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Has this happened to you?  You open an email attachment, make some modifications, click save and close the attachment.  Later you want to go back to that saved copy only to realize you don’t know where you saved it on your computer.

When you open an attachment, the program downloads the file to a hidden, temporary location.

On Windows you can type the following in the explorer address bar to reveal the location:

%APPDATA%\..\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook

On Mac you can select Finder, press the shift + command + G key combination and type the following into the resulting window:

~/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/Outlook Temp

Be aware Outlook purges these locations when you close the application!  There is no guarantee that the file can be recovered though ITSOP can attempt to recover given time.

When working with attachments, it is best to first explicitly save the document.  One method is to drag/drop the attachment icon to a permanent location (e.g.,, local desktop/documents, etc.) then double click the icon in the new location.  Alternatively you can double click the attachment from the email window and choose File -> ‘Save as’ to explicitly define where the file will be saved.  This should automatically transition your working copy to the permanently saved version outside the temp directory.

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