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*Edited* Attachment are getting Sanitized

Active Member
Erin C Member Since: Sep 26, 2019
91 of 165

It is files sent to the clients, not ones I need to download - I am sure they can download, but will have reservations of doing so. My concern is that they are simple word documents, and one in particular has nothing that would trigger a sanitized message - no links, edits, macros, or anything, so I can't figure out why the file would recieve that message

Active Member
Sharon H Member Since: Aug 28, 2015
92 of 165

Hi all,


I searched for relevant threads on this, but most of what I found was older and didn't seem quite what I needed. 


I've been sharing Word doc (and .docx) files for years with clients without any trouble. Then, just last week, when I returned two files to a client (.docx), when they showed up in the message feed, they had the notation "This file was sanitized" underneath them. I opened them back up from the message stream, and they seemed fine, so I didn't worry about it. (I did click the "learn more" link, but there was nothing there that was super helpful or scary.) This particular client has a 10-year-old MacBook and he isn't very tech savvy, so I thought maybe the issue was with the way he was creating his docs. (I'm not super tech savvy either, LOL!) What was confusing, though, was that we'd been passing files back and forth for months without any sanitizing until last week.


Today, I sent a .doc file to a different client, and it too went through with the sanitized notation. It didn't come to me like that, and this was the first time I'd returned it to him. I don't know what to make of it.


Any thoughts? Any help? If so, I'd appreciate the input.


Thanks much,


Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
93 of 165

I just started see this "sanitized" notice in the past week to 10 days, so it must be a new "feature" Upwork has implemented.


Files I sent to or received from clients in the past usually survived the passage without a problem, though there was very occasionally a corruption created in a file that required the same file be sent via regular email.


I have no idea what the purpose or result of this new "sanitization" by Upwork will but, but I'd prefer that if it ain't broke they don't "fix" it.

Ace Contributor
Tatyana M Member Since: Feb 10, 2019
94 of 165

I wanted to mention that I have been having trouble sending Excel files via Upwork chat recently. When the client opens the file, the pages are all jumbled and mirrored. They sent me screen shots and it is very weird indeed, and it makes me look unprofessional. 


Fortunatley I was able to send the files via email with no issues. 


Has anyone else been experiencing this issue?



Community Guru
Louisa J Member Since: Apr 12, 2017
95 of 165

It could be due to the new sanitized file thing. The client can download the original file by hovering right until they see a "download original file" button. Maybe that will help? 

Ace Contributor
Tatyana M Member Since: Feb 10, 2019
96 of 165

Thanks Louisa, perhaps that is the issue. However, the customer did download the files (twice). Upwork should not be making clients jump through any hoops or take any extra steps to get the work they paid for. I hope this is a bug they are actively working on. 

Community Guru
Joan S Member Since: Mar 18, 2019
97 of 165

Teza - Why are my files for clients being sanitized and the edit tracking I have done removed?

Ace Contributor
Christopher H Member Since: Feb 1, 2019
98 of 165

This santized warning helps with the messages between freelancer and client, but the macros are still being stripped from job postings by clients.  Can we have the option to download the original there too.

Active Member
Pedro B Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
99 of 165

I just had the same problem as Christopher H.


A job posting with detailed specs refering to the macros in the Excel file and there was no code in the file. Just the code missing this time, the buttons in the sheet were not converted to images as I've seen before.


There seem to be other problems with recent security implementations as well. I just refreshed my browser at after coming back from lunch and I got a message saying "Access to this page has been denied because we believe you're using automation tools to browse the website". I wasn't, and the adblocker has been disabled for Upwork site since I can remember. Again assuming everything and checking nothing. Sorry to post this here, just to make the point that this attachments problem is not an isolated security issue causing difficulties to freelancers.



Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
100 of 165

re: “Can we have the option to download the original there too.”


I don’t think Upwork wants to be responsible in any way for spreading malware. They have said this many times in many ways.


They would rather change files.


I can see how this can cause major problems for users unaware of the issue.


As I AM aware, I feel like it doesn’t impact me directly... but it makes Upwork less ideal than it would be if it notified people.


I would not hold out for the option to download original files directly. I don’t think that is coming. If it was offered, I am not sure I would ever trust it completely.