How to Open Email Attachments with Incompatible File Extensions

If you are checking your email on a computer with older software versions, or one that doesn't have certain upgrades, you may have difficulty opening email attachments with certain file extensions. Formats such as .docx, .png, proprietary music file formats, and spreadsheet formats are not always compatible on older machines. This guide will show you how to view these attachments with Gmail and free programs.

Brute force method: Sometimes you can open email attachments with problematic file extensions using brute force. Move the file to your desktop and right click on it. Select "Rename." Then, rename the file and include a compatible extension. For example, you can rename meeting.docx to meeting.doc. For this to work, you may have to put quotes around the name. This method doesn't always work, but it's worth a shot!

How to open spreadsheets and the notorious .docx format: If you do not already have a Gmail account, open one at the Google Mail sign in page. The email account is free. Next, forward the email and its attachements to your Gmail account. Open the email, and click the option to view attachments in html. This opens the attachments as a webpage, rather than a separate file. There is no need to install a new program, or save the files on your computer. You can just view the document, spreadsheet, or image in your internet browser.

Opening strange image file formats: GIMP is a free image editing progam similar to Photoshop. In fact, many professional graphic designers use GIMP. It has the advantage of handling a diverse selection of image file formats. Simply move the image file to your desktop, then right click and choose "open" with GIMP.

How to Handle Incompatible Music Files You can open almost any music file sent as an email attachment using Wavepad. Wavepad is a sound edition program that comes with a music file converter. Download the trial version for free, and you can convert music files to mp3 wth ease.

Another way to handle incompatible email attachment is to simply ask the sender to resend the file in a different format!

© Had2Know 2010

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