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For information about the differences between Microsoft Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook e-mail clients, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

257824 OL2000: Differences Between Outlook and Outlook Express


If you open an attachment in an Outlook or Outlook Express message, edit it, save the changes, and then forward it to another recipient, the changes are not saved and the recipient may receive the original version.


To work around this problem, save the attachment to your local hard disk before editing or forwarding the attachment. To save a file attachment, right-click it, click Save As, click an appropriate folder in the Save In box, type a descriptive name in the Named box, and then click OK.

More Information

When you open file attachments that are considered safe, Outlook and Outlook Express save these attachments in a subdirectory under the Temporary Internet Files directory as an additional precaution. This is the default behavior.

Note We recommend that you save the attachment to your local hard disk before editing and forwarding the attachment. This is true with of all versions of Outlook and Outlook Express.

When Outlook or Outlook Express first tries to use a temporary file, the application examines the registry to determine whether the following value exists and then saves the file to that location (the registry key varies depending on the version). Outlook version and registry key paths are as follows:

  • Outlook 2002

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Security

    • Value Name: OutlookSecureTempFolder

    • Date Type: REG_SZ

  • Outlook 2003

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Security

    • Value Name: OutlookSecureTempFolder

    • Data Type: REG_SZ

  • Outlook 2007

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Security

    • Value Name: OutlookSecureTempFolder

    • Data Type: REG_SZ

Note The behavior stated in this article is changed in Outlook 2007, were the attachment can be modified and forwarded without first being saved to the local disk.

For more informationabout these changes in Outlook 2007, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

817878 Attachments remain in the Outlook Secure Temporary File folder when you exit Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007

In order to continue working the way you currently work with e-mail attachments, you can consider modifying the path to the SecureTempFolder to another location on the user’s computer. This can be helpful if you open an e-mail attachment and click Save without changing the destination location.

For example, to do this if you are using Outlook 2003, follow these steps:

  1. Locate and select the following subkey in the Registry editor:


  2. In the details pane, locate the OutlookSecureTempFolder in the Name column. Note the path in the Data column. In this scenario, the Outlook temporary folder path may resemble the following path:

    C:\Documents and Settings\user_name\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLKxxx

In this example, <username> is the user name of the user who is currently logged on, and <xxx> is a randomly-generated sequence of letters and numbers.
You could edit this path to C:\Temp (or another folder of your choosing). This would result in saved items being stored in the C:\Temp folder.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

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