Word could not create the work file. Check the temp environment variable

Encrypting the Microsoft Windows temporary folder causes Microsoft Outlook 2010 to not open Word file attachments because of these “cryptic” errors:

Word could not create the work file. Check the temp environment variable
The file (filename) cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents.
Unspecified error
Location: Part: /word/document.xml, Line:2, Column:0

Word could not create the work file Check the temp environment variable

The file (filename) cannot be opened because there are problems with the contents

Run this command to reproduce the error. It decrypts the temporary folder.

cipher.exe /e %temp%

Run this command to fix the error. It encrypts the temporary folder.

cipher.exe /d %temp%

It’s a shame Microsoft Office 2010 is not compatible with folder encryption because many sensitive documents arrive as email attachments, where are stored in the temporary files folder. Given physical access to the machine, Decrypting the folder makes these documents easy for someone to access—sometimes even after they are deleted (unless the files are securely shredded).

Searching on Google for the same error message “Word could not create the work file. Check the temp environment variable” suggests there are many causes (not related to encryption) that cause the same error.

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