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Tip: Save and remove email attachments in Apple Mail and Gmail

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E-mail attachments can be archived quite easily in Apple Mail, but not in conjunction with Gmail. A tool can help here.

Gmail keeps sending me messages that my free account is running out of storage space. In fact, my mailbox contains numerous emails with large attachments, but I don’t want to delete the emails. Is there a way to detach the attachments but keep the emails?


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Mac & i replies: On the Mac, you can select one or more emails in Apple Mail and save their attachments to a folder using File > Save Attachments. Then remove the attachments from the selected messages using the “E-mail > Remove attachments” menu command.

Warning: Apple Mail does this without a security prompt and it cannot be undone without a backup. The cleaned e-mails are delimited by the note “[Der Anhang XYZ wurde manuell entfernt]” added.

Unfortunately, the procedure does not work for Gmail accounts. This is where the attachments stay in place. In combination with Gmail, it is therefore advisable to use the Unattach tool, which costs just under 10 euros. The application filters the mailbox content for emails with attachments over a certain size, can remove them from the emails and save them on the Mac. It adds the labels “Unattach – Downloaded” or “Unattach – Removed” to processed messages.

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