How To Open A Winmail.Dat File On Mac

How To Open A Winmail.Dat File On Mac In 2022 – Simple Guide

How To Open A Winmail.Dat File On Mac

Wanna know how to open a winmail.dat file on mac? Read further to know more.

If you’ve ever received an email with a file attachment called “Winmail.dat,” and you don’t know how to open it, don’t worry – you’re not alone! This article will teach you how to open a winmail.dat file on mac.

People use Microsoft Outlook as their email application and send Winmail.dat files. Outlook will put attached files, like Word or PDF files, in this winmail.dat format under certain circumstances.

Many Mac Mail users who send and receive emails with their Windows counterparts using a mail client like Outlook or Microsoft Exchange will discover a Winmail.dat file attached to those emails.

If you try to open a winmail.dat file on Mac OS X, you will usually find there is nothing available to open the attachment, or it often contains gibberish and is not readable. We will explain where the winmail.dat file comes from and what a winmail.dat file is.

What Is A Winmail.Dat File?

How To Open A Winmail.Dat File On Mac

Winmail.dat files are generated by Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook, Mac users typically find them arriving in emails sent from the Windows world and opened in the Mail app, and the winmail.dat files can be one of two things; rich text formatting for an email.

Some Ways To Open Winmail.Dat Files On A Mac

If the winmail.dat file is simply a rich text version of the email that has been received, there is little reason to open it, as it would simply be a stylized version of the email you already received. 

Apple tells you to ignore winmail.dat files completely if they arrive in the Mail app, which is often fair advice, but in some situations, the winmail.dat file is an actual email attachment that has been misidentified, and thus needs to be opened.

Because it can be difficult to know the difference between the two ahead of time, it’s important to know the intention of the email sender, if it’s just a casual message with a small winmail.dat file attached, it can usually be ignored, whereas if the sender is referring to an attached document which has shown up as a winmail.dat file instead of whatever they reference, you’d likely want to try and open it.

There are several ways to open and access winmail.dat files in Mac OS X, we will cover three of them, one using a relabeling trick, another using an application, and the third using a webmail client.

Method 1: Saving The Winmail.Dat File As The Intended File Type

The easiest way to open a winmail.dat file in Mac OS X is to save it and relabel it as the intended file type. If you get an email from an Outlook user in Windows saying “attached is the import Microsoft Word document” then you should know that it is a.doc or.docx and can be treated accordingly. The show file extensions feature of Mac OS X can help you get the best results.

  • Open the email message containing the winmail.dat file in Mail for Mac right-click (or Control+Click) on the winmail.dat file contained in the message and choose “Save Attachment“.
  • In the save dialog box, remove the ‘dat’ extension and replace it with the intended attachment file type (for example, .rtf, .docx, or .pdf), then save the file as usual to a place you can access it in the Finder.
  • Open the saved and renamed attachment file, as usual, it should open without incident with the new file extension

This is a little silly, but file extensions identify what a file is and how it opens in all operating systems, so even if a file is one type, it can be misconstrued as another if the extension is wrong. Even though it is a bit of a workaround, this works to open winmail.dat files almost always on the Mac, assuming it is a file that has been misidentified.

In this example, a winmail.dat file has been wrongly identified as belonging to VLC, but it’s just a Docx file, thus renaming the extension and opening the Docx in Mac OS X allows the once wrongly identified In this case, it was a Docx file that was easy to open, so it opened in TextEdit with the new file extension:

How To Open A Winmail.Dat File On Mac

Method 2: Use Tnef Enough To Extract Winmail.Dat Files In Mac Os X

It is possible to use a free tool called “TNEF’s Enough” if you are a Mac user who frequently encounters Winmail.dat attachment files from Windows users. If you see a lot of winmail.dat files on the Mac and want to get to the bottom of them quickly, this is the best approach.

Once installed, you can use TNEF’s Enough with the “open with” menu, or by dragging and dropping the winmail.dat files into the application. The app will sort out the winmail.dat file for you, which will allow you to save or export yourself from the app.

The winmail.dat file is just a boring rich text formatted email sent from Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange, but as we have mentioned, they can also be misidentified.

Macintosh computers can read and extract files from Microsoft TNEF files. Email is the preferred method of receiving files from Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook users. The TNEF file will be sent to standard e-mail programs in the form of an attachment.

The “winmail.dat” file can contain attachments, contact files (.vcf), or calendar files (.ics) as well as a rich text or HTML version of the email body. TNEF’s Enough can open the “winmail.dat” file and allow you to extract the attachments.

This app works well, so if you find yourself with a regular dose of winmail.dat mysteries to deal with, it’s a worthwhile install. It’s free, and there’s even an iOS version available too for those who encounter the same attachments on the mobile side of things.

Method 3: Forward The Email With Winmail.dat To Gmail

The Gmail web-based email client has no problem handing winmail.dat files, and will almost always accurately interpret the winmail.dat as either a rich text formatted email or as an accurate file attachment.

This is just a matter of opening in a web browser to view and open the email in question, and then forwarding it to your account. The winmail.dat file will either be rendered as a formatted email from the Microsoft Outlook / Exchange side of things or you can open it in a web application. The forward approach works well and is not a fancy solution.

It is possible to request that the sender in the Windows world stop sending their emails in rich text format and instead send them as plain text, but that is not always possible, and not every sender is compliant. It might not be a reasonable solution because of how popular the signatures are.

How To Open A Winmail.Dat File On Mac


You can follow the steps above if you want to learn how to open Winmail.dat in Mac Apple Mail. We have already suggested this technique to multiple users to convert Winmail.dat into Mac Mail OS X, this is a 100% verified third-party solution. 

OneTime Winmail Dat to Mac Mail Converter is an excellent application that preserves all messaging elements during the accomplishment of the task.

For sure, there are more options out there to open Winmail.dat files on Mac. However, in the light of the simplicity, performance, and feedback from users, most users pick Cisdem Document Reader as the ideal program to open and view Winmail.dat files on mac.

We hope this post on “how to open a winmail.dat file on mac” was helpful for you to fix the problem On Mac. We know some of you have already tried some of the tips, but it will surely help you to fix this problem in a few minutes.

Shayne Bryant

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