Posts Tagged ‘Outlook attached documents and how it works – clarification’

Outlook attached documents and how it works – clarification

November 1, 2009 1 comment

Outlook attached documents and how it works – clarification
Outlook by default saves all attached documents in a hidden (very well hidden) temporary folder.  The folder’s name varies…

The main intension of this folder is to have an area in the computer where “safe” attachments could be open in temporary bases.  This area is located inside the “Temporary Internet Files” this folder, itself is a hidden folder located inside the “Local Settings” folder which is also a hidden folder located inside the “user’s profile” folder (not hidden) located inside the “Documents and settings” off the root directory.

The Problem:  Here is the problem many users are having.  First, this is a TEMPORARY folder and not a place to save any files as this area is meant to be clear after you exit outlook. 

Proper Steps: if you only need to read the attached file and no changes are made to the document. Then the process works as follows: you receive an e-mail message containing an excel file “report.xls”, you double click on the file, this opens the file placing a copy of the file automatically in the temporary area – if all you do is read the file, then close it, the file is automatically remove from this temporary folder after you close the e-mail message that contains the attached file.

That is great for some messages however businesses are much more dynamic.  The user often opens the file and makes changes to it. This is ok, as long as you save it in a different location (My documents\folder name\[Report.xls] ) make a note that this is no longer the same file  attached to the e-mail message.  You are not making changes to the original file attached to the e-mail message but to a different file.  If all you do is click on save then another version of the file is stored in the TEMPORARY LOCATION in this case it would be named report(1).xls.  Lets say that now you close excel and the email containing the message but open the same e-mail message and again click on save without changing the file location to a different folder then report(2).xls will appear and so on.

The first time that you open an attached document (word, excel, power point etc.) Outlook creates a new subdirectory under your Temporary Internet Files directory, and places the temporary file in the new subdirectory.

The name of the new subdirectory is unknown and is randomly generated before it is created.

The following paths are examples from three different operating systems.

  • Microsoft Windows 98
    C:\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\OLKC320
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
    C:\WINNT\Profiles\”username”\Temporary Internet Files\OLK2
  • Microsoft Windows 2000
    C:\Documents and Settings\”username”\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLKCE
  • Microsoft Windows XP
    C:\Documents and Settings\”username”\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLK849\

I hope this notes help