Outlook 2003 on Windows 7 cannot open zip files

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If you have issues with opening .zip attachments in Windows 7, by using Microsoft Outlook 2003.

When you double click the attachment, a prompt is displayed which gives you the option to open or save the file to disk. When you choose to open the file, nothing happens, but if you choose to save it to disk and open it using windows explorer, it normally opens.

This issue applies to Outlook 2003 on Windows 7. There is a registry value which controls how the explorer.exe handles certain file types for specific applications. This registry key is checking the comatibility of the Office version. For some reason, if you have 11.* version value, which is a Microsoft Office 2007 version, you will have issues opening attachments with older versions of Microsoft Office, as .zip file won’t be threated as a folder.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
ShellCompatibility\Applications\outlook.exe

STRIPFOLDERBIT (string value is present)
VERSION = 11.*;10.*;9.*;8.*;7.*

Solution:

Start the registry editor:

RUN | REGEDIT | enter
Navigate to the following key:

For 32-bit version of Windows

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
ShellCompatibility\Applications\outlook.exe
STRIPFOLDERBIT (string value is present)
VERSION = 11.*;10.*;9.*;8.*;7.*

Edit the Version value and remove the 11.*;

For 64-bit version of Windows

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WoW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
ShellCompatibility\Applications\outlook.exe
STRIPFOLDERBIT (string value is present)
VERSION = 11.*;10.*;9.*;8.*;7.*

Edit the Version value and remove the 11.*;

If you will experience any other issues regarding usage of Microsot Outlook and Outlook atachments, you can easily revert this change by modifying the same key and reverting the value.

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34 Responses

  1. Commas says:

    The formatting of these keys is incorrect. The commas should be semicolons (, = 😉

    Thx,
    Matthew

  2. Nik says:

    You’re absolutely right Matthew! Thanks for this correction 🙂

  3. DJ says:

    I tried the regedit process and it did not work. I have 64bit version of Windows7. Does that matter?

  4. Nik says:

    Nope, it shouldn’t be an issue.
    Can you double check that you’ve followed above steps correctly?

  5. Peter T says:

    Same for me, do we need to type in (string value is present) for the Data for STRIPFOLDERBIT??

    This is what my registry now says

    (Default) – (value not set)
    APPISOFFICE –
    STRIPFOLDERBIT –
    Version – 10.*;9.*;8.*;7.*

  6. Nik says:

    Hello Peter,
    no, you don’t need to type in that. Just remove 11.*; from the value field.

  7. Peter T says:

    Nope, still doesn’t work for me. Rebooted machine, the works, still will not open ZIP files directly from Outlook, have to save them to desk top then open.

    Bit of a pain, as I am get lots of emails from clients with zips.

  8. Peter T says:

    Goodest english.

    Bit of a pain as I get lots of emails froms clients with zips.

  9. Nik says:

    I will try to investigate further for you Peter.
    Regards,
    Nik

  10. Outlook Fan says:

    From another website:

    32-bit Windows:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion ShellCompatibilityApplicationsoutlook.exe

    64-bit Windows:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREWow6432NodeMicrosoftWindows CurrentVersionShellCompatibilityApplicationsoutlook.exe

  11. Nik says:

    Thank you Outlook Fan, article updated!

  12. Peter T says:

    WOW HOO, it works.

    Thanks so much.

  13. Joost says:

    After editing the registry key, I am able to open attached zip files directly from an e-mail! Only as a side effect, after editing the registry key I am unable to add zip files to an e-mail.

    I am using Office 2003 with Windows 7.

  14. Brookey says:

    Thanks! works great after a restart

  15. Bingo says:

    Works for me too – thank you!

  16. Lara says:

    Worked a treat for me too… even got a hand shake from the director! Thanks for that!!!

  17. Jerry says:

    It helped, thanks:-)

  18. CJ says:

    Awesome.
    This thread saved my butt!!!

  19. Ted says:

    Same as Joost, the registry edit fixed the initial issue but now I am unable to add Zip files to an email attachment via Inset->File.

    Only way appears to drag and drop a Zip file from Explorer.

  20. Nik says:

    Ted and Joost

    Can you please try the following:

    Open Command Prompt window and type the following commands followed by Enter.
    regsvr32 zipfldr.dll
    regsvr32 /u cabview.dll

    Restart your machine.

    Let me know if it helps.

  21. Ted says:

    Tried your suggestion Nik but all I got were error messages.

    zipfldr – the module “zipfldr.dll” was loaded but the entry point DllRegisterServer was not found. Make sure that “zipfldr.dll” is a valid DLL or OCX file and then try again.

    cabview.dll – similar error message except DllUnregisterServer was not found.

    Also just to clarify, when I go to Insert->File, I cannot see any zip files (so I can’t select to add attachment) – even though I can see the zip files in Windows Explorer.

  22. Ted says:

    Thanks for the suggestion Nik. but I had to open a rar file so ended up installing WinRar – that fixed everthing as expected.

    It’s disappointing that a basic function such as opening a zip file directly from Outlook could have been overlooked.

    I wonder if SP1 fixes this?

  23. Nik says:

    [quote name=”Ted”]
    I wonder if SP1 fixes this?[/quote]
    I doubt, since this is a functionality of Microsoft Office.
    But, I would suggest installing SP1 anyway 🙂 On the other hand, if you have time and will to do it, clean installation from Win7 with SP1 image would be better way 🙂

  24. Same as Joost, the registry edit fixed the initial issue but now I am unable to add Zip files to an email attachment via Inset->File.

    Only way appears to drag and drop a Zip file from Explorer

  25. joe says:

    Worked like a charm. Thanks!

  26. Troller says:

    Just wandering that is there the office compatibility pack installed. Which is in fact installs the half of the MSO2007.This can be the reason for the versions? Maybe someone shall force microsoft to fix this around the compatibility pack or within the windows explorer (?)
    Yet the best solution can be to install peazip or 7zip. Those are free and open source stuff.

    Probably someone could find if there is a list in outlook to handle the attachments and if there is associate the .zip with explorer.exe….

  27. Tjohnson says:

    Troller solution Worked like a charm. Thanks!

  28. matthew says:

    On a freshly installed PC with Win 7 (32 bit) and Office 2003, I had the zip file attachment problem as mentioned.

    Using your fix, it worked perfectly after a restart.

    Thank you.

  29. luca says:

    thanks a lot!!!!

  30. win-user says:

    I tried in on windows 2008 – 64 bit and outlook 2003 – IT WORKS! thanks a lot, you saved my day

  31. JoRe says:

    The absolute right solution for the combination of Windows7/64bit and Office2003.

    Thanks a lot.

  32. Muddassir says:

    thanks a lot dude.

  33. Grant M says:

    I followed the folder links all the way into applications but the computer doesn’t seem to have the folder outlook.exe. Help please?

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
    ShellCompatibility\Applications

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