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Fix “Outlook for Mac Not Opening Attachments” Top Ways!

Published By Chirag Arora
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On December 15th, 2023
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading
Outlook for Mac not opening PDF Attachments

User Query-“Hi, I have an issue regarding Outlook for Mac. Recently I noticed that my Outlook attachments are not opening. I tried multiple ways to fix the error, but have been unable to find a solution. Please help me solve this issue of Outlook for Mac not opening attachments.”

In the coming section of the post, we will discuss the common causes behind this issue as well as the steps to resolve the error. So, let’s start the post, and here are the topics we will discuss throughout the post…

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Why Outlook for Mac Not Opening PDF & Other Attachments?

There are multiple reasons why attachments are not opening in Outlook Mac. Some of the prominent reasons are listed below.

  • Compatibility Issues: Outlook on Mac requires the macOS built-in Preview app to open PDFs. If Preview is not installed or up-to-date, PDF attachments may fail to open. There can also be compatibility issues between Outlook and Preview versions.
  • Permissions Problems: The Outlook cache folder where attachments get saved may have restrictive permissions that block Preview from accessing attachments. You need full access to this folder: ~/Library/Caches/Microsoft/Outlook.
  • Attachment Did Not Download: Sometimes attachments fail to fully download in Outlook and show as a small temp file that cannot be opened. This usually indicates a connection issue between Outlook and the Exchange server.
  • Corrupted Outlook Profile: If your Outlook profile, cache folders or related components become damaged, attachments may not show properly or fail to open. Rebuilding your Outlook profile can resolve corruption issues.

These are some of the prominent reasons, why Outlook for Mac not opening Attachments. Now, let’s checkout some manual workaround to fix that restricts Mac Outlook to open PDF attachments.

How to Resolve Mac Outlook Cannot Open Attachments?

Email attachments are very important data for any email user. However, if they are not able to access the email attachment, then it is a very crucial situation for them.

Therefore, it is important to fix this issue immediately so users can access their email attachments. So in this section, we are going to discuss some manual techniques that will resolve the issue of Outlook for Mac not opening attachments.

Method 1) Update Mac Outlook to the Latest Version

Check and update Outlook for Mac to the latest version to resolve any compatibility bugs that cause issues like Mac Outlook cannot open attachments. Also, ensure macOS is fully updated.

Method 2) Clear Cache Memory to Fix Cannot Open Attachments in Outlook Mac

Cache memory is a storage place where Microsoft Outlook stores files that you have used previously so that you can easily re-access them. And, if there is an issue in your cache memory, then you may face an attachment opening issue. So, it is important to clear your cache to resolve Outlook for Mac not opening PDF Attachments.

Follow the troubleshooting steps to clear the cache memory in Mac Outlook:

  • Open Mac Outlook and right-click on the account.
  • Select the Properties option & click on Empty Cache.
  • Afterwards, right-click on the folder & select email message.
  • At last, click on the synchronize now option to reset all the settings.

Method 3) Rebuild Outlook Profile

If you are still getting the issue of Outlook for Mac not opening Attachments, then try to rebuild your Outlook profile from scratch to wipe out any corrupted data or Outlook Rules that may be causing problems while opening attachments.

Method 4) Run Outlook in Safe Mode

Sometimes antivirus or firewalls may scan your emails while opening the attachment. So, due to the scanning process, you may encounter this issue. So to check this firewall problem try to open Mac Outlook in Safe Mode and the guidelines are listed below for Mac Outlook cannot open Attachments.

  • First, restart your Mac machine.
  • Now, hold the shift key for a few seconds and release it once Mac boots in the safe mode.
  • After that login to your respective user account and launch Outlook in safe mode.

Expert Suggestions on Can’t Open PDF Attachments in Outlook

If you still encountering the issue “Outlook for Mac not opening Attachments”, then the best solution is to download all the attachments on your system. However, you cannot download multiple attachments from multiple emails in Outlook manually. So, to do this, you can try a trusted third-party application that easily extracts attachments from Mac Outlook emails.

Macware Outlook Attachment Extractor is one such tool that easily extracts attachments from the OLM, OLK, PST, and configured Outlook accounts. The tool gives you the right alternative solution if you are not able to fix Mac Outlook cannot open attachments.

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Steps to Bypass Outlook for Mac Not Opening PDF Attachments

  • Download and run the software on your Mac system.
  • The software will auto-locate the files & folder of Mac Outlook.
    download & run the software
  • Select the Advance Filter option to select more settings.
  • Choose Categories like Mail, Calendar, and Contacts.
    select the data filters
  • Select the Destination Location to save all the attachments.
    browse the destination location
  • At last click on the Export button to complete the task.
    Click on Export to bypass Outlook for Mac not opening Attachments


All the described techniques in the above article are the basic troubleshooting solutions that a user can try to fix the issue of Outlook for Mac not opening attachments. But if you do not have that much time and want your attachments as soon as possible, then you can try the automated solution to extract the attachments. This above-mentioned tool has additional features as well. That will help when you are unable to open PDF attachments in Outlook.