Mac user can’t open winmail.dat files in Apple Mail

From today’s mail bag:

I am getting win.dat files from a client and cannot open them. Well, they open, but to nothing but numbers. Is there a way I can do this?

Problem Description
Apple Mail users are likely to encounter winmail.dat files when corresponding with business associates or friends who use Microsoft Outlook in a corporate, Windows environment. When Outlook for Windows users send messages that contain an attachment or calendar appointment, the supplemental items appear in the recipient’s Mail program as winmail.dat files.

What to Do

First, Mac users can inform their Windows counterparts about a support page that Microsoft has published about the subject:

How to Prevent the Winmail.dat File from Being Sent to Internet Users

Article ID: 138053 – Last Review: July 2, 2010 – Revision: 3.0

However, a more effective and direct way to deal with the mail attachment problem is to download and install a utility developed by Creative In Austria called Letter Opener. Letter Opener converts winmail.dat into readable files and is available in three versions: Letter Opener Pro, Letter Opener Lite, and Letter Opener Mobile.

Letter Opener Mobile is a free program available from the iTunes App Store that is compatible with both the iPhone and iPad.

Letter Opener Lite ($6.99) requires Snow Leopard and is not available for purchase in the U.S.

Letter Opener Pro is available in single ($29.99) or multi-license format. A fully-functional trial version good for 15 days can be downloaded from the vendor’s web site.

There is another Mac utility called TNF’s Enough that is billed as a winmail.dat converter. However, I found that TNF’s Enough didn’t recognize any of the winmail.dat files that I included in my tests.



Filed under Apple Software, Mail Bag, Third Party Software, Troubleshooting

2 responses to “Mac user can’t open winmail.dat files in Apple Mail

  1. Bob

    Thanks, Apple should inform potential buyers that their computer isn’t compatible with this very common file type used in the business world. it is a royal pain!

  2. Jimmy

    Thanks for sharing! And Enolsoft winmail viewer is nice too!

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