Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Hello I had a question regarding the drag and drop ability of Outlook 2010 into various applications. I can currently grab an attachments and drop them on the desktop no problem. If I double click on the attachment in Outlook it will open it in the respective default application. No problems there. What I think is happening is the file is saved temporarily to a temp location then opened from there. The problem is when I try and drag the attachment into another application.

Examples include text documents into Notepad++, CAD files into AutoCAD, etc. These applications normally can take a drag and drop straight from the desktop and open the file directly. Instead, from Outlook I have to drag them to the desktop, then drag the desktop files into the application(s). A multiple step process that requires the movement of windows, etc. I'd like to avoid this if possible.

I guess what I'm asking is, can I have Outlook automatically download my attachments to a permanent location and link that to the email so that when I drag and drop and I go directly to my application? Or even if I have to manually download each email's files, just open up an explorer window of that location so I can drag and drop from there?

share|improve this question
Not a duplicate, but this question very similar to this question; Strip attachments from emails to disk but leave a link in the email to the attachment. Check it out, the solution might help you. – CharlieRB Jun 26 '12 at 17:13

When an application initiates a drag it specifies what's available to drag by putting available formats in a IDataObject. When a 'drop target' receives a drag drop event it can query available formats to see if it can accept the data.

It's quite complex and therefore most drop targets only accept the very basic CF_HDROP format, which it appears Outlook does not provide.

The only way around this is to either use another app that can read PST files and handles CF_HDROP in the drop source or using a tool like the one above to strip the attachments from your emails and have Explorer handle the drag and drop.

share|improve this answer

If you want to drag the attachments from Outlook to a web app, you can install the Outlook2Web add-in into Outlook. I don't think it works with desktop apps, just web apps.

share|improve this answer
yep this just might work as described – SeanClt Mar 26 at 20:22

More helpful comments: and a Java library for receiving applications

Tl;dr: Outlook shouldn't provide CF_HDROP because CF_HDROP is only applicable to files that exist on the local disk. If it provided CF_HDROP, it would have to copy the file to the local disk first, which would be laggy. Instead, other drop targets should accept what Outlook provides, which is CFSTR_FILECONTENTS/CFSTR_FILEDESCRIPTOR.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.