Quick Tip: Cannot Save / Open Attachments when using IE9 and OWA 2003, 2007 and 2010…

UPDATE: Since publication I have been made aware that this article also solves the same problem for OWA 2007 and OWA 2010

Like many I suspect – I have recently installed the RTM of Internet Explorer 9 onto my Windows 7 machine at home – and initially my thoughts are very positive.
That being said, I did come across a small problem when using OWA for Exchange 2003 and trying to either download or view attachments within OWA based e-mails.

Essentially when clicking on, say for example a Word document from within OWA I would get the following dialog box (note the odd attachment name)


Clicking on the “Open” option would eventually result in the following page being displayed in IE9:


If I tried to right click on the attachment and choose the “Save Target As” option I would be presented with the following Save Dialog:


Clicking on the “Save” button would do nothing, and renaming the file to the correct filename would give me an error message within the IE9 download manager.

I had a quick look around on Google, but nothing immediate came up – so I decided to have a look around in IE9’s settings (I was positive that it was an IE9 issue as I could download and use attachments in Opera and Firefox just fine).

After quite a bit of trial and error I finally found that by turning off the “Do not save encrypted pages to disk option” from within the [ Internet Options –> Advanced ] cured the problem – see below.


As I said this is a very quick tip – but I hope that it helps someone out.


  1. Apologies for fake email address – I do not like to leave real address . I wanted to thank you for this tip. It has enabled me to download bank statements etc which were being blocked by Internet Explorer 9. I do not know how this option got enabled.

    1. Hey Rocky, no real problem about the fake address – just means you will not know if someone replies to your comment – like now :-).
      Anyhow on the offchance that you drop back – the setting gets enabled by default when you install IE9 as part of it increased security. In itself its not a new feature of IE – just something that IE team have deemed to be better for us in the long run.

  2. Many thanks. Having worked my way through a load of rubbish answers/soloutions, I finally found yours! Works a treat.

    Many thansk

  3. It worked! Thanks Andy, my corporate workload was essentially ‘dead’ until I applied your suggestion. you’re my MVP today.

  4. Thanks so much! I had a user who downloaded IE9 on his home computer and attachments wouldn’t work. This resolved it, thanks again!

  5. Thank you very much. I have already spent hours of trying to find out what was wrong with my internet options & IE 9.
    Your post saved me from spending many more hours trying to fix the problem.I really appreciate it.

    Best regards from Croatia.

  6. Thank you for the information. The advice helped immediately upon unchecking the box and then clicking on the attachment.

  7. Great solution, I am a system admin and have managed Exchange / OWA for quite some years….. Have always been obsessive obout my users not being able to save encrypted files to disc, as a corporate security policy, so it was something I didn’t think of! Often the simplest solutions are the least obvious :-).

    Well Done!

  8. This does not solve a problem of opening an html file type attachment.
    I used to be able to open it without any problem. Now it ONLY allows you to save to disk.
    I don’t like when big M prevents me from doing my work in the name of security.

  9. Brilliant – thank you! I wondered why it had suddenly broken in the last few weeks as I’ve been using OWA fine to handle attachments for my work email at home, and when it broke it was a real nuisance. I would’ve been scrabbling around with options for ages. You’re a lifesaver! +1

  10. this is a great fix. It had been affecting which browser I use for opening and downloading files which was an unfortunate inconvenience. Very simple and super quick fix. I really apprciate this !! KUDOS !!

  11. Bless you for this solution – all of a sudden I couldn’t work on attachments I sent to myself from work. I really cursed my new HP laptop = really appreciatefinding such a simple solution.

  12. Genius! Have been frustrated with this problem for 8 months, and today with another google search and clicking on the link I found your genius solution. Works a treat! Thanks for your brilliant out of the box thinking and your generosity in sharing this solution.

  13. I can’t tell you enough times THANK YOU!

    I rely on OWA and IE heavily, and after reluctantly upgrading to IE9 about 30 days ago I have had many the curse word for IE9 and Microsoft for not being able do simply save attachments. Also, no searches on MS’ site provided any answers.

    Thank you again!


  14. Fantastic! Had this problems for months. Not with family laptop or accessing elsewhere – just my own PC and now I see why. So no need to forward emails to other devices to open. But why didn’t Microsoft help? Very grateful to you for this social act and can’t wait for someone else to tell me have they the same problem – and I will give credit where due.

  15. As others have stated – what a life saver!!!!!!
    Could not work from home without this fix. I tried other otpions to no avail
    It was weird how it just started happening – working one day, not workign the next..i suspect an auto IE9 or windows upgrade did it. Anyway all is good now.

  16. I am having this issue as well and my “do not save encrypted pages to disk” setting is NOT checked (and disabled by the domain policies). It is also happening from a NON-SSL site that we built ourselves so the download is not an encyrpted page to begin with. Any other suggestions?

  17. Well frustrated with not being able to open my assinments to view my mistakes, I kept calling our university tech support, but to no avail… I kept trouble shooting on my own, and came upon this page, then low and behold, I tried your suggestion, and what do you know? I am now up and running and all on my own… Thanks you so much !!

  18. Thanks,

    Just bought a high end Laptop for my wife and she “lives” in OWA due to her work. we were ready to send it back to Dell. Thanks for your help.

  19. Thanx a lot, this was really helpful and much better answer compared to the frustrating answers from Microsoft experts on the other forums like: reset all your settings, reinstall explorer, disable all add-ons 🙂

  20. Thanks, Andy! As many have said — this is a lifesaver for me! I hope I’ll be able to pass this on to someone else who has this problem. Generously sharing your expertise in such a simple way is inspiring to me! Bless you!

  21. Brilliant fix. I don’t use IE much but some sites I have to use regularly and from which I need to download files only work with IE so this is a real life saver.

  22. Thanks for this. It was a great help. I’ve been wrestling with this problem for a long time. Even uninstalled IE9 and went back to IE8 a few times.

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