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Why can I no longer attach files in OWA?

screenshot showing a mouse cursor hovering over the attach file icon in OWA

When you click the paperclip icon to add an attachment in Outlook Web App (OWA), your browser should launch a file window so you can choose a file to add. If nothing happens when you click the attachment icon, this could be because:

  • You are using Google Chrome version 37 or later
    In version 37 of their Chrome web browser, Google introduced a change which effectively disabled OWA's attachments button. 

    You can work around the problem by using OWA light (click on More login options and then the Use OWA Light option before logging in) which uses a different system for attachments which works on Chrome 37+ as well as browsers without the Silverlight plugin.

    On Windows PCs, you can also try upgrading Silverlight (see below) as this sometimes re-enables the attachment button.

    Alternatively, you could use OWA with an alternative web browser, such as Firefox.

  • There is a problem with a browser plugin ("Silverlight")
    Other web browsers use a plugin called Silverlight to handle attachments but if the plugin malfunctions for any reason, attachments will cease to work.

    In this case, the quickest solution is usually to install or upgrade Silverlight. The browser plugin is available for free from the Microsoft website and can be upgraded without administrator permissions:

See also FAQ 2719 which discusses Chrome's handling of Java and Silverlight plugins and provides alternative solutions.

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This is question number 2697, which appears in the following categories:

Created by David Guest on 3 December 2014 and last updated by Richard Byrom-Colburn on 26 October 2016