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Windows Live Hotmail allows users to view attachments within
a Web browser or save them to the system's hard drive.
If Hotmail can't open an attachment, the problem lies with
an incompatible file format or Hotmail's automatic blocking service.
You may need new software for opening unfamiliar formats,
while blocked files are permanently inaccessible from within Hotmail.
Accessing these files requires action by the sender or
forwarding the file to a different email client. Incompatible File Format
Occasionally a sender may attach a file that simply
doesn't work with any software you have installed on the system.
Attempting to open the attachment will result in a
"Windows cannot open this file" message or similar error display.
Many programs use very specific file formats that don't
operate with most other software, such as Photoshop's PSD image files or
Microsoft PowerPoint's PPT files.
Ask the sender to convert the file to a more widely
compatible format, or install the appropriate software on the system to open
Hotmail blocks attachments it believes may contain unsafe
or otherwise malicious code.
This includes any and all executable file types, including
MSI, EXE, HTML, STC and COM files, along with many others.
Attachments blocked in this way result in a "Windows
Live Hotmail has blocked some attachments" message when viewing the email.
While this service does block many real threats to system
security, Hotmail may occasionally deny access to an item from a trusted
Unfortunately, these files become permanently inaccessible
once blocked by Hotmail, and accessing them requires using a workaround outside
the Hotmail application.
Only attempt to access attachments you trust as safe.
While Hotmail cannot open blocked attachments, it allows
users to forward the message with the blocked file still attached.
Send the file to a different email client, and open the
attachment using that account instead. Note other clients may have different
security measures, but some will still block access to executable files and
other potentially harmful data.
Ask the sender to package the attachment into a ZIP, RAR or
other compressed file format before attaching.
Hotmail will not block any file type located inside a
Both Windows and OS X can create compressed ZIP files, and
free utilities such as Zipeg and 7-Zip can create many other types of archives
Some email clients, such as Gmail, will not allow users to
send some file formats, even when packaged into an archive file.