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Microsoft Office Word: Can’t Create File in Microsoft Outlook


Outlook 2007Why did I get this error? All I was trying to do was save or open or attach a document in Microsoft Outlook…

Outlook has a special folder where it stores attachments as temporary files as you work with them, but which are deleted when they’re closed and no longer needed. Due to the way in which you use attachments, you have probably caused that folder to fill up with temp files, causing the error message “Can’t create file”.

I don’t care how it happened, just fix it for me so I can get back to work!

OK. You need to clear those temp files. Smarter people than I created a free tool to do it for us: http://www.howto-outlook.com/products/outlooktempcleaner.htm
I would set it up to run at Startup (instructions on how to do this is beyond the scope of this tech note) or via part of a Logon script (for all you network admins out there, also not in scope).


So..I like knowing things…how did this happen exactly?

Either Outlook was asked to open up attachments with the same filename more than 100x and it croaked on number 101, OR a large number of temp files got “orphaned” (which means they weren’t automatically deleted by Outlook when you closed the attachment).

  • I open up or forward or use files which have the same filename all the time! How can I prevent this from happening in the future without using the helpful handy free tool?
    Start using unique filenames. Maybe the answer is configuring the software that generates the files to add a TimeStamp to the filename. Maybe you ask your coworker to put the date in the filename (may or may not fix your issue depending mostly on the volume you deal with).
  • I AM using unique filenames I think, (or at the very least I receive only a few files with the same name from time to time)…but I do have this habit of opening attachments from an email, then closing the email and working with the attachment afterwards before closing the attachment.
    For you, an ongoing solution might be as simple as changing your habit so that you leave the email an attachment belongs to open while you’re working with the attachment. Attachments should be closed before closing the email they came in! If you don’t want so many windows going at one time, you can always SAVE the attachment somewhere on your local or network drive and then close the email.


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