Outlook: “Can’t Create File” Error When Opening Attachment

When you try to open a file attachment in Outlook, you get an error:

Can’t create file: filename. Right-click the folder you want to create the file in, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu to check your permissions for the folder.

This problem occurs usually when Outlook cannot access the temp file the file is linked to. To resolve this problem, try the following steps:

1. Click Start > Run and type regedit.

2. Click Edit > Find and type OutlookSecureTempFolder.

3. When regedit has found the entry, it will tell you where your Outlook temporary files are stored. It will look similar to:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLKrandomnumber

4. Open My Computer and navigate to this location on your hard drive.

5. Delete all of the files in this folder.

6. Restart Microsoft Outlook and you should be able to open your attachment.


  1. JP says

    C:\Documents and Settings\JP\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\outlook.folder
    i deleted folder it is working !

  2. Erica says

    I did the search for OutlookSecureTempFolder and it could not find anything??? Can anyone offer any other suggestions?


  3. lee says

    “”Hmm.. I found the file location in regedit, but could not navigate to that folder. Under “Local settings” nothing like “temporary internet files”. Neither hidden.””

    means the folder has been deleted, change the location in the reg to point els where like c:\outlooktemp (make sure you also make the folder)

  4. Calvin Naidoo says

    Hi this has worked out fine for me, but only for a short period of time. I have to repeat this process again and again through the day. Is there no way to increase the size of this folder?

  5. Sammy says

    Hmm.. I found the file location in regedit, but could not navigate to that folder. Under “Local settings” nothing like “temporary internet files”. Neither hidden.

  6. Ugh says

    Like Hanz, this did not work (was only a temporary solution for me). Has anyone found a more permanent solution?

  7. Mila says


    It had worked great, thanks for the “friendly” problem solve description!:)

  8. Anslem A says

    Iam facing the same problem in windows7 and i am not able to find out ‘OutlookSecureTempFolder’ in registry. Though i have msoffice 2007.

    Please help.

  9. Fred says

    This still leaves an issue, the user continues on his way and once they have brought up the same file again for the 100th time they will get this error. Once again the folder will be full of the same file name and will need to be deleted.

    Many automated systems send via email, files that are named the same and will result in this issue occuring over and over.

    Voicemail, or automated faxes sent this way is a common way this can occur and reoccur.

  10. MCISCOSE says

    The solution to this problem is the content.outlook folder contains way too many of these files.

    To resolve this issue:

    go to Docs and settings\username\local settings\temporary internet files\CONTENT.OUTLOOK AND PRESS ENTER

    you might find several folders in that location.

    Look in all the folders until you come accross a folder full of files.

    Delete the files in that folder that match the file you are trying to save.

    normally this happens when people get the same file every day for a long time.. the temp file folder stores the the same file name many times so the computer either gets confused of gets corrupted.

    This definately works

  11. Ken Horton says

    If several versions of Office have been installed over the years there will be several Outlooksecuretempfolder (s) in the registry. You will need to check them all.

  12. Tim says

    Hi Steven,

    I am having the same issue with one of the users I support, it is just one file (up to this point) that he cannot open however I can open it as well as a few others. I tried the above fix and it still isnt working….any ideas?

  13. Niranjan says

    I deleted folders from C:\documents and settings\username\local settings\temporary internet files\content.outlook\.
    This worked. Thanks Jaimie !

  14. TheNobleOne says

    For some reason mine was pointed to a non existent folder. So I changed it to just point to Temporary Internet Files folder and after that it worked.

  15. Ryan the IT Guy says

    Just had this happen to me as well. In my case, I receive many messages from a phone service, and the attachment is always the same name. After I accumulated 100 messages, the software was unable to create a new one (must be an algorithm problem for the temp folder…) At any rate, clearing the files resolved the issue in case that helps anyone.

    Win7 x64 Outlook 2010 x64 (So they claim)

    Hope that helps someone.

  16. steven says

    Didn’t work for me on xp and office 2007.
    The weird thing is that i’ve got it only with one specific xls attachment . All other attachments (xls,pdf,…) no problem

  17. Kelly Chan says

    Worked well for me. I have Windows 7 Pro 64 bit and Outlook 2007. Cannot navigate to the file folder but I was able to paste the path like the other user said, deleted all the temp files and my attacments opens again.

  18. ChristineP says

    Awesome! Thanks for the advice – I initially couldn’t find the filepath specified in the registry even though I unhid all folders including operating system files, but it worked like a charm when I pasted (customized) pathname C:\documents and settings\username\local settings\temporary internet files\content.outlook\randomnumbers into Windows Explorer and deleted the contents of the ultimate folder.

  19. Mike Lommatzsch says

    UPDATE: I am using MS Office 2007. It seems that only photo’s (.jpg) cannot be opened nor saved for that matter. Others files including .xls, .doc and .pdf are fine. I tried the MS fix (as mentioned in one posting above) of changing the “outlooksecuretempfolder” to “temp0″ in the C: drive root directory but that didn’t work either. Still get the same error message. Any further help/suggestions?

  20. Scott says

    I’m a system admin…this didn’t work for me, but what did work (on our XP domain)…

    With the user logged on and all Office apps closed, I used regedit to remove the Office registry keys from the default profile and the user’s profile. This worked perfectly.


  21. Mubbashar Ahmed Nazer says

    Great Job, it wors perfect. Thanks a lot, i was facing this problem almost for two months.. i found that this error was due to identical file name limitations in Outlook 2007, i wish microsoft has fixed this problem.

  22. Outaworkp0rnstar says

    Thanks for the tip! Hopefully this will save someone a few minutes of their life…

    I had a user that was recieving a daily email with a PDF attachment called daily_report.pdf so everytime the user opened the attachment it got renamed e.g. daily_report(1).pdf in the Temporary Internet Folder as per the registry location suggested in this forum.

    However when the file got to daily_report(99).pdf it generated the permissions error you just Googled. So rather than deleting the temp files for the user every 100 instances I advised them to have the sender add todays date to the attachment before sending.

    Also if you are looking for the temporary internet files folder and its not there go to folder options make sure that the show hidden files or folders option is checked ALONG WITH THE SHOW OPERATING SYSTEM FILES option!

  23. alfawndo L says

    yea, this totally worked for me too. I was not able to find the exact path way to the temp folder but i did copy and paste the pathway on the search bar and BLAM..it was there! Hooked on Phonics worked for me!!

  24. Jeff says

    I tried this fix but it did not work on a XP machine that was part of a domain. I was however able to delete all files from C:\documents and settings\username\local settings\temporary internet files\content.outlook\randomnumbers. This did work for me, FYI in case anyone has issues with the above fix.

  25. jonathan says

    worked like a charm. Also had trouble finding the folder but I just copied the address from regedit and dropped it into Windows Explorer and let it take me there.

  26. andy says

    i cannot find that folder. i get all the way to windows but there is no temporary internet files in there.

  27. Bob Schaffer says

    I have been using this as a solution for awhile, but it no longer works! Anyone else experience this?

  28. Mentor says

    I am really happy that you have solved the problem in so simple way which any body can understand and apply.

    I was looking for this solutions from a long time back around 4 months. Due to this problem I have was opening my .csv file attachment in Google because Google was allowing me to View the .csv file in new window.

    I am sure that due to this reason lots of Outlook 2007 customers has been shifted to some other free mail client, because they haven’t got any any such solutions on Microsoft Network websites.

    I hope that Outlook development team will release some kind of utility to report basic issues like this.

  29. Perry Molinoff says

    Thanks very much. After extensive searching I finally found this recommendation and it worked perfectly.

    Much obliged.

  30. Vin says

    Thanks!! Worked great. Temp folder was full of stuff; deleted and tried opening the attachment and it works now.

  31. Emerson (Brasil) says

    Hi, very nice TIP, it works for me very good! I did execlly it’s saing and it works perfect!


    Emerson Neves – SBC – SP – Brasil

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