I can’t seem to get any attachments in my email. Outlook Express says that it removed “unsafe attachments” from my email. How can I start getting attachments again?

A: Constant bombardment from internet villains makes me wonder if WWW actually stands for “Wild, Wild West”! We yearn for safe browsing. We long to send and receive email without being harassed. That’s why we install anti-virus software and firewalls. That’s why browsers and email programs have security settings.

But sometimes, too much security can cause other problems. Anyone who has upgraded to Outlook Express 6 or bought a new computer may be experiencing an error message like this:

“Outlook Express removed access to the following unsafe attachments in your mail…”

Why is this happening? When faced with mysterious problems, blame it on Microsoft!

By default, the “Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus” option (hereafter called DNAATBSOOTCPBAV) is enabled in OE 6. When this virus-protection feature is on, OE uses Explorer’s unsafe file list to determine if a file is safe. Any e-mail attachment with a file type that is considered “unsafe” is not downloaded, and access to the attachment is removed.

The unsafe file list includes any file types that may have script or code associated with them. Thus, you may find that you can’t receive the pictures from your cousin’s wedding, or the mp3 of your grandson’s first words. All is not lost…you can avoid this problem by turning off the DNAATBSOOTCPBAV option.

Start Outlook Express. On the Tools menu, click Options .


Click the “Security” tab, click to clear the DNAATBSOOTCPBAV check box under “Virus Protection”, and then click OK .

You should, of course, be scanning all attachments with anti-virus software anyway, which makes the extra OE6 security unnecessary. Netscape Mail does not have any similar security features that could cause a problem like this. Most web-based email (such as Yahoo or Hotmail) allow you to scan for viruses before you download attachments.

~ David