Troubleshoot Outlook Freezing When Attaching Files: Fix & Solutions

Outlook freezes when attaching file can be a major frustration if you are a regular Outlook user. For example, after writing a long email for a few hours, getting back the written content could be a nightmare if Outlook gets stuck while attaching the file to a particular email.

To understand the problem better, we must consider various possible causes. These can include:

  • An outdated version of Outlook
  • Incompatible software
  • A large file size
  • Corrupted attachments
  • Network connectivity issues
  • Problems with the email server

To prevent the issue from occurring again, we should:

  • Make sure our Outlook is up-to-date
  • Check for updates frequently and install them promptly
  • Compress large files or send them in smaller parts
  • Check our internet connection and ensure stable network connectivity

Let’s take action to ensure smooth communication and efficient file sharing through Outlook! We can do this by understanding the causes and implementing the right measures.


Causes: Outlook Freezes when Attaching File

Various factors can cause Outlook to freeze. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Corrupted add-ins: Certain add-ins installed in Outlook can conflict with the software, causing it to freeze. These add-ins may not be compatible with the current version of Outlook or may have bugs that lead to freezing.
  2. Large email attachments: When attaching large files to an Outlook email, the software may freeze due to the heavy processing required to upload and send these attachments. This is particularly common when network connections are slow or unstable.
  3. Overloaded mailbox: An excessively large mailbox with numerous emails, attachments, and folders can overload Outlook’s memory and processing capabilities, resulting in freezing. Regularly archiving or deleting old emails can help prevent this issue.
  4. Outdated software or Operating System: Running an outdated version of Outlook or an incompatible operating system can lead to freezing problems. Keeping the software and operating system up to date with the latest patches and updates is essential.

Additionally, it is worth mentioning that hardware issues, such as insufficient RAM or a failing hard drive, can also cause Outlook to freeze. These hardware-related causes should be considered if the software-based factors have been ruled out.

Warning: Attaching a large file might freeze Outlook, giving you ample time to contemplate your life choices and reconsider sending that 100 MB cat video.

Large File Attachments

Outlook can freeze when sending large file attachments, leading to frustration and decreased productivity. Let’s look at common causes and their impacts.

  • Large attachments consume excessive memory, slowing system performance.
    Solution: Compress files before attaching them or use file-sharing services.
  • Compatibility issues with certain file types can prevent proper email rendering.
    Solution: convert files to universally compatible formats such as PDF.
  • Network congestion during attachment download can delay emails.
    Solution: schedule them during off-peak hours.
  • Large attachments also strain hosting servers, leading to slower delivery and security risks.

Compatibility Issues with Outlook Version

Compatibility issues with various Outlook versions can cause the app to freeze. Let’s take a look at the different versions and their quirks.

Version 2019: Can freeze when used with older add-ins.

Version 2016: Troubles may occur when certain Windows updates are installed.

Version 2013: May freeze due to antivirus software conflicts.

So, if you are a fan of add-ins and additional tools with Outlook, make sure they are compatible.


Insufficient System Resources

Inadequate memory allocation can be a common cause. When Outlook competes with other resource-intensive applications for memory space, it can struggle to work correctly, and this causes freezing. To fix this, upgrade your RAM or close apps that are not necessary.

CPU usage needs to be thought of, too. If your computer is trying to do multiple tasks simultaneously and is overwhelmed, Outlook can freeze as it tries to keep up. To deal with this, you can shut down processes running in the background or adjust your computer’s power settings.

I’m a big fan of faster SSD hard disks. If you frequently face Outlook freeze issues while attaching files on an older HDD, it is time to upgrade to SSD. This will help your Operating System, Outlook, and the attachment file to process more quickly than the older HDD.

Troubleshooting Steps for Outlook Freezing

If you’re experiencing difficulties with Outlook freezing when attaching a file, follow these steps to resolve the issue:

Step 1: Update Outlook to the Latest Version

Updating Outlook to the latest version is a must to sort out freezing issues. It ensures your software has the newest bug fixes and enhancements, raising its stability and performance.

To do it:

  1. Open Outlook. Look in the top left for the “File” tab.
  2. Click on either “Office Account” or “Account” (depending on version).
  3. Choose “Update Options” then tap “Update Now”.

By doing this, you can update Outlook to its latest version – which could fix freezing problems.

Furthermore, updating Outlook provides compatibility with modern OS’s and security patches. It also fixes any issues in previous versions, improving user experience.

To make updating more effective:

  1. Ensure your computer has a solid internet connection.
  2. Keep an eye on the update process to make sure it finishes correctly.
  3. Restart your computer once the update is done to get the changes working.

Doing this ensures a smooth update process. Also, restarting your computer refreshes system resources and clears any temporary files that may be causing trouble.

Step 2: Check the File Size of Attachments

Check attachments to avoid Outlook freezing. Do these steps:

  1. Locate any attached files when opening the email.
  2. Right-click and select “Properties” in the drop-down menu.
  3. Check the file size info in the properties window.
  4. If it is too big, compress or resize it before sending or saving it elsewhere.

It’s essential to track attachment sizes in Outlook. This helps maintain a seamless email experience. Plus, large attachments can overwhelm email servers and cause system slowdowns. Be proactive and manage attachment sizes to prevent future issues.

Step 3: Clear the Outlook Temporary Files

Deleting unwanted temprory files in Windows 10 or 11 can be helpful for solving the relevant issues, here’s how:

  1. Close Outlook. This ensures no files are being used.
  2. Open the “Run” dialog box (Windows key + R). Type “%temp%” and hit enter.
  3. Delete all the files by pressing Ctrl + A. Then press Shift + Delete or right-click and choose “Delete”.

Step 4: Disable Add-Ins

Troubleshoot Outlook freezing by disabling add-ins. Here’s what to do:

  1. Go to the File tab in Outlook.
  2. Click Options and select Add-Ins.
  3. In Manage, choose COM Add-Ins.
  4. Uncheck the boxes next to add-ins you don’t need.
  5. Restart Outlook for changes to take effect.

It’s wise only to keep add-ins you trust and use often. Unneeded or unknown ones can cause conflicts.


Step 5: Repair Outlook Data Files

Fix freezing in Outlook quickly by repairing your data files! Here’s how:

  1. Close Outlook first.
  2. Search for Scanpst.exe on your computer.
  3. Open it and select the Outlook data file.
  4. Hit “Start” to scan the file and then “Repair” any errors found.
  5. Try creating a new Outlook profile if this doesn’t solve the problem.

Many users find success with these steps! I’ve had great results using this method myself.

Additional Tips for Preventing Outlook Freezing

You can take several steps to prevent the Outlook freezing issue in the future. Here are some essential tips to keep your Outlook running smoothly:

  1. Optimize your mailbox: Regularly clean up your mailbox by deleting unnecessary emails and emptying the deleted items folder. This will help reduce the overall size of your mailbox and improve Outlook’s performance.
  2. Limit the use of plugins: While plugins can enhance Outlook’s functionality, they can also slow it down. Disable any unnecessary plugins, especially ones that are known to cause compatibility issues or frequent freezing.
  3. Keep your software updated: Microsoft regularly releases updates and patches for Outlook to address performance issues. Make sure you have the latest version installed and regularly check for updates to ensure optimal performance.


Tackle Outlook is freezing when attaching files with a methodical strategy. First, look for any software updates or bug fixes. Second, delete the Outlook cache and turn off add-ins you don’t need. Also, reduce the file size limit and boost the computer’s performance. Last, make sure your antivirus does not obstruct Outlook.

One quirky point to consider: If the issue remains, repair the Microsoft Office installation. Do this through the Windows Control Panel or by using Outlook’s built-in repair tool.

Pro Tip: Keep a backup of your Outlook data frequently to prevent losing crucial emails and attachments through unexpected problems.

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