Attached files are the bane of my existence, and they probably cause you a lot of problems, too. Microsoft’s New Outlook removes your option to drag an attachment to your desktop or a folder and forces you to choose a more specific action. It seems like a pain in the butt, but it could save your butt.
Hackers have long used attachments and links to bogus or dangerous websites to get into your system and compromise your data. Microsoft has added extra steps that seem really stupid at first. But they slow you down and force you to give your actions more forethought.
When you right-click on an attachment, you now see a dropdown menu of five actions you can take:
- Edit in Browser
- Edit in Word desktop app
- Save to OneDrive
Preview keeps the attachment in your inbox, but once you see what it is, you can choose any of the options in the dropdown menu directly from the preview.
One of those, Edit in Browser, lets you immediately work on a file as part of a collaborative team, a feature that’s becoming more common in offices because it’s much more efficient than editing a file, saving it with a version designation and resending it to everyone as another email attachment. How many times have you seen four collaborators open, edit, and resend the same version at different times? One of the team members invariably is left to sort through all the copies of the file and put all the changes into a new master document. And equally invariably, an edit is missed, misplaced, or misspelled.
Similarly, saving an attachment in OneDrive allows collaborators to edit it or view the changes without having to go through the process of resending and opening new attachments. With both OneDrive and a file edited in a browser, you only need to send a link. Anyone who opens the file by clicking the link will see the latest version. This is the same process used for Google Docs.
But if it’s better for you, the New Outlook allows you to download the file as you did before and save it to a folder – either on your computer or on your computer and OneDrive – if you have it.
New Outlook’s handling of attachments doesn’t mean it’s safe to open and edit a file no matter how you do it, especially when getting attachments or links to attachments from people you don’t know. As we’ve preached ad nauseam for years, you should closely examine a sender’s email address and other identifying factors. If something doesn’t look right, call the sender at a phone number you know is legitimate or look up a phone number by going to a new browser window and accessing a website independent of the email.
We can guide you through all the ins and outs of handling attachments through the New Outlook based on your personal or organizational needs. Call us – 973—433-6676 – or email us for an appointment.