivirus program, open the Control Panel on your computer and look for an option to turn off or disable antivirus. Alternatively, you may need to consult the documentation for your antivirus program to find the specific steps for disabling it.

Extract Outlook Attachments

If you still face delays while opening Outlook attachments, it is better to try an efficient third-party application that can extract attachments from Outlook emails. Kernel for Attachment Management is one such tool. It can extract attachments from Outlook PST files and save them on the user’s hard drive. It can remove attachments from Outlook PST files and save them on the user’s hard drive. It can extract attachments from any version of Outlook without making any modifications to its emails. It also keeps a log file to maintain the complete record of attachment management. It can even compress the size of attachment to save the disk space.

The bottom-line

Outlook attachments are often the root of malware infections. However, there are a few simple methods that you can follow to help delay the opening of Outlook attachments and get over the malware attacks. We have outlined all such methods in this post, hoping all your related issues will be resolved soon.

Moreover, if you have a lot of attachments or a slow internet connection, opening them can be very frustrating. The Kernel for Attachment Management utility can help with this issue too. So, we recommend you try out this tool today for free.

Kernel for Attachment Management