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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Christian Christian 2 years, 8 months ago.

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    Whenever I get an e-mail with a file attached from a source the file,xl,word erc gets changed to a winmail.dat and so is useless. I van get a fellow board member to forward the e-mail and the file is fine. Why does this happen? I’m using windows 7 and thunderbird for e-mail. Using Open Office as the suite. No such problems from any other source. Thanks.



    I use Thunderboid and Win 7 — but can’t say I’ve run into this.

    Does the name of the file get changed only went sent from the one user? Maybe something at their end is making the change. You could ask them to email themself one of the files, and check on what they receive back.

    If it is happening at your end, it could be in your email server — but then I would think the copy from the fellow board member also would get changed. But that would also apply if something, like your virus scanner was playing games.

    Is it only a name change to the attachment? If so, then you could change the name back to what it should be and see if it opens OK.

    A Google search for [ winmail.dat attachment ] seems to point the finger at the sender for trying to send a file with RTF formatting that your end does not understand.

    Nick Francesco
    Nick Francesco

    Outlook sends files this way to preserve rich text formatting. It’s useless to anybody but another Outlook user.

    The Outlook user can change the info in your contact page to send plain text only.

    Alternately, you can install the Lookout add-on for Thunderbird:


    It’s useless to anybody but another Outlook user.

    And in complete Microsoft fashion, it’s the default setting 🙂

    This drove me nuts years ago when I was on a non-profit board. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out what was going on. When I did, I sent the guy a link to do what Nick said, but he couldn’t follow it – this was a computer users group 🙂 I think I eventually went around to his workstation and changed the settings (it wasn’t his PC it belonged to the organization). He was none the wiser and I could finally read the financial reports.

    Another Thunderbird quirk that occurred in that same group was messages showing up blank (but you could still read it if you went to View Source). I traced that to messages labeled multipart/alternative that contain only HTML and no plain-text section, which seemed to only come from Blackberry users.

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