How to Open Winmail.dat

Five Methods:Changing the Default Message FormatModifying the Recipient’s Address in OutlookChanging the Recipient’s Contact FormatChanging the Rich Text Format Setting (Outlook 2003 and 2007 Only)Using an Online Viewer

Winmail.dat files are often attached to rich-text email messages sent from Microsoft Outlook accounts that have been configured incorrectly. Winmail.dat files are usually not recognized by email clients other than Microsoft Outlook. To view the contents of files with the winmail.dat attachment, you must contact the sender and have them use one of the methods in this article to modify the rich-text settings in his or her email account. Alternately, you can use a third-party online tool to view the contents of winmail.dat files.

Method 1
Changing the Default Message Format

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    Contact the person who sent you the winmail.dat file, and walk them through the following steps.
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    Launch Microsoft Outlook and click on “Tools.
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    Click on “Options,” then click on the “Mail Format” tab.
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    Select “Plain Text” from the dropdown menu next to “Compose in this message format.
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    Click on “OK” to save your changes.
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    Compose a new email, and resend your content to the recipient. The recipient will now be able to open and view the email without receiving the winmail.dat attachment.[1]

Method 2
Modifying the Recipient’s Address in Outlook

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    Contact the person who sent you the winmail.dat file, and walk them through the following steps.
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    Launch Microsoft Outlook and click on “Tools.
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    Click on “Address Book,” then select “Personal Address Book” from the “Show Names From” field.
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    Select the recipient’s name, then select “Properties” from the File menu.
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    Click on the “SMTP-General” tab, then remove the checkmark next to “Always send to this recipient in Microsoft Exchange rich text format.
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    Click on “OK” to save your changes.
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    Compose a new email, and resend your content to the recipient. The recipient will now be able to open and view the email without receiving the winmail.dat attachment.

Method 3
Changing the Recipient’s Contact Format

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    Contact the person who sent you the winmail.dat file, and walk them through the following steps.
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    Click on the “Contacts” folder in the left pane of Outlook, and open the recipient’s contact record.
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    Double-click on the recipient’s email address. This will open the “Email Properties” dialog box.
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    Select “Send Plain Text only” below the “Internet Format” section.
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    Close the Email Properties dialog box and the recipient’s contact record.
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    Compose a new email, and resend your content to the recipient. The recipient will now be able to open and view the email without receiving the winmail.dat attachment.

Method 4
Changing the Rich Text Format Setting (Outlook 2003 and 2007 Only)

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    Contact the person who sent you the winmail.dat file, and walk them through the following steps.
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    Click on “Tools” and select “Options.
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    Click on the “Mail Format” tab, then click on “Internet Format.
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    Select either “Convert to HTML format” or “Convert to Plain Text format,” based on your preferences.
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    Click on “OK” to save your changes.
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    Compose a new email, and resend your content to the recipient. The recipient will now be able to open and view the email without receiving the winmail.dat attachment.

Method 5
Using an Online Viewer

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    Open the email that contains the winmail.dat file.
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    Click and drag the winmail.dat file to your computer’s desktop, or right-click on the file and select the option to save it to your desktop.
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    Navigate to the winmail.dat online viewer site at http://www.winmaildat.com/. This website will help you convert and extract the contents of the winmail.dat file so you can view it on your computer.
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    Click on the “Browse” button and select the winmail.dat file.
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    Click on “Send file. The winmail.dat file will be uploaded to the site.
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    Click on the “Results” tab, and select the option to download the results to your computer. You will now be able to view the contents of the winmail.dat file.[2]

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Categories: File Manipulation | Email and Instant Messaging