Can’t open WAV file attachments in Outlook 2007 on Windows 7

Syndey Opera House I recently found that I couldn’t open WAV file attachments in Outlook 2007 on Windows 7. It was harder than it should be to find the answer to this problem, so I thought I’d publish the answer…

Outlook keeps a temporary folder for opening attachments and it is hidden in Windows 7. If a file in that folder becomes locked or corrupt, you can end up as I did… unable to listen to your voicemail messages.

The solution is simple, jump into the temporary folder and clean it out. But…

Even though I had switched off all of the “hide protected operating system files” options in windows, I still couldn’t find the temporary internet folder called outlook.content. 

It should be somewhere like this:

C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\F2OLM1OC\

But this last part “F2OLM1OC” is system generated. i.e. it won’t be the same on your computer. And, the folder \Content.Outlook\ is not shown if you simply go to your temporary internet folder.

So the easiest way to get to the folder and to navigate straight here… remember to replace “%USERNAME%” with your computer user name (the name you logon with).

C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook

You’ll find the folder in question inside that one. Or, you can go into your registry to find the location of that folder directly. You’ll find the entry here:



Written by brettg in: Technology | Tags: , ,


  • ERKY

    I did everything you wrote, but stiil can’t play my WAV files.
    I erased the folder in question.

    Comment | December 20, 2009
  • Brett, thanks for this post.

    I could NOT find the “Temporary Internet Files” folder on my Vista computer – I got ALL the way to there, and then nothing.

    Vista MUST hide it, because I was able to do use the Windows Search bar and type in “%Temporary Internet Files” and then it listed a lot of the files in this folder.

    I then clicked on a pdf file, opened it up, and choose “save a copy” and that allowed me to click on the actual path which took me to the folder.

    Really wierd that when using Windows Explorer, I couldn’t find the file, but when I clicked on the link, it took me right to the file! How frustrating!

    Maybe your HKEY way will work, but I don’t know how to do that or use that – directions for future reference would be appreciated.

    Comment | January 5, 2010
  • […] And found this answer the best: […]

    Pingback | January 5, 2010
  • brettg

    @ERKY, sorry it sounds like you have another problem that is not the same as this issue. i hope you have found a way to fix it!

    @Sean Goerss – yes this file is hidden and you can’t navigate to it. Sounds like you might need some IT help on this one…

    Comment | February 4, 2010
  • Ryan

    Thanks! I was puzzled why this was happening. Deleting the folders in that temp dir fixed the problem immediately.

    Comment | February 17, 2010
  • brettg

    Can’t beleive this happened to me again! Lucky I wrote up the solution…

    Comment | May 6, 2010
  • Keala

    I found other write ups with this solution but it was so confusing. Thank you for making this simple! they say that if you cant explain something planely, than you don’t fully understand it yourself. Thanks for your help, this worked like a charm!

    Comment | May 18, 2010
  • The E

    That worked. Used CCleaner to clean out temp files and BAM!

    Comment | May 20, 2010
  • Mark H

    This worked!!!!! Thanks for the great write-up because I have been having this issue for a week and this finally got it resolved. I am using Windows 7 and Outlook 2010.

    Comment | July 21, 2010
  • Jim


    Same issue with my outlook & windows 7 deleting the temp file did not work- (nice tip on the file location from registry)…. but the ccleaner did do the trick for me:)

    Comment | August 4, 2010
  • Thanks for the directions. I had seen similar on another site, but could not find the content.outlook folder even after making sure I was able to view hidden files and folders. I navigated to the C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files using the My Computer function in Windows Explorer, then in the address line at the top added the \content.outlook and pressed Enter and it took me to this hidden folder. after deleting the folder inside everything is working fine now and I can again play my .wav voicemail messages. BTW if you open the temp file before deleting it you can see a list of all your .wav files from outlook stored there. This could come n handy if you have deleted a message but still need to retrieve it. Thanks again for the post.

    Comment | August 9, 2010
  • THANK YOU! Very good article for this one. Worth noting that copying and pasting the reg value from the key you mentioned will work better if a user has a problem finding a folder structure in their Temp Internet Files.

    Comment | August 16, 2010
  • Lakefrontguy

    I tried a few different times to find the files to delete them. I used CCleaner and it resolved the problem in less than minute. If you opan a lot of wave files then this issue becomes a recurring problem. Thanks for the post from The E who suggested CCleaner.

    Comment | August 26, 2010
  • Tim


    Thanks… this was driving me insane!

    Comment | February 1, 2011
  • Bill B

    Tried this with my OL2007, Win7 problem. Still get error message when trying to open or Save As the file. Brand new PC!

    Comment | March 20, 2011
  • Tracy

    Thank you for writing the solution. I could not find the temporary internet file via the path that you suggested, althought it was there. I had to go in through internet options and find the temporary internet location and then view files. I was able to locate the temporary internet location and then typed in the content.outlook in the file path at the top of the explorer.

    Comment | June 14, 2011
  • alexj

    Worked for me. Thanks.

    Comment | August 25, 2011
  • This solution also works in Office2010, but I recommend using the registry to find the path. Mine was in: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Security

    and then add \content.outlook at the end of the path. Delete all, done!

    Thanks for this solution!

    Comment | November 17, 2011
  • Robert

    It appears to be a codec issue with the new windows media player on windows 7. File opens on XP machine for me. I have not found a fix for it yet . probably will try to install vlc player to see if the issue is fixed.

    Comment | January 6, 2012
  • Patrick

    Worked right away, Windows 7, Outlook 2010.

    Comment | January 23, 2012
  • J.D.

    Awesome! Thanks for the fix!

    Comment | February 24, 2012
  • Diego

    Thanks, I looked into other sites, but they didn´t tell you how to find the hidden folder. Solved.

    Comment | November 30, 2012
  • Dave

    I cleaned out the cache (on firefox since they dont really have temporary files) and that still didnt work. However, I saved the file to my desktop. Right click file and select “open with” and select “choose default program”. Once this new window opens, choose VLC media player (free download form anywhere online) and make sure that there is a check mark next to “always use the selected program to open this type”, or something to that effect. Select okay. Now reopen the file in outlook 2007, and PRESTO! Works fine.

    Thats just my 2 cents

    Comment | February 27, 2015

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