Searching emails for attachments can be time consuming and tedious. Fortunately, Microsoft has a “File” view in Outlook Online that makes it easy to find any document you are looking for. This is how it works.
Microsoft Outlook has traditionally been an amalgam of email, calendar, people and tasks, but that leaves out an important part: data. Using the Outlook desktop client gives you powerful search options to close that gap. When it comes to attachments, there is a special “Has Attachments”
Outlook Online does not have a ribbon, but you can still search for attachments by clicking the arrow in the “Search” box and selecting the “Attachments” check box.
Microsoft has gone a step further in Outlook Online and introduced a dedicated file view for Microsoft 365 / Office 365 subscribers and Outlook Live accounts.
You can access this view by clicking the “Files” icon in the lower left corner of Outlook. By default, it is between the “People” and “Tasks” icons.
If you can’t see it, but you have a three-dot icon instead, click the three-dot icon and then click the “Files” option in the menu that appears.
The default view shows you all files, with an icon showing you the file type, subject, sender, date of receipt or sending, and folder where the email with attachment is stored.
In a somewhat strange way, image files are not displayed in this default view. To display it, you can either click “Files x” to display all files including images or click on the “Photos” option in the sidebar to view them nothing but Pictures.
By default, the files are displayed in a list view, but you can click “View” and switch to “Tiles view” to view the files as thumbnails instead.
This is where the “Photos” option comes in handy, as it is much easier to find the image you are looking for.
To open an attachment, double-click it in the Attachments list and a window will open with a preview of the attachment and the email it is attached to.
From here you can download the file and perform various other actions depending on the file type and perform the standard actions that you could normally do with the email, such as Reply, Forward, and so on.
If you just want to find an attachment and download or print it, you can skip this step and download or print it directly from the list. Click the three-dot menu icon next to the file name and choose the appropriate action from the menu.
You can also select the item by clicking the circle to the left of it and the same options will appear on the toolbar.
This is ideal for downloading multiple files at once, as this method allows you to select as many files as you want.
When you are done with your files and want to return to your emails, click the “Mail” icon at the bottom left of Outlook.
The file view is a good addition to Microsoft Outlook Online. It’s easy to use, fast, and you can manage your attachments in a user-friendly way that’s definitely more sophisticated than just selecting search results.