Open Winmail.dat - View email attachment on PC, mobile & online

Open Winmail.dat - View email attachment on PC, mobile & online

If you're wondering how to open a file called Winmail.dat, then you got an email from an Outlook user. It is not a virus, but a specially formatted email attachment. xiaomist tells you how to open it.

What is Winmail.dat?

If you receive an email that has an attachment called Winmail.dat, it's because the sender is using the Outlook program and you're receiving email using a program like Mozilla Thunderbird.

Two standard formats are usually used for e-mails in order to display them either in plain text or formatted:

Plain text format HTML

Any e-mail program can handle these formats without difficulty. But Microsoft has added another format to its Outlook package: Rich Text . This is commonly used to exchange formatted data between word processing software such as Word and Write.

Since it is actually unnecessary for formatted e-mails, the format is usually not supported by other programs, which means that as soon as someone formats and sends their e-mail in rich text in Outlook, all other programs get the e-mail in an attached file and now have to figure out how to read the contents.

Our video explains how you can open a Winmail.dat on the PC:

Open Winmail.dat

...on Windows

On the PC you can open the Winmail.dat files with the program Winmail Opener. The tool is free and very easy to use. It is best to link it to the DAT format during installation and as soon as the next attachment with this name arrives, double-click on it to open it with it.

...with an app

If you receive an Outlook e-mail in rich text format with your smartphone, you also need a help app there to open the attachment.

There are several such apps for Android phones and the "Winmail.dat, MSG & MHT Viewer" in particular is recommended because it can handle other email formats.

For iOS there is the free app "Winmaildat Opener" with which you can open and read Winmail.dat attachments.


If you rarely have to open a Winmail.dat, an online service is sufficient for this purpose. However, we do not recommend this option for sensitive email content, as nobody can say exactly who is reading the uploaded files.

On sites like you can upload your attachments and then download the embedded data.


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