Because Windows Live Hotmail uses complicated processes to help protect your safety online, there are a number of ways in which you can receive email attachments, and we'll show you how to save each of them. Before you download an attachment though, keep in mind that this is the surest way to get your computer infected by a virus: so, never open a file attachment from a person you don't know; better yet, don't open attachments from people you know unless you expected them to send one, or have confirmed that they did in fact send it to you (anyone's email address can be hijacked, or "hacked", and used to propagate viruses - this means that just because you recognize a sender doesn't automatically mean that their message is safe!)
Let's first talk about images: email protocols allow for two ways to send pictures - either as a file attachment, "embedded" ("inline") inside the body of the message, or linked to an external website from the email itself. Because a linked graphic file can be used to determine if your email address is active or not, Hotmail protects you by hiding images when it is not sure of the sender's legitimacy: in those cases, you cannot save embedded images until you've clicked "Show content" to see them:
To save an embedded image (one you can see without having to open an attachment), simply right-click on it and choose "Save picture as...", just as you would for a picture shown on a website. Keep in mind that Hotmail will sometimes show you a thumbnail (reduced) view of a high resolution image attached: in such cases, you'll want to download the picture file as attachment to get the "good version" of the image, not the one optimized for fast web viewing.
For true file attachment, you will see a paperclip icon for the message in the email listing (left side of our screenshot), and the opened message will show a listing of all attachments at the top - in our example, a single Word document:
When Hotmail suspects that an message might be malicious, or downright dangerous, it will automatically block the attachments it contains - we recommend that you ignore these attachments in that case, unless you know -for sure- that they are legitimate, and safe. In that scenario, you will first need to click on the "Unblock content" or "Allow sender" to even get a clickable download link.