I am trying to solve a very weird issue on one laptop: It has Windows 7 x64 running and is using Windows Live Mail. One specific contact, always gets the attachments stripped/removed. For reference, the file is an JPG picture and a XLS file.

What I have tried :

  • Checking on the online web interface of the email service provider if the attachment is there ; and it is actually there and I can download it from the inbox.

  • Sending the same attachment from other email addresses to this laptops email address. Even with other contacts, attachments are downloaded. With other emails addresses, this winmail.dat is downloaded without problem.

  • Adding this contact into the Safe Sender List and adding the domain to the Safe Sender List.

  • Restarting ;)

  • Check the attachment type and enable Windows Live Mail to receive ANY attachment file types.

  • Check the Security SPAM filter settings ; they are off ! Also, check the first point again - The ISP is not blocking the attachment as it is visible and downloadable from the webmail interface.

  • Creating a profile on Microsoft Outlook with the laptops email account : It contains the attachment.

How can I get Windows Live Mail to download attachments for this contact ?


Windows Live Mail doesn't delete attachments. It is probably a matter of the format of the message created by that one contact not being correctly understood by Windows Live Mail.

One likely case is that a message with an attachment is sent using Microsoft Office Outlook or Microsoft Exchange Client using their proprietary RTF format, called TNEF-encoding.

To check, select one of the messages and press Ctrl+F3 to reveal the message source. Attachments will be at the bottom, separated from other parts of the message by a blank line, followed by a line starting with at least two hyphens. They will normally have a Content-Type: declaration telling you what sort of attachment you're dealing with.

You can check for TNEF-encoding by looking for a declaration that looks like this :

Content-Type: application/ms-tnef;

Viewing the message source will also probably tell you which client was used to compose and send the message. Outlook may for example add a header similar to :

X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook 14.0

I counsel using a more sophisticated email client than the simple-minded Windows Live Mail, or a webmail service such as Gmail or Hotmail.


  • I installed another email client. – cyberion1985 Apr 22 '18 at 21:17

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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