How to recover a modified email attachment file in Microsoft Outlook


You may have encountered a situation when you modify a email attachment file which comes as an email attachment from someone, after making all the modifications to the file you have closed that file editor program.

But after some time, you are not able to locate the modified file because you have opened it directly from email message on Outlook.

Real Time Example:

This problem stated above is quite unusual but has happened with with one of my office colleague when I have mailed some SQL Alter Scripts in a file called alter.txt, and she modified and saved it but does not remember where she has saved the file

Let’s see how can we find the modified and saved file.


Follow the procedure below to locate the modified file:

1. Open Start >> Run and type “%Temp%” (without quotes).

2. Click on LOCALS~1 in the left side blue bar or press “Up” button in the explorer toolbar.

3. Open the folder Temporary Internet Files, you will see a folder name starting with OLK ( this is the folder where that modified file is located).

4. Double click to open this folder (OLK44) and you will find your modified file.

Tip: It is always recommended to first save the attached file from the email to somewhere on known path before modifying it.


  1. I tried over 25 sites to sort out this problem, and finally this one was able to solve it. Thanks!

  2. I heard about not bad application-outlook email recovery, program recover Outlook files and data from corrupted pst files of all Microsoft Outlook mail clients, save the recovered information as files with the *.pst extension, recover Outlook email and data from corrupted *.pst files protected with a password,recover Outlook email and data from corrupted pst files larger than 2GB with the maximum size for *.pst files of 32TB, read *.ost and *.pst files with strong encryption, recover Outlook contacts,runs under all Windows operating systems starting from Windows 98.

  3. I went there but there’s no such folder exist.
    I checked the folder option, it allows to show all system folders and hidden folders.

    any idea why system would do that?


  4. No such folder … onthing I have in TEmprary Internet Fiels is folder called “Content.IE5”

  5. Seems that Explorer do not show subfolders in ‘Temporary Internet Files’ (I dont’t why), but subfolders are there!

    – Open Command Prompt, go to the ‘Temporary Internet Files’ folder, then type ‘dir OTK*.*’ (no quotes!): you will have the list of every subfolder starting with OTK. You can also try ‘dir *.’ to have a list of all subfolders, plus all files without extension.

    – copy the subfolder name (for me was ‘OTK4’) in Explorer Bar and Enter. You will access the subfolder and finde all your files.

    I hope have been useful

  6. Thank you so much for posting this. I was in such a panic. I knew I had saved the file, but after searching everywhere and not finding it, I was resigned to the fact that I had lost a day’s work. Then I found this post, I located the file in the Temp directory [the name was a bit different from the one you gave, but I could tell by the dates where to find mine] and what a relief it was to see my file!!!!!!
    Thank you again!!

  7. Thank you sooooo much for posting this solution! This save me about 8 hours worth of lost work. I even contacted Microsoft help desk and they could not help me, but I was able to track down my lost files with these steps in about 20 minutes.

    Again, thank you for the great guidance!

  8. You are the best. I had lost the hope about the data which I missed to save locally. I was about to do the rework but tried google and your link came up to the rescue. You have saved about 6 hrs of my efforts. Great tip.

  9. Thanks a lot for the article.

    Microsoft office 2007 users Please find the same in the following location.

    \…LOCALS~1\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\4W1HDV5U

  10. All I see in my LOCALS~1 is an ‘Apps’ folder and a ‘Temp’ folder (no Temporary Internet Files). Neither of these folder have the OKL folder. Please help!

  11. Thank you Shankar Reddy – your fix worked for me!!! I am so grateful.

  12. To see all folders, in Windows XP, go to My Computer ->Tools -> Folder Options. Select View tab. Then, scroll to see the items listed below:
    1. Put a checkmark in the checkbox labeled “Display the contents of system folders”.
    2. Under “Hidden files and folders”, turn on the radio button labeled “Show hidden files and folders”.
    3. Click the checkmark to remove it from the checkbox titled “Hide file extensions for known file types”.
    4. Click the checkmark to remove it from the checkbox titled “Hide protected operating system files”.
    5. Press the “Apply” button
    6. Press the “OK” button

  13. Your info really really helps! Btw, after you have done the following 1. Open Start >> Run and type “%Temp%” (without quotes), see on the left side (for Vista), click on RECENTLY CHANGED. This will quickly narrow down to the file which presumably you may have just deleted. THANKS AGAIN, GUY!

  14. Real nice! Any idea how I can navigate to this path without doing the %Temp% thing?
    I tried getting to this folder from My Computer\Documents and Settings, but the Temporary Internet Files folder has lots of Internet content, and not the neat 4-5 folders I could see otherwise.

  15. Thank you sooo much for this. I lost my essay due today after working all night. No one else but you was able to deliver this solution, I am so grateful.

  16. Thanks a million for posting the article. I thought I lost all my work but with the help of the steps mentioned I saved hours of redoing work.


  17. i tried the options which u have given. But i am using Vista and my mail is windows mail. for me where to find. Kindly help me. Thanks. – Guna

  18. Superb. I lost my file through Outlook Web Access and tried the above steps, though I could not find through any of the folders listed above. I simply gave a search through DOS command prompt – Run – CMD – Dir /s “file name*.*” and it searched for the entire HDD and listed my file in some weird sub folders. Thanks to all of you on this link cause you guys pushed me to retrieve my file. To be honest I am grateful even to GOD I have a presentation tomorrow.

  19. The files are there. Using XP with Office 2007, i found the files in:

    C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook

    Even though you show hidden files and folders, these folders are still hidden (on XP for some reason) so you may need to type the path into explorer.

    This may vary depending on version of office and Windows OS.

  20. Giovanni and Shankar,
    I combined the responses from you both and it worked…cannot thank you enough!!!!

  21. Just type the ff. and your on! (Works in Windows 7):

    C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook


  22. So i’ve found the Temp file and App file in Locals~1 but this OLKK file is nowhere to be seen. There are a whole bunch of other files with long coded names. Please help! I edited the file yesterday and i’m using XP.

  23. Thanks to Milind! This worked perfectly to help me recover my document! Used the DOS prompt to search the hard drive. Manaully typed the directory into Explorer, and the file was there!

  24. Thanks so much for psoting this…espeically the comments section posted ideas to dig further using DOS for those whould could not see files from win-explorer.

  25. I’m using Vista, and I can’t find a “LOCALS~1” folder. I have Users>(Name)>AppData>Local.
    Is it under “Local”? I can’t find “Temporary Internet Files” anywhere. Please help!! I worked or hours yesterday on a word document just like the original situation described above and now it’s all gone!

  26. Fantastic tip. I hate how Windows hides everything important (even from file recovery software!). For those who can’t see the folders listed above, try typing them in the address bar even though you can’t see them. For example type “Temporary Internet Files” after the path “..\LOCALS~1\”. Good luck to all of you and thanks a ton for this information ROHIT!

  27. You guys are so smart! All of your suggestions really do safe my life! ^_^

    Thanks a lot!

  28. Read above all comments and try it out in my PC but Still i could not able to recovered the file ….please anyone help me…

    I am using Windows XP & Microsoft 2007

  29. i open a excell file from my gmail account ,and edited the excell file , but i forget for save the excell file .how can i recover my updated excell file

  30. I tried the above but the temporary internet files folder says access denied.. please help!

  31. I was workin on a file open from microsoft outlook and saved it. After closing the file, i am not able to find the file. I tried in Local~1/temporary internet files, there is no such folder content.outlook.

    Please suggest where can I get that file.. its required on urgent basis.

    Thanks in Advance

  32. Thanks a ton for this Post…Finally I was able to Find My File….

  33. The Content.Outlook file was not showing in the windows explorer even after Setting Show all Hidden Folders. Used Command Prompt and it shows the Content.Outlook folder.


  34. For Windows 7, tracing back to the following directory was required.

    c:\Users\{}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook

    Within that directory is sub-directory (unique name per machine) where content lives. Per other comments, navigating in Windows Explorer is not straightforward as the Content.Outlook directory didn’t appear for me. Using the command prompt allowed auto-complete as I typed the names I expected or used the dir command. In the end my content was recovered. Thanks to those who started this thread.

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