Troubleshooting a PDF Attachment Problem!


Here is a post I reworked from a forum which I moderate. I thought it had an interesting solution which I would share.

The scenario is as follows:

A user is using Office 2003. She has her mailbox as well as an additional shared mailbox resource where faxes come into. She received an email with a PDF attachment in the shared mailbox, and is unable to open the PDF. The administrator her forward him the message and could open it! The admin then forwarded the message and attachment back to her normal mailbox and she is still unable to open it. Finally, he sent her another PDF attachment different from the one she is unable to open to her normal mailbox, and she is able to open without issue. Also she is unable to save the original attachment.

The error that she gets is as follows:

“Can’t create file: ******.pdf. Right-click the folder you want to create the the file in, and then click properties on the shortcut menu to check your permissions to the folder”.

The admin then checked and altered permissions, even adding her as an admin on the box as a test with no luck.

Because she is able to open other attachments I have to think it may be something with this one file, but have not been able to determine what.


So that was the scenario here’s what fixed it!

You may receive the following error message when opening attachments in Outlook (such as PDF faxes):

“Can’t create file: FAX.TIF. Right-Click the folder you want to create the file in, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu to check your permissions on the folder.”

Microsoft Outlook uses a temporary folder to save and open the attachments. By default that folder is:

“C:\Documents and Settings\%USER_NAME%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLK#\” (where # is a random number)

Some of the latest security updates for Windows 2000 and XP are preventing folders to be created in that folder. The solution is to use the regular TEMP folder.

1. Use REGEDIT.EXE to locate the following key:


(Note: Depending on your version you may have to modify that path after the “Office” key. You may have folders 8.0, 9.0, 10.0, 11.0, go the highest number. This is probably the version that you use.)

2. Modify the Key “OutlookSecureTempFolder”, by replacing “Temporary Internet Files” with “Temp”. For example:

OLD VALUE: “C:\Documents and Settings\tim\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLK177\”

(Note: There may be a different number than 177)

NEW VALUE: “C:\Documents and Settings\tim\Local Settings\Temp\OLK177\”

3. Restart Microsoft Outlook.


Having done all that things should be working again.

Hope that helps someone, it is of course interesting that it was only causing a problem on this specific file but, hey……who knows…….