How to Solve: Outlook Attachment Error “Operation Failed” in Windows 10

  • Outlook Attachment Error “Operation Failed” occurs when older versions of Outlook are used, Outlook is running in compatibility mode and there are problems with internal Outlook components such as PST files.
  • This error does not allow the user to attach files to emails in Outlook.
  • If you are using an old version of Outlook, you are likely experiencing this problem.
  • If there are no restrictions from your system administrator (if you work in an organization), the problem can be resolved relatively quickly.

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When Outlook is being used in compatibility mode, older versions of Outlook are used, and Outlook has problems with internal Outlook components like PST files, the Attachment Error “Operation Failed” occurs. It displays an “Operation Failed” message in Outlook instead of allowing the user to attach files to emails.

The Attempted Operation Failed An Object Cannot Be Found

It is not possible to explain exactly why Outlook errors occur, but we can state that the PST file is responsible for them. There might be a corruption or an error with the Outlook PST file. Another possible reason could be that Outlook is misconfigured. Thus, the user needs to assume all of these reasons one by one and try the fixes provided below to see which actually works.

You might receive this error message due to a variety of causes, from compatibility issues to internal software issues. In most cases, this error can be corrected relatively easily if you don’t have restrictions from your system administrator.

What causes an “Operation Failed” attachment error in Outlook?

Outlook The Operation Failed Due To An Installation Problem

The “cannot expand the folder” error can also be triggered by conflict between different add-ins. If this has happened to you, then please read the rest of this article to learn how you can fix the problem. 

Outlook Rules And Alerts The Attempted Operation Failed

The issue also causes MS Outlook to throw the error “‘the operation failed because of a registry or installation problem Outlook 2016 rules,’ whenever you choose Manage Rules & Alerts instead of opening the Rules & Alerts wizard. You can try again by restarting the Outlook application. If the problem persists, you should reinstall frequently.

Outlook in compatibility mode: In Outlook compatibility mode, some components may not work correctly. This may also be the cause.

Outlook The Operation Failed The Messaging Interfaces

If the same Outlook profile contains both a Google Apps Sync for Outlook account and an Exchange Server account, an error is returned (The operation failed. The messaging interfaces have returned an unknown error).

The old version of Outlook: If you are using an old version of Microsoft Outlook, you are likely experiencing this problem. Make sure that the software is always up to date.

Creating a new, fresh Outlook profile will not always resolve Outlook Error 0x8004210A.

Improper installation of Office or Outlook: If the installation of Office or Outlook is incomplete, you will not be able to attach files successfully.

The Operation Failed Because Of A Registry Or Installation Problem

An error occurred during the operation. It may have been caused by a registry or installation problem. Try restarting Outlook and reinstalling it if the problem persists.

The Operation Failed Outlook Calendar

“room alias” calendar folder cannot be opened.

Conflicting applications: Conflicting applications such as antivirus/firewalls on your system can also cause many Outlook-related problems.

Conflicting Outlook add-ons or duplicate rules: If there are conflicting Outlook add-ons or improperly set rules, an error message will be displayed in the attachment.

Missing or corrupted .pst file: If the PST file is corrupt, you will also see an Outlook Operation failed of messaging interfaces error message.

How to repair the “Operation Failed Attachment” error in Outlook?

Updated: February 2024

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The user profile should be created

  1. Click the “Open” field and type “Control Panel” into the “Windows + R” keyboard combination.
  2. The Control Panel contains a Mail tab.
  3. You will be able to see your profiles once you click View Profiles in Mail Setup.
  4. You will be prompted to add.
  5. Click OK when you have entered the profile name.
  6. The Add Account window will ask for the information about your email account.
  7. To continue, click Next.

Make sure that Outlook is in compatibility mode

  1. Using File Explorer or the right-click menu, select Properties for the Outlook icon.
  2. You can select the compatibility tab by clicking it.
  3. If this program is running in compatibility mode, uncheck it.
  4. Then click Apply.
  5. The window will close once you click OK.

Starting Windows correctly

  1. You can do this by pressing Windows + R.
  2. The system configuration tool can be opened by typing “MSConfig” and clicking OK.
  3. You can load system services and use the original boot configuration by clicking the Selective startup radio button.
  4. Check the box for Load boot items and uncheck it.
  5. Hiding all Microsoft services can be done on the Services tab.
  6. To disable all third-party services, click Disable All.
  7. After clicking OK, click Apply.
  8. You will be prompted to restart the computer when the dialog box opens.

RECOMMENATION: Click here for help with Windows errors.

Frequently Asked Questions

In general, a corrupted PST file is considered the root cause of most common Outlook error messages. Although Microsoft provides the Inbox Repair tool to repair a PST file, it may not work if the damage is severe.

Another known cause of this problem is a corrupted email profile. Therefore, you should try to create a new profile to fix the error. First, close Outlook and open the "Control Panel". After creating a new profile, you can try sending emails again.

  1. Check if Outlook is in compatibility mode.
  2. Update your outlook.
  3. Create a new user profile.
  4. Reboot Windows.
  5. Restore the Outlook data file with Scanpst.exe.

The operation failed. If a user with Full Access and Send As permissions for a mailbox edits a saved email and then tries to save it, they receive the following error message: Item cannot be saved in this folder. The folder has been deleted or moved, or you do not have permission.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.