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Knowledgebase: Microsoft Outlook
How do I prevent Winmail.dat Attachments from being sent in Outlook
Posted by James Robshaw on 27 June 2006 09:00 AM

To prevent Outlook from attaching winmail.dat when you send an email:

Select Tools -> Options... from the menu.
Go to the Mail Format tab.
Under Compose in this message format:, make sure either HTML or Plain Text is selected.
Click Internet Format.
Make sure either Convert to Plain Text format or Convert to HTML format is selected under When sending Outlook Rich Text messages to Internet recipients, use this format:
Click OK.
Click OK again.

Disable Winmail.dat Stubbornly Going to Particular Recipients No Matter the Default:

Search for the desired contact in your Outlook Contacts.
Double-click the contact's email address.
Alternatively, click on the desired email address with the right mouse button and select Outlook Properties... from the menu.
Make sure either Let Outlook decide the best sending format or Send Plain Text only is selected under Internet format.
Click OK.



When, How and Why Winmail.dat-Application/MS-Tnef is Created

It's Outlook's fault, in a way. Or the recipient's email client's. If Outlook sends a message using the RTF format (which is not very common outside Outlook) for bold text and other text enhancements, it includes the formatting commands in the winmail.dat file. Receiving email clients that do not understand the code therein display it as a stale attachment.

To make matters worse, Outlook may also pack other, regular file attachments in the winmail.dat file.

Fortunately, you can get rid of winmail.dat altogether by making sure Outlook does not even try to send mail using RTF.

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