Why Do I Get Winmail.dat Attachments In Mail?

Winmail.dat are e-mails that have been sent to you from someone who is using Outlook on the Dark Windows side. Not only have they sent it from out look by they have used rich text format. There is only one major problem with using Outlook in conjunction with Rich Text, you must use outlook to read the message as well. If you use any other program to read the message you will see this attachment in your e-mail. Some e-mail readers will let you see some off the text but not any of the formatting that is used some will display on the Winmail.dat attachment. There appear to be 2 fixes for this the first which comes form Macworld editor Christopher Breen. He says to send them the following e-mail replay:

“Dear User of Microsoft Outlook,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write. Regrettably, I’m unable to view the formatting you so carefully applied to your message because — and I know this may come as a shock — many, many people in the world do not use Microsoft’s Outlook. Let me explain.

When you apply Outlook’s Rich Text format to your email messages, only those recipients who open them in Outlook can see that formatting. The rest of us — and believe me, our numbers are significant — see the message along with a Winmail.dat attachment that we can not open. The problem can be compounded when any other attachment you included with the message is combined with this Winmail.dat attachment. So, for example, any pictures you’ve sent of the family’s new iguana will go unseen.

To address this issue, please send future messages as plain text. (If you need help learning how to do this, see this Microsoft support document.) While I’m certain some of those you correspond with will miss the many fonts, underscores, shadow effects, and italic passages it is within your power to apply to your messages, I’m sure they’ll understand that you provide a greater service by sending messages that can be read by all recipients rather than just those who’ve adopted Microsoft’s email client.

Thank you for your consideration.”

The second option is try to decode the Rich Text Winmail.dat attachment. Over at JoshJacob.com they have a program that can help in decoding these messages. The Program is called TNEF’s Enough. I have not tried this and can not attest to it. I did get the link form an update on the Christopher Breen MacWorld Post.

5 comments

  1. Christopher

    The Apple Mail Plug-in OMiC convert seamlessly Microsoft Outlook winmail.dat files.

  2. Steven Paredes

    OK, so I stumbled into your site while looking up some issues with a specific user receving winmai.dat files. I read thru it and considered your explenation and also considered the response from the email you shared. I need to be honest here, thats a load of CRAP, just because Mac products cannot efficiently receive emails sent from a mail system without having to jump thru hoops to support your system does not make it bad or wrong. It simply shows how idiotic Apple and Mac have become where they blame someone else for the short commings of their product, and please using Mac’s is nice for the stay at home mom not for the Billions of corporate users who live in it daily with no issues. Mac systems will never have the robust functionality that a business user needs to operate in a Domain environment, no matter how many animals they name their systems after they will still struggle blend into main stream IT as a viable solution for corporations.

    Sorry but I had to just lay it out….leave Mac at home for your cooking books and cute picture colages….

  3. Ronald Portier

    Dear Steven Paredes,

    With corporate business users you might mean users that do not mind virusses and other threats that plague Windows in general and outlook in particular.

    Reliable e-mail clients should first and foremost support internet standards. A mail client that does not use standards cannot be taken seriously by anyone. Not at home. Not at work.

    Kind regards, Ronald

  4. Ronald Portier

    Dear Steven Paredes,

    With corporate business users you might mean users that do not mind virusses and other threats that plague Windows in general and outlook in particular.

    Reliable e-mail clients should first and foremost support internet standards. A mail client that does not use standards cannot be taken seriously by anyone. Not at home. Not at work.

    Kind regards, Ronald

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