My coworkers have been complaining about receiving email from a certain company without formatting. I see the formatting just fine. Digging in, the differences appear to be that I receive email that contains both plain text and HTML formatting, and the X-MS-TNEF-CORRELATOR header exists but is blank, whereas my coworkers have a value for X-MS-TNEF-CORRELATOR, and a blob of binary stuff at the end which I assume is a winmail.dat or equivalent.

The sender's IT department says they are not responsible for the lack of formatting, but to my knowledge there is no way for these emails to be changed in this way after they've left the sender's mail servers -- in other words, that there's no way for this to be due to my company's mail server (which happens to be Google). Is this correct?

If so, then what can I ask the sender's IT department to look for on what I assume is their Exchange server, which would send email to me in HTML and email to coworkers in MS-TNEF/etc.?

  • Any Exchange experts out there think this is possible? Alternately, how do I prove it's not the case? – Michael H. Jun 30 '15 at 19:10

Exchange will use TNEF if the message is sent via Rich Text Format (not the same as RTF!). The senders should opt to use HTML or Plain Text when sending you messages, or the admin can generally set this at the domain level e.g in Exchange 2010, Exchange Management Console>Organisation Config>Remote Domains, add your domain and set 'Exchange Rich Text' to never.

  • Useful to know, thanks, although I've never heard of a "Rich Text Format" that is different than "RTF"! But question - why would my coworker in Vietnam receive TNEF when I receive HTML from the very same sender on the same message? – Michael H. Jun 23 '15 at 18:48

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