If you are an avid Microsoft Outlook user, you are probably familiar with the downloadable client and the web application (OWA). Both offer essentially the same functionality, although some prefer the Web application so as not to fill up your computer’s hard drive.
However, some users have reported difficulty downloading email attachments when using the web version, especially in Google Chrome. In addition, users seem to have problems downloading XML files when using the web app.
Why does Outlook Web App stop downloading attachments?
Browser compatibility: If you try to download attachments using a browser that is not supported by Outlook WebApp, you may encounter the current error.
Low bandwidth: If you are accessing Outlook WebApp over a network connection with low bandwidth, this may be the cause of the current error.
Inconsistent cache/cookie/user data: Older cache/user data may affect Outlook WebApp and cause this error.
Restrictions by security programs: Security programs such as anti-virus programs and firewalls tend to restrict network resources that they consider malicious. If these applications have identified the Outlook web application as malicious due to an error, the restrictions created by these applications can cause the Outlook web application to run the current error.
ISP Network Restrictions: ISPs have security and control methods and restrict certain network resources, and these ISP-imposed restrictions can exacerbate the current problem.
Blocked Attachment Extensions: By default, Outlook Web App blocks certain types of file extensions as attachments. If you try to download such a file as an attachment, Outlook Web App will not allow the download.
Suspicious sender: Outlook Web App uses sender filtering to identify rogue and malicious senders. If your sender is flagged as suspicious by Outlook Web App, this may be the cause of the detected error.
Incompatible browser add-ons: Some add-ons are incompatible with Outlook Web App, in particular, AdBlock has been known to interfere with Outlook Web App, causing the current error.
New UI: Microsoft often publishes a new UI to add functionality and improve the usability of Outlook Web App, but sometimes the new UI can cause the current problem due to a coding error.
To resolve the issue of not being able to download Outlook Web App attachments, follow these steps
Running Outlook on the Web in a different browser
Some web browsers may not be compatible with Outlook on the web and therefore prevent some of its features. Therefore, try running Outlook on the web using a different web browser. For example – If you are currently using Google Chrome, switch to another software such as Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer.
You may find that by changing your web browser, you have solved your problem and can now download attachments from the emails you receive.
Try downloading attachments in zip format
Downloading an attachment as a zip file may solve the problem. You can download multiple or all attachments together in the same way. Simply open an email that contains multiple attachments and click on the Download All option underneath the attachments.
Note: There is another option for saving email attachments, namely “Save to OneDrive” or “Save all to OneDrive” for single/multiple email attachments. This may also help you solve the problem.
Running a lighter version of Outlook on the web
There is a lighter version of Outlook on the Web that allows you to run the application with low bandwidth, low availability, and with older Web browsers. Users can upgrade to this lighter version and then try to download attachments from there.
To upgrade to the lighter version of Outlook online, follow these steps.
- Log in to your Outlook account. Go to the Settings option in the upper right corner. Click on Mail.
- Click the General option, go to Display Settings, click Version of Outlook Web App, and then check the Use the Lighter version of Outlook Web App checkbox.
- Log out of your current account and then log back in. This time, use the lighter version of the Outlook Web App.
- Now go to the email with attachments and try to download the attachments.
Back to the old Outlook Web interface
With the new features and new user interface in the app, there may be some problems and errors. Users can try to go back to the old interface of the app.
Changing Google Chrome settings
If you are a Chrome user, we should warn you about some possible issues such as ad blocking, safe browsing, flagging settings, etc. All of these add-ons may not be compatible with Outlook in the web application and users should remove them.
Disable add-ons – Ditch chrome
- Click on the 3 dots in the upper right corner. Go to “Other Tools -> Installations”.
- Select the add-ons/extensions individually and click “Delete” to remove them. Click “Uninstall” again to confirm.
- Now go to Outlook in the web app and download the attachments.
Note: This process is similar to other web browsers.
Disabling Safe Browsing
- Start Chrome and type chrome://settings/ in the link bar, then click on the Sync and Google services option.
- Click Reset Defaults.
- Finally, click Reset Settings.
- The process will take a while; the browser will restart automatically.
- Now use Outlook online and check again.
Try different solutions
Users can also try the following items on their own.
- Ensuring a good network connection
- Ensure that the server is up and running
- Check the login extension
- Check if the sender is blocked by extensions (suspicious email sender).
- Check for bad cookies/cache files
- Troubleshooting ISP network problems
Frequently Asked Questions
- Open an email with an attachment.
- Select the arrow for the attachment.
- Select Preview to view the attachment in the message window without downloading it.
- Select Download to download the file to your computer.
- Use file sharing to access the attachment.
- Use the file compression utility to change the file name extension.
- Rename the file so that it has a different name extension.
- Ask the Exchange server administrator to change the security settings.
Open or view the email message that contains the attachments you want to download. Scroll through the list of attachments at the bottom of the message window. Select the attachments you want to download and click Download. Select the location where you want to save the attachments on your computer, and click OK.
In Microsoft Outlook, click File -> Options -> Add. Under Manage, click COM Add-ins, then click GO. Disable all add-ins. Close and reopen Microsoft Outlook and re-download the attachment.
Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog, techquack.com, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.