We have all hurriedly sent an email, only to remember moments later that we forgot to attach the file we said we had attached to the email.  Forgotten Attachment Detector is a great, free add-in for Microsoft Outlook that can help you avoid this embarrassing scenario.

Forgotten Attachment Detector is a small add-in for Outlook from Office Labs, a small division of the Office team that has created several nice add-ins for Office products.  Whenever you send an email contains terms such as attachment, attached, enclosed, and more but does not actually have a file attached, it will alert you before you send your email.  Then, you can go back and add the attachment you intended to before you actually send the email.

This add-in works on Outlook 2007 and 2010, including both the 32 and 64 bit versions.  In our test, we are using it on Outlook 2010 x64, but have used it in the past on Outlook 2007 too.

Getting Started

Once you’ve downloaded Forgotten Attachment Detector (link below), go ahead and install it.  Make sure you exit Outlook before you install it.  You may uncheck the box if you do not wish to

After it installs, you can open Outlook.  When you first run Outlook after installing Forgotten Attachment Detector, it ask you to verify that you want to install the add-in.  Simply click Install, and it will be ready to use.

Now, when you go to send an email, it will scan your message for keywords.  If it decides you intended to attach a file but do not have one attached, it will display a popup rather than just sending the email.

You can click “Show Snippet” to see exactly what in your email triggered the prompt.  If you wish to return to your email to add the file, click No; otherwise, you can click Yes to send the email as is.


In Outlook 2010, you will see a new button for Forgotten Attachment Detector on the Add-ins tab of your ribbon.  In Outlook 2007, this button is simply added to your toolbar.

This button opens the Forgotten Attachment Detector settings panel.  Here you can add or remove keywords that trigger it to ask if you want to add an attachment.  FAD uses both phrases to identify when you intended to add an attachment, as well as keywords when they appear in context with another word.  You can add or remove entries from either of these.  FAD will also by default remind you whenever you send an email without a subject; you can unselect this box if you do not want this.  Finally, this dialog will show how many times you forgot to attach a file or add a subject to an email.


This add-in has truly been a lifesaver for us many times.  You may not always need it, but when you’re hurriedly sending an email it can be a very appreciated reminder!


Forgotten Attachment Detector

Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay is a veteran app reviewer and technology tip writer. His work has appeared on Zapier's blog, AppStorm, Envato Tuts+, and his own blog, Techinch.
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