Equisys technical notes

Technical guidance, explanations and fixes for our products

PRB: Outlook reports "Error Viewing Image"



ID: ZTN1384

This Zetafax technical note applies to:

  • Zetafax Outlook Extensions Version 8 and later
  • Microsoft Office 2000 SR1 and later


Outlook users may receive the following error message when they attempt to open, insert, or save attachments in Outlook:

"Error viewing image"


Note: this technical note applies to Outlook 2000 SR1 with the security update or later versions (including Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2003).

This behavior is due to problems that can occur when the "OutlookSecureTempFolder" contains too many files. Basically the folder has become full of approximately 100+ files of that type.

When users open files of any type as an attachment a temporary copy is created in this folder which should be deleted by Outlook when the email is closed or Outlook is shut down. This does not always happen and over a period of time the folder becomes full of too many files.

This problem is compounded as the folder is hidden from the user who is currently logged on, and therefore is unable to delete files in the folder manually.


WARNING: This resolution requires using the registry editor. Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may require you to reinstall Windows to correct them, so please exercise caution when doing so.

The location for the Outlook secure temp folder is set in the registry and this can be changed to point to another location. To do this work through the following steps:

  1. Run the registry editor (Start|Run then type regedit, then click OK).
  2. Browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\< Version> \Outlook\Security

Where < Version> is the version number for Office (9.0, 10.0 or 11.0).

  1. Locate the sting OutlookSecureTempFolder and double click on it.
  2. The data value will be something similar to:

C:\Documents and Settings\< UserName> \Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLK< xxx> \

Where < UserName> will be the windows logon name of the current user and < xxx> will be a number value.

  1. Edit the path so that it points to the user's temp folder, e.g.

C:\Documents and Settings\< UserName> \Local Settings\Temp\

  1. Exit from Registry Editor, saving the changes you have made. Then Restart the system in order for the changes to take effect.

Outlook should now function without any problems, Administrators should be aware of the following information.

  • Outlook will now use the user's temporary folder to store attachment files when it is working.
  • These files will be created and deleted as messages or attachments are opened and closed.
  • If users have a message open and Outlook is not shut down correctly e.g. if Outlook or the Operating system were to crash, these files will remain in the folder until they are deleted manually. If this was to persistently happen and the temp folder is not cleared then they will receive the same 'Error viewing image' message until it has been cleared.


This has been identified by Equisys as a problem with the software versions given above.

Last updated:  10th November 2005 (CT/EB)
First Published:   3rd Aug 2004 (SV/AK)

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