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"Attachment size exceeds the allowable limit" error when you add a large attachment to an email message in Outlook 2010


When you add an attachment to an email message in Microsoft Office Outlook 2010, you receive the following error message:

The attachment size exceeds the allowable limit.

The screen shot for this error.
This problem occurs for one of the following reasons, depending on the kind of email account that you are using.

Internet email account (POP3, IMAP, HTTP)

You receive this error message because Outlook 2010 has a new default attachment size limit of 20 megabytes (20480 KB) for Internet email accounts. This limit prevents your computer from continually trying to upload very large attachments that exceed the limits of most Internet service providers. This limit applies whether you are adding one large attachment that is greater than 20 megabytes (MB) or several attachments whose sum total size is greater than 20 MB.

Microsoft Exchange Server email account

If you are using an Exchange Server mailbox, you receive this error message (by default) if you attach one or more items to a message, and if the sum total of the attachments is greater than 10 MB (10240 KB). This attachment limit is not related to the new limit that was introduced in Outlook 2010 for Internet email accounts. This limit for an Exchange mailbox stems from the Maximum send size setting that is configured in the Transport Settings Properties dialog box by the Exchange administrator.

The screen shot for the Transport Settings Properties dialog box.

The steps to modify the default attachment limit depend on the type of email account that you are using with Outlook 2010.

Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure that you back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows XP and Windows Vista

Internet email account (POP3, IMAP, HTTP)

To have us fix this problem for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. To fix this problem yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me

To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix this problem button or link. Click Run in the File Download dialog box, and then follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.

Note this wizard may be in English only; however, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.

Note if you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

Let me fix it myself

To modify the default attachment limit size in Outlook 2010 for an Internet email account yourself, follow these steps:
  1. Exit Outlook.
  2. Start Registry Editor.
  3. Locate and then select one of the following registry subkeys:

    Note Manually create the path in the registry if it does not currently exist.
  4. Add the following registry data under this subkey:

    Value type: DWORD
    Value name: MaximumAttachmentSize
    Value data: An integer that specifies the total maximum allowable attachment size. For example, specify 30720 (Decimal) to configure a 30-MB limit.
    • Specify a value of zero (0) if you want to configure no limit for attachments.
    • Specify a value that is less than 20 MB if you want to configure a limit that is less than the default 20 MB.
  5. Exit Registry Editor
  6. Start Outlook.

Microsoft Exchange Server email account

If you are using an Exchange Server account, the new 20-MB attachment limit for Internet email accounts is not used by Outlook 2010. Instead, Outlook uses the limit that is configured on your Exchange server. To modify the setting that is used to control the size of a message that is sent through an Exchange Server account, follow these steps.

  • These steps apply to Exchange Server 2007. Similar steps should be used for other versions of Exchange.
  • This Exchange Server setting applies to all versions of Outlook, not just to Outlook 2010.
  • You must be an Exchange administrator to make the changes in the following steps. Regular users do not have access to the Exchange Management Console.
  1. Start the Exchange Management Console.
  2. Under Organization Configuration, click Hub Transport.
  3. On the Global Settings tab, click Transport Settings. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

    The screen shot for this step.
  4. In the Transport Settings section of the Actions pane, click Properties.
  5. On the General tab in the Transport Settings Properties dialog box, configure the value for Maximum send size (KB).
  6. Click OK.
Note Because the Exchange server has a cache for various settings, this change does not take effect immediately. You may have to wait several hours before this change is recognized by Outlook.


Article ID: 2222370 - Last Review: 09/03/2013 03:56:00 - Revision: 10.0

Microsoft Outlook 2010

  • kbmsifixme kbfixme KB2222370
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