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Email – winmail.dat attachment ?

If you receive a winmail.dat attachment, the sender is using Microsoft Outlook and will need to perform the following.

  1. Find the contact entry that the email was sent-to in the Outlook address book/contacts.
  2. Copy/write any details if you need to keep about the contact as you will need to keep/recreate later if required.
  3. Delete the contact from outlook address book/contacts.
  4. Re-send email to the recipient and confirm with reciever that the content/attachments are showing as intended.


Once you have deleted the contact from your saved Outlook address book / contacts list, you can re-send the email to the recipient and the receiver will not get the winmail.dat attachment. 

The reason?

While it is possible you may have the latest software version it is only the sending party that causes this issue. 

The contact item in question (the recipient) in Outlook address book/contacts of the sender has a ‘un-editable field’ not visible to the sender, this setting is historical to the sender’s Outlook contact entry only and it tells Outlook how to send the email to the specific recipient with an older Microsoft email encoding setting not commonly used. 

This encoding performed from the sender’s Outlook is non-standard so many new software items present this as a winmail.dat attachment.