How to Change the Attachment Type in Outlook: A Step-by-Step Guide

In today’s digital era, email has become an integral part of our professional and personal communication. Microsoft Outlook, one of the leading email clients, offers various features to enhance our emailing experience. One crucial aspect is the ability to change the attachment type in Outlook. Whether you want to convert a document to PDF or compress an image to reduce file size, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process, ensuring your attachments are in the desired format without any hassle.

1. Understanding different types of Outlook attachments

Outlook offers various types of attachments that users can send and receive within their emails. By understanding these different attachment types, users can effectively manage their email correspondence.

When it comes to attachments, Outlook supports a wide range of file formats including documents (such as Word, Excel, and PDF), images (JPEG, PNG, etc.), audio files, video files, compressed files (ZIP, RAR), and more.

These attachments can be either inline or as separate files. Inline attachments are displayed within the body of the email, while separate attachments are listed below the email content.

It is important to note that the type of attachment a user can send or open depends on the recipient’s email client and the compatibility of their software. Therefore, it is essential to consider the recipient’s email client and file format compatibility when selecting and sending attachments.

By familiarizing yourself with the various attachment types supported by Outlook, you can ensure successful communication and file sharing through email.

Step 1: Opening the Outlook application and accessing the email account

To change the attachment type in Outlook, you first need to open the application and access your email account. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you:

1. Launch the Outlook application on your computer. You can find it in the Start menu or by searching for “Outlook” in the search bar.
2. Enter your email address and password to log in to your account. If you have multiple accounts set up, make sure to select the one you want to work with.
3. Wait for Outlook to load your email account. This may take a few seconds, depending on the size of your mailbox.
4. Once your account is loaded, you will see your inbox with a list of received emails. You can now proceed to the next steps to change the attachment type.

Accessing your email account in Outlook is the first step towards changing the attachment type. Without logging in, you won’t be able to compose or modify emails and attachments. Follow these steps precisely to ensure a smooth process.

Step 2: Composing a new email or selecting an existing email

When it comes to changing the attachment type in Outlook, the first step is to compose a new email or select an existing email. This is the starting point where you can make the necessary changes to the attachment type.

To compose a new email, open the Outlook application and click on the “New Email” button. This will open a blank email composition window where you can enter the recipient’s email address, subject, and message.

If you want to change the attachment type for an existing email, simply open the email by double-clicking on it in your inbox or selecting it from the email list. This will open the email in a separate window.

Whether you are composing a new email or editing an existing one, make sure you are in the email composition window before proceeding to the next steps. This is where you will find the necessary options to change the attachment type and ensure your message reaches the recipient in the desired format.

Step 3: Locating the attachment option in the email composition window

In order to change the attachment type in Outlook, you need to locate the attachment option in the email composition window. This step is crucial as it allows you to access the necessary settings to modify the attachment type.

When you compose a new email or select an existing one, you will notice a toolbar at the top of the composition window. Within this toolbar, you will find various options and icons for formatting your email.

To locate the attachment option, look for a paperclip icon. In most versions of Outlook, this icon is commonly used to represent attachments. It may be labeled as “Attach” or “Attach File” depending on your version of Outlook.

Click on the paperclip icon, and a drop-down menu will appear. This menu will provide you with several choices for attaching files, such as “Attach File,” “Attach Item,” or “Attach from Web.”

By selecting one of these options, you will be able to change the attachment type in Outlook, whether it’s a file from your computer, an Outlook item, or a file from the web.

Step 4: Changing the attachment type by selecting from available options

In this step, we will learn how to change the attachment type in Outlook by selecting from the available options. Outlook provides various options to choose from, allowing you to customize the attachment type according to your needs.

To change the attachment type, follow these steps:

1. After accessing the email composition window, locate the attachment option. It is typically represented by a paperclip icon.
2. Click on the attachment option to reveal a drop-down menu of available attachment types.
3. Select the desired attachment type from the menu. Outlook offers several choices, including regular attachments, embedded attachments, OneDrive attachments, and more.
4. Once you have selected the desired attachment type, proceed to attach the file(s) by following the relevant prompts or instructions.
5. Verify that the attachment type has been successfully changed by checking the attachment icon or any corresponding indicators in the email composition window.

Remember that different attachment types have different functionalities and limitations. Ensure that you choose the one that best suits your requirements and the recipient’s capabilities. By leveraging the flexibility of Outlook’s attachment options, you can enhance your email communication and streamline file sharing processes.

Step 5: Tips for handling different attachment types in Outlook

When it comes to handling different attachment types in Outlook, it’s important to familiarize yourself with a few tips and tricks. Here are some guidelines to help you make the most out of your attachments:

1. File Compression: If you need to send large files, consider using file compression software like WinZip or 7-Zip. Compressing the files will reduce their size, making it easier and quicker to send them as attachments in Outlook.

2. Cloud Storage: Instead of attaching large files directly to your email, you can use cloud storage services like OneDrive or Google Drive. Simply upload the file to your cloud storage and share the link with the recipient. This way, you can bypass any attachment size limitations imposed by Outlook.

3. Protecting Sensitive Files: If you’re sending confidential or sensitive information, consider password-protecting the files. This adds an extra layer of security, ensuring that only the intended recipient can access the file using the provided password.

4. Scanning Attachments: Before opening any attachment, especially from unknown senders, it’s crucial to scan them using antivirus software. This helps to protect your computer and data from potential malware or viruses that may be hidden in the attachment.

By following these simple tips, you can enhance your experience with different attachment types in Outlook and ensure secure and efficient communication.

## 7. Common troubleshooting tips for attachment-related issues in Outlook

In this section, we will discuss common troubleshooting tips for attachment-related issues in Outlook. Sometimes, users may encounter problems while attaching files to their emails or opening attachments received from others. Here are some solutions to help you resolve these issues:

1. Check the file size: Outlook has limitations on the maximum size of attachments. Make sure the file size doesn’t exceed the allowed limit.

2. Disable antivirus software: Sometimes, antivirus software can interfere with Outlook’s attachment functionality. Temporarily disable the antivirus software and check if the issue persists.

3. Update Outlook and Windows: Ensure that both Outlook and Windows are running the latest updates. Outdated software versions can often cause attachment problems.

4. Clear temporary files: Clearing the temporary files on your computer can resolve attachment-related issues. Go to the Windows “Run” dialog box, type “%temp%” (without quotes), and hit Enter. Delete all the files in the temp folder.

5. Repair Outlook data files: If the problem persists, you may need to repair your Outlook data files. Use the built-in repair tool or a third-party repair software to fix any corrupt files.

By following these troubleshooting tips, you can resolve most attachment-related issues in Outlook and ensure smooth communication via email.


1. How do I change the attachment type in Outlook?

To change the attachment type in Outlook, follow these simple steps:
1. Open Outlook and click on the “File” tab.
2. Select “Options” from the left-hand menu.
3. In the Outlook Options window, click on “Trust Center” and then select “Trust Center Settings.”
4. In the Trust Center window, click on “Attachment Handling” and then choose “Attachment and Document Previewers.”
5. Here, you can enable or disable specific attachment types by checking or unchecking the boxes next to each file extension.
6. Once you have made your desired changes, click on “OK” to save the settings.

2. Can I change the attachment type for specific file types only?

Yes, in Outlook, you can change the attachment type for specific file types only. After opening the Trust Center settings as mentioned earlier, you can enable or disable individual attachment types by checking or unchecking the corresponding boxes. This way, you have the flexibility to customize the attachment types based on your preferences or security requirements.

3. Will changing the attachment type affect the ability to open certain files?

Yes, changing the attachment type in Outlook may affect the ability to open certain files. If you disable an attachment type that Outlook previously recognized and allowed you to open, you will no longer be able to open files of that type directly from Outlook. However, you can still save the attachment to your computer and open it using the appropriate software installed on your system. Make sure to consider the compatibility of different file types before making changes to attachment handling settings.

4. How can I revert the changes and restore the default attachment types in Outlook?

To restore the default attachment types in Outlook, follow these steps:
1. Open Outlook and go to the “File” tab.
2. Select “Options” and then click on “Trust Center” followed by “Trust Center Settings.”
3. In the Trust Center window, choose “Attachment Handling” and click on “Attachment and Document Previewers.”
4. To revert back to the default settings, click on “Reset All” or “Restore Defaults” option.
5. Confirm the action, and Outlook will restore the default attachment handling settings.
6. Click “OK” to save the changes and exit the Trust Center window.

Final Words

In conclusion, changing the attachment type in Outlook is a straightforward process that can be completed in just a few simple steps. By following this step-by-step guide, users can easily modify the attachment type to meet their specific needs, whether it be to compress files, convert to a different format, or enhance security. These instructions are designed to assist Outlook users in effectively managing their email attachments and optimizing their workflow.

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