[u3aavcuss] Unexpected WINMAIL.DAT attachment on e-mail

  • From: "Mike Bean" <Mike.Bean@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <u3aavcuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2009 18:37:30 +0100


After the CUSS meeting on Friday I was about to post a note about the
irritating WINMAIL.DAT that people sometimes get attached to income mail.

I was beaten to it by Ian Harper who poses the same question ' ... file
extension .dat.  What do I need to open it?'

Well, I can both pose the question and the answer in one e-mail as this had
happened to me last week.

The file is always called WINMAIL.DAT and is always attached to an e-mail
from someone using Microsoft Office Outlook and being received by someone
NOT using Microsoft Office Outlook.

It only occurs when the sender uses a message format called Rich Text that
allows messages to include different fonts, layout, embedded pictures etc. 

Any embedded pictures and attached files are bundled up into a file called -
you've guessed it - WINMAIL.DAT, which is sent alongside the e-mail text
and, in the case of Outlook, gets converted back into the original JPG or
DOC file or whatever.

So, this is fine for Outlook using recipients but for many others the email
can look odd and the mail reader has no way of unscrambling the WINMAIL.DAT


1) There are programs - some free - that can unscramble WINMAIL.DAT files
into the original images and files.

2) If you know the name of the file that was attached in the first place
(and there's only ONE file), then saving the WINMAIL.DAT to some folder and
changing its name to the original, SOMETIMES works and you can opening by
double-clicking on  it in the usual way.

3) BEST - Ask the sender to send the attachment(s) again attached to an
e-mail created in Plain Text mode (set in the menu bar of Outlook's create
mail screen). Then the attachments will be named just as they were when sent
and you can open them or save them in the usual way.

Mike Bean


   ==========================< U3A Aylesbury Vale> ======================== 

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