Outlook Email Attachment Reminders

Sending emails with attached files is one of the most common tasks in the business world. Every day people send all manner of file attachments to co-workers, clients or potential customers. And most everyone who uses Outlook knows how to attach files to their emails before they send them.

But, in the course of a busy day when you’ve got lots of things to do, it often happens that you compose a message and intend to send an attachment with the message you click the Send button before you’ve attached the file. Then, you get back a response from the recipient telling you that there is no file attached to your message. So, you’ve got to re-send the message with the file actually attached, which is a waste of your time, and doesn’t look too professional to the recipient (especially if this happens more than a few times). OK, admit it, we’ve all been there, done that, but you don’t want to go back and do it again.

How Outlook Email Attachment Reminders Work

In this installment of the Office Guy blog I want to introduce the easiest feature to use in Outlook Email Attachment Reminders. Why is it the easiest feature to use in Outlook 2013? Because you don’t have to do anything to take advantage of it except make the mistake of clicking the Send button before you’ve attached your file(s) to your message.

How does this work? The designers of Outlook 2013 have built in a little intelligence to the system. When you click the Send button Outlook 2013 actually “reads” your message body and message heading and looks for certain terms such as “attached,” “attachment,” “enclosed,” or “sending you” in the context of your message. If there is no file actually attached to the outgoing message the message will not be sent. Instead you will get a pop-up Attachment Reminder that allows you go back to your message and complete the file attachment process.

Let’s look at a few examples of how this feature can be triggered and what the Attachment Reminder looks like.

Outlook Attachment Reminder

Outlook Attachment Reminder

Outlook Attachment Reminder

Outlook Attachment Reminder

These examples are not meant to be comprehensive, but they illustrate what Outlook is looking for – text in either the message heading or body of the message that indicates you actually plan to send an attachment. In all of these cases if you were to click the Send button before you actually attached the file(s), Outlook would not send the message, it would remind you that you may have forgotten something:

Outlook Attachment Reminder

All you’d need to do at this point is to click the button marked “Don’t Send” and you will be returned to the unsent message window, where you can then attach your files as needed, then you can send the message on its way.

Now if you’ve been using Outlook 2013 for a longtime and never noticed this, it’s because you’ve not made the mistake of Sending before attaching files. But, mistakes happen, and it’s nice to know Outlook 2013 is ready to catch your error.

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