Cannot open MSG-file

I'm trying to open an msg-file I've received but Outlook cannot open it. When I try I get "Unable to read the item".

How can I open it?

It sounds like the message has been stored in the new Unicode format and you are using Outlook 2002/XP or previous. These versions of Outlook do not support the Unicode format but only the ANSI format.

Save in ANSI format

To be able to open it you must ask the sender to send the msg-file again but then save it in ANSI format first before sending it to you.

To change the default msg-format from Unicode to ANSI format, when dragging and dropping an email out of Outlook into an Explorer folder you must change the following option:

  • Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007
    Tools-> Options…-> tab Other-> button Advanced Options…-> disable option: Use Unicode Message Format when saving messages
  • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
    File-> Options-> Mail-> section: Save messages-> disable option: Use Unicode format

When using the File-> Save As method, you must change the “Save as type” drop down list from “Outlook Message Format – Unicode (*.msg)” to “Outlook Message Format (*.msg)”.

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