Help! I Can’t Open Email Attachments In Windows 10

Walt’s having an issue opening e-mail attachments in Windows 10. He writes: “Before downloading Windows 10 I could read email attachments.  Now when I try to open them it tells me I have to get Office and that is a costly addition.  What has changed?”

Walt, my guess is that you need to set a default program to open documents.

Type  “default programs” in your search box and click on the result.


Choose Set your default programs.


Do you know which program you used to open documents in Windows 7? Find that program on the list. If you aren’t sure, I’d suggest finding WordPad on the list of Programs. WordPad, which is included free in Windows 10, is a good choice to select as your default program for opening documents.


Also, if you have another Office Suite, such as the free LibreOffice, you can choose programs associated with it for opening documents.

You don’t say what type of attachments you are trying to open. If they include PowerPoint presentations or spreadsheets, you have a couple of options.

You can download a free office suite like Open Office or LibreOffice and set their presentation and spreadsheet programs as the default program to open those types of attachments.

Or you can right click to save your attachment, then go to  (I see you have a Hotmail address, so just use that account to log in.)

There you can use the free Microsoft Online Office apps to open spreadsheet or presentation files.


I hope this helps.

~ Cynthia


5 thoughts on “Help! I Can’t Open Email Attachments In Windows 10

    1. Marcia: There’s noting in the article that suggests that you need to change your e-mail provider. Only that you need to select which program you want to use to open your attachments.

  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! I did exactly what you said, and bingo there it was. It works perfectly. Thanks again, JJ

  2. my son has an apple phone, when he sends me some thing to my e-mail address I have to download the txt message first , then after I save it to my desk top, go to the desk top and click open in order to read it, I have windows 10. I don’t have any trouble reading or receiving from the granddaughter who had an i phone.

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