Home > Microsoft Office > “The file is corrupt and cannot be opened” when opening Outlook Attachments with Office 2013

“The file is corrupt and cannot be opened” when opening Outlook Attachments with Office 2013

I left Outlook 2010 installed when I upgraded to Office 2013 because we’re still using Exchange 2003 which is not supported by Outlook 2013.

After upgrading, I couldn’t open any attachments directly from Outlook, even after downloading them first.

Excel, Word and PowerPoint would give me an error “The file is corrupt and cannot be opened”.


After manually downloading the attachment, I received the same error. I found that when I looked at the file properties, Office marked the file with a nice message: “This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer.”


I found that in order to prevent this behavior, I had to change some settings in Excel.

File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings…

Click the “Protected View” menu item and uncheck the three security options. This must be repeated for Word and PowerPoint as well.


The message is still there in the file properties after downloading a file attachment from Outlook, but now Office doesn’t complain when trying to open them, nor does Outlook.

Categories: Microsoft Office
  1. November 14, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Thanks Alot, it was a nightmare

  2. Ajay Kuhar
    November 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Thank you So Much for the Solution….

    after four days Bad ……. I feel some relax….

    thanks a Lot……..

    Ajay Kuhar

  3. Musorowegudo
    November 25, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Yes, works, works and works! Why didn’t Microsoft put an alert instead of showing ‘file is corrupt’?

  4. sudhakar
    November 28, 2012 at 4:23 am

    Thanks so much for your solution……………

  5. guus
    December 4, 2012 at 3:07 am

    this is wonderful, thank you very much

  6. dbadrinath
    December 6, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Thanks very much for your solution, Kudos to your BLOG

  7. sami
    December 10, 2012 at 5:59 am

    thanks a million

  8. December 29, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Reblogged this on TechnoSwimmer and commented:
    Word documents are opened with Word 2010 instead of Word 2013. Did a repair and got it fixed. But I could not open email attachments any more. Disabled Protected View to get it to work. Wonder what was changed.

  9. Mark
    January 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Thank you so much for your solution! That also fixes a problem in 2013 with the error:
    “Microsoft Excel cannot open or save anymore documents because there is not enough memory available…”

  10. Shashi
    January 15, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks a lot I was able to fix the problem by the solution provided in your blog.

  11. Jorge
    January 16, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks you for this useful blog, it resolved the issue. Incredible that in the official support site of Microsoft there is no answer, help or tip.

  12. Johann van der Walt
    January 25, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Thanks, this even worked for the same problem I had with Office 2010. Received the same “Document corruption” error messages from Outlook 2010 and after changing it in Excel, Word and Powerpoint it all works fine.

  13. Naveed Ali
    January 30, 2013 at 12:55 am

    thanks, working fine.

  14. MikeO
    February 1, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Thank you!!!!!

  15. Anu
    February 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I wanted to commit suicide over the past few days using office365 because I couldn’t open anything anyone was sending me. I can finally open word and excel docs!

  16. Pat
    February 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you very much. Worked like a charm. I just wonder why those boxes got checked? I’ve installed Office several times and never had this problem. Is it an update that is doing it?

  17. Ramana Murthy G
    February 15, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Thank you so much for right solution. 🙂

  18. Manesh
    March 4, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Thanks. It worked.

  19. Matti
    March 6, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Thanx from Finland also, before i found this solution, nervous breakdown was just about to come

  20. March 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Thank you so much – been dealing with this ever since I did a trial of OFFICE 2013. Deleted the trial but the problem persisted. You rock!

  21. March 11, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Thanks a lot , that worked for me too… Now I can go on with OFFICE 2013

    Greetings from İstanbul, Türkiye.

  22. mehul
    March 22, 2013 at 2:26 am

    thank you, its working ..

  23. Matthias
    March 27, 2013 at 4:40 am

    Greets from Germany, and thanks a lot.

  24. Lelanie
    April 4, 2013 at 2:41 am

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

  25. Lisa
    April 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    I struggled with this in Outlook 2010 and 2013. I couldn’t stand it!! Thanks!! I had to uncheck these boxes in Word, Excel and Powerpoint. What a pain!

  26. Ladis Washeroom
    April 10, 2013 at 4:07 am

    Thanks for sharing. Thank you very much.

  27. Chad
    May 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    What a simple solution. Microsoft support had me uninstalling and reinstalling Office, then editing the registry. WTF. Their very own support team didn’t know the answer to this? Thanks for wasting 6 hours of my time MS.

  28. Stewart
    May 14, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Awesome, thank you!

  29. May 20, 2013 at 9:45 am

    thank you !!!!!!!!!!11

  30. June 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Thank you for correcting Microsofts error.

  31. YOLO
    June 11, 2013 at 6:08 am

    Tyvm! Fcuk M$ for putting everywhere that protected view!!!!!

  32. audrey odell
    June 13, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Hi, I can only ‘save’ the attacment then ioen…is this right or should I be able to open the attachment directly from email? Anything to add please…still better than ‘cannot open’

  33. July 2, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Yep, the solution work perfect. However we’re still unable to preview those files in Outlook. I’ve searched MS forums and TechNet but I’ve found no solution… It’s amazing how Office users are treated by Microsoft, considering the fact this bug was apparently reported many months ago when Office was at the preview stage…
    But.. The whole idea behind this is at least questionable – why disable the feature made (I guess) to protect us from potentially dangerous attachments? Shouldn’t it just be working as intended? Back in Office 2010 it was working perfectly by displaying a bar with the warning message.

  34. scotts
    July 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    This worked for a .XML file from an internet link that wouldn’t open in Excel 2010 as well… Thanks!

  35. July 19, 2013 at 12:09 am

    My Outlook 2013 does not show the Protected View menu option, instead I see a whole set of different items in the trust settings dialogue.

  36. mila
    August 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm


  37. Camilo Berber
    August 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Muchas Gracias por tu soporte. Thanks so much, your support is better than Microsoft support, I called them and couldn’t give me an answer.

  38. greghillberg@gmail.com
    September 5, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Thanks a lot author. Very helpful content.

  39. September 18, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Thank you so much!! This has worked brilliantly and saved me much annoyance!

  40. October 3, 2013 at 9:02 am

    This is a work around. Dvation, thank you for posting it, however the fix is still a mystery. I have a laptop running win 8.1 and office 2013 and I don’t have to uncheck the protected view options and my email preview works. My desktop, which has a clean install, does have to have the protective view options unchecked and preview does not work. Same setup windows 8.1 and office 2013. MICROSOFT ARE YOU OUT THERE? HELP!

  41. Alexandre
    January 9, 2015 at 2:30 pm


  42. Livin Jose
    November 7, 2016 at 6:31 am

    I was having same error and i was unable to edit the portected view settings as its grayed out. Resolution for me was as below,

    Fixed this issue. It was due to DCOM settings being changed.


    I finally found out what the issue is with this. It actually isn’t a “Protected view” issue, but a DCOM issue.

    Somehow the DCOM permission got changed, so it wouldn’t allow certain applications access to simple things like Preview mode on Outlook 2010 / 2007, or opening up attachments without it saying file corrupt. I also was having an issue with Pop ups in IE8, where javascript messages about security tokens were not authenticated.

    The solution is as follows, and then you can turn on your protected mode back on in word, excel, and your “Preview mode” in outlook will start working again.

    Go to start, then run. Type dcomcnfg and push o.k. Component Services should come up.

    Expand Component Services, click on Computers, then “Right click” on My Computer and go to “properties”.

    Click on Default Properties tab, and make sure the following is set:

    Default Authentication Level: Should say Default, not “None”

    And Default Impersonation Level: SHould say Identify.

    When those are set properly, hit o.k and turn on your protected mode back on your Office applications. Everything works as expected 🙂

    Cheers 🙂

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