You opened a file that was attached to an email in Outlook. You then edited this file, saved it and closed it. You then tried to reopen the same file from Recent or from its presumed location, only to find it has vanished into thin air.

Do not despair. Your file exists but you have to do some digging to find it.


This method assumes Windows 7, running Outlook 2010, but you should be able to figure this out for whatever operating system and version you are using. This example is using a missing Microsoft Excel file.

  1. Open Outlook, and open the same attachment.
  2. If you have already closed this out, create a new email then attach whatever available version of the missing file that you can find.
  3. Click on the attachment in your email, and let the file open in Excel.
  4. Click on "File" in the upper left corner, then click on "Info".
  5. The name of the file will be at the top and the location will be under that. Copy the location address, open a new windows explorer window and paste the location into the address bar. Your file will show up in the list - open and save to the correct location.
  6. Thank me!

 missing file after saving email attachment


Note: How to open a new windows explorer window: I usually just open up My Documents and type or paste the location into the address bar. Note that this is a hidden file so you will not be able to find this on your computer unless you know how to display hidden files. But when you paste the exact address in as shown, you will find the file.

If you are using Windows 10, the File > Info directive is replaced with the following:

  • Click the "Office" button
  • Click "Prepare" then "Properties" and the location will display. 

 Thanks for reading this and best wishes on find your important file.


Another way to find your file:
How To Find A Lost Word / Excel / Powerpoint Document, Opened From Email (Hotmail Or Outlook Web Access), That Was Edited And Saved – But Is Now Gone? (Tech Chutzpah)

Helpful Forum: How can I locate an excel file that has been opened modified and then saved from an email attachment?  (


Join Mailing List