Outlook saves images only as bitmaps (.bmp)


Q. When I save pictures received in email while using Outlook, they are always automatically saved as Bitmap files. I wish to save them as received, either JPG or Gif. This problem does not exist when I employ Outlook Express. I’m running Windows XP Home with SP2 and all updates are current. I have Microsoft Office 2003 Student & Teachers Edition installed. I have been unable to locate the setting(s) to enable pictures received in email using Outlook to be saved in JPG or GIF or the option to control what file type of they will be saved in.

A. The funny thing about Outlook is that it’s not Outlook causing your problem, it’s Internet Explorer. All of the picture and web display work for Outlook is done by IE, so it’s there we have go.

According to Microsoft Knowledge Base article 810978 there are several things that could cause your problem, but let’s address the most likely cause first: “a damaged program file…is downloaded to the Downloaded Program Files folder on your hard disk.” Here’s how to fix it:

1. Start Internet Explorer (if it is not already started).
2. Empty the contents of the Temporary Internet Files folder. To do so:
a. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
b. Click the General tab.

c. Under Temporary Internet files, click Delete Files.
d. When you are prompted to delete all temporary Internet files, click OK.
3. In the Downloaded Program Files folder on your hard disk, remove the files that are listed as either Unknown or Damaged. To do so:
a. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
b. Click the General tab.
c. Under Temporary Internet files, click Settings.
d. Click View Objects.
The list of program files that are downloaded to the SystemRoot\Downloaded Program Files folder on your hard disk appears in the Downloaded Program Files window.
e. In the Status column, note the files that are listed as either Unknown or Damaged. Remove these files. To do so, right-click the file, and then click Remove.
f. When you are prompted to confirm the removal, click Yes.
g. Close the Downloaded Program Files window, and then click OK two times.

7 Responses

  1. Inge van Dam says:

    I have the same problem, but sometimes it does save the pics as gif or jpg and sometimes it does not. I have done everything that was written down by you and also what was written in the ms knowledgebase, but nothing helps!
    Hope you have another solution? This turns me crazy 😉

  2. jo says:

    I’m having the same problem as inge. I delete cookies and temp. internet files daily. The problem started when I downloaded Real Estate Viewer. I’ve deleted the program (I think I’ve gotten all of it), but the problem remains–intermittent. On a page full of graphics, some will show and save properly, some will show and save only as “Untitled.bmp”.

  3. The Geek says:

    Unfortunately, there is no simple resolution to this issue. Outlook uses Internet Explorer to render HTML messages. If the images are embedded in line, the only option is to save as a .bmp file; attached images are cached, so the original image is available to save.

    There is a workaround if you are inclined to do some serious macro programming. That solution is detailed here: http://www.sparnaaij.net/Howto/saveembeddedpictures.htm

    Here is another dissertation about the issue, if you care to read about it: http://blogs.msdn.com/jeffdav/archive/2003/12/08/53607.aspx

    Merry Christmas!
    The Geek

  4. hauber@hotmail.com says:

    your tip about creating the macro saveembeddedpicture was great. it works like magic. even though the steps described there were not exactly as found in win XP, but it was close enough to work at the end. thanks a lot !!!

  5. Mariano says:

    The Macro way worked perfectly.

    This issue happens when people from MAC’s send imbeded images from “mail”

  6. Bradley says:

    That MACRO is perfect 😉 Thanks heaps……

  7. Toone ELZINK says:

    Dear Mr Geek,

    Thanks for your effort on your page:


    It didn’t work for me. I am trying to find out
    if I can install the good old Outlook Express
    as my default email program.

    Also, on the above page you provide 2 links to
    sites about Macros. These links don’t work.

    Thanks anyway

    Toone Elzink

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