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Outlook saves all attachments to OLK Temp Folder. Why?

Steve Krause

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Question from Reader - Via Outlook Form


I read your article "Find the Microsoft Outlook temporary OLK folder" I have found that folder and deleted the over 2000 files that were stored there. However I discovered that on my computer Outlook saves every attachment that I open and never deletes any of them. Have you ever heard of this problem?


I am aware that if Outlook crashes or one closes the message before closing the attachment it will be saved. However in my case no matter what I do, every attachment that I open is automatically saved and is never deleted.






Hi Randy,


Yes this is typical for Outlook. I assume however that your only talking about your attachments getting saved to the OLK (outlook temp folder) for attachments your opening from Outlook correct?


If you think about it, when Outlook delivers the email, it's just a blog of data in your email. If you double click and open the attachment, the computer needs to first save it somewhere so you can open it and TADAA! You now have another attachment sitting in your OLK folder.


Personally, what I did was write a batch script to just delete everything in the OLK folder each time I turn off my computer. You can configure that in a Windows Logoff script or computer shutdown script. OR, just write a batch file and Windows Scheduled Tasks to delete the folder every 30 or 60 minutes. That should do the trick as well.


Hope that helps!

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Guest Randy R

Thank you Mr. Groove! And yes I am only talking about the attachments that I open being saved to the OLK folder. Before deletion, there was nearly 600MB in this folder. I wonder how many other unsuspecting Outlook users are having their hard drive gobbled up by this issue.

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And for me it's not even a space issue as much as a SECURITY issue. Just imagine how many of those 600MB's were private Randy? I know for me, I just took a look at my Outlook Temp folder and found over 500 files!!!! And that's on my home machine!


Make me wonder what I left on the PC I gave to my father in-law :) I hope he never discovers the OLK folder of my old profile!!!!!!!






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Probably one of the BEST pieces of advice I've heard for a long time :)


One should ALWAYS do a drive wipe before selling / donating their personal computer. Just to much private data on most computers not to. You never know who might end up with your data (or get infected by malware and have your data stolen unknowingly).....


@Randy - Glad to hear your all fixed up! Please keep us in the loop here in the Forum and feel free to spin up another Topic if you need help with something else!



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Don't get me wrong. I like Microsoft product but it just drives me crazy when they hide files places and don't tell you about them! They need to have a built-in Microsoft feature that let's you delete all private data. Just like how they do it in Internet Explorer (Clear history and cookies).


Should have been built into the OS since the beginning!

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