What to Do When Attachments Are Missing in Outlook

Are you desperately looking for that one attachment to the important email you’ll need for the upcoming meeting? Outlook’s attachment feature is essential for most users to send and receive documents, and it is frequently used on a daily basis. As a result, it not working properly can cause you a variety of problems. A variety of factors could contribute to such a scenario. In this article, you’ll learn about the possible causes of Outlook not showing attachments and how to fix it.

Potential Reasons for Missing Attachments in Outlook

It could be explained simply by a bad internet connection, but there are a couple of other possibilities that must be addressed. The following are some possible explanations:


  •     Bad internet connectivity
  •     Incorrect Outlook security settings
  •     Corrupt data files
  •     Synchronization issues
  •     Damaged third-party add-ins

·      Antivirus software


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If you do not frequently experience missing attachments, it is best to begin by simply closing and reopening Outlook and checking the quality of your internet connection. However, the problem is not always as easily resolved. In the event that Outlook does not display attachments, the following eight strategies are presented.

1)    Incorrect Outlook Settings

 One possible explanation is that the file previewer option is turned off. As a result, you should double-check your Attachment Handling settings.

Step 1: Open Outlook and click “File” in the upper left corner, then “Options”

Step 2: On the left in the pop-up window, select “Trust Center”, then “Trust Center Settings” on the right.

Step 3: Uncheck “Turn Off Attachment Preview”. Then, click on “Attachment and Document Previewers” and double-check that all files are active.

Now, simply start Outlook again to see if the attachments are shown.

2)    Clear Outlook Cache

 Another reason Outlook may not function properly is a corrupt Outlook cache. As a result, clearing the cache may be beneficial. Clearing the cache does not remove any contacts, emails, or other data.

As a result, open the “Windows Run Dialog Box” by pressing Windows+R. Then, type or copy the following code into the box:


After that, press Enter. Selecting all files in the opened cache folder with Ctrl+A, then right-clicking and pressing “Delete”.

3)    Disable your Antivirus

 Another possibility is that your Outlook antivirus program detects and blocks your attachments as a potential threat. You’ll find out if that’s the case by disabling your antivirus program. However, this is only recommended temporarily to keep your Outlook saved, and only click on attachments and emails if you are confident in their security! Remember that addresses can be easily forged, and that phishing attempts to steal sensitive information are on the rise! More information on recognizing and avoiding phishing emails can be found here.

Depending on the program, you can disable antivirus protection. Click on Windows Security > Virus & Threat Protection > Manage Settings in the case of Microsoft Defender Antivirus. Then, turn off the Real-time protection button to disable it.


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Restart Outlook and try again to open the attachment. After that, remember to reactivate the protection!

4)    Update your Microsoft Outlook

It’s also possible that your Outlook isn’t working properly because you’re using an outdated version. Step-by-step instructions for updating Outlook are provided below:

Step 1: Select “File” in the upper left corner and then on the “Office Account” tab.

Step 2: Click “Update Options”. 

Step 3: In the drop-down menu, select “Update Now”.

Did you have this problem before, and if so, what helped you solve it? Let’s discuss in the comment section!


See you soon!

Aline & the Lookeen team

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