Searching through emails for attachments can be time-consuming and annoying. Thankfully, Microsoft has a â€œFileâ€� view in Outlook Online that makes it easy to find any document youâ€™re looking for. Hereâ€™s how it works.
Microsoft Outlook has traditionally been an amalgam of email, calendar, people, and tasks, but that leaves out a key component: data. If you use the Outlook desktop client, then you haveÂ powerful search options to plug that gap. When it comes to attachments, thereâ€™s a dedicated â€œHas Attachmentsâ€� option in the â€œSearchâ€� tab specifically for files that youâ€™ve sent or received.
Outlook Online doesnâ€™t have the ribbon, but you can still search for attachments by clicking the arrow in the â€œSearchâ€� box and switching on the â€œAttachmentsâ€� checkbox.
Microsoft has gone one 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 â€œFilesâ€� icon in the bottom-left corner of Outlook. By default, it will be between the â€œPeopleâ€� and â€œTo-Doâ€� icons.
If you canâ€™t see it, but you have a three-dot icon instead, click the three-dot icon and then the â€œFilesâ€� option from the menu that pops up.
The default view will show you all files, with an icon showing you the file type, the subject, the sender, the date received or sent, and the folder in which the email with the attachment is kept.
In a slightly odd twist, image files are not displayed in this default view. To show those, you can either click â€œFiles xâ€� to show all files including imagesÂ or click the â€œPhotosâ€� option in the sidebar to show only images.
By default, the files are shown in a list view, but you can click â€œViewâ€� and change to â€œTiles Viewâ€� to show the files as thumbnails instead.
This is where the â€œPhotosâ€� option comes into its own, as itâ€™s much easier to find the image youâ€™re looking for.
To open an attachment, double-click it in the Attachments list, and it will open a panel previewing the attachment and the mail that it was attached to.
From here you can download the file and perform various other actions depending on what file type it is, as well as perform the standard actions you would normally be able to do with the email, such as Reply, Forward, and so on.
If you just need to find an attachment and download or print it, you can skip this step and download or print it straight from the list. Click the three-dot menu icon next to the file name and choose the appropriate action from the menu.
Alternatively, select the item by clicking the circle to the left of it and the same options appear on the toolbar.
This is ideal for downloading multiple files at once, as you can select as many files as you like using this method.
When youâ€™re done with your files and you want to return to your emails, click on the â€œMailâ€� icon in the bottom left of Outlook.
The File view is a good addition to Microsoft Outlook Online. Itâ€™s easy to use, quick, and lets you manage your attachments in a user-friendly way that is definitely more refined than just picking through search results.