Saving Outlook Attachments

Why Use EZDetach

EZDetach is an easy-to-use, flexible and powerful attachment management add-in for Microsoft Outlook. The primary reasons why you might want to use EZDetach are:

  1. Reduce mailbox size.
  2. Save attachments in bulk.
  3. Process attachments automatically.

Reduce mailbox size

Attachments are usually the biggest reason for mailbox size growing too quickly. A huge mailbox can result in several issues:

  1. Running into mailbox size limits set by system administrators.
  2. Having Outlook run slower and be less stable.
  3. Risking corrupting your mail file (PST or OST).

EZDetach has an option to remove attachments from your mailbox while maintaining links between messages and attachments, so you can still open attachments from inside the messages.

Save attachments in bulk

With EZDetach, you can easily save many attachments from across multiple messages in one fell swoop. That is so much faster and easier than opening every message and using “Save As” on each attachment.

For example, imaging a recruiter who receives many attachments every day (most of them very descriptively named “resume.doc”). EZDetach can save them all in one fell swoop and even automatically rename them to include sender name in the file name, for example, “John Smith - resume.doc”.

Process attachments automatically

There are many situations that require automatically processing incoming email attachments. For example, you might receive orders or feeds from vendors or job notifications that need to be processed or imported in a document management or a workflow system. You can use EZDetach AutoSave and Scheduler to automatically handle attachments without having to write any Outlook specific code. See the section below for details.

Read the rest of this User Guide for a full description of all EZDetach features.

How to run EZDetach

There are several ways to use EZDetach to save Outlook email attachments as individual files outside of Outlook. You can run it manually, or you can configure EZDetach to save attachments automatically, without requiring any action on your part.

  • To run EZDetach manually, you invoke it by clicking the Save Attachments button on the Outlook toolbar, ribbon or right-click menu.
  • There are three different ways to save attachments automatically:
    • Whenever a message is moved or copied to a particular Outlook folder (AutoSave).
    • Automatically run EZDetach at pre-defined time (Scheduler).
    • Execute EZDetach from an Outlook rule to automatically save attachments from new messages which match certain criteria (Rules).

Running EZDetach manually

To open EZDetach, click on the EZDetach button, which is located on the Home tab of the Ribbon in Outlook 2010 or on the main Outlook toolbar in older versions of Outlook.

Tip

EZDetach is also available in the right-click menu in the main Outlook window.

You will see the Save Attachments window:

_images/EZDetach-window-small.png
  1. Specify whether you would like to save attachments from the selected messages, or from all messages in the current folder in the Process Attachments in area. To save attachments from multiple messages, highlight them before clicking on EZDetach.
  2. Click Browse to specify the destination folder.
  3. (Optionally) Click More >> to specify additional options.
  4. Click Save Now.

Next time you invoke EZDetach, it remembers the options you used previously. So if you are saving with the same settings, you can simply click Save Now.

Automatically saving attachments using AutoSave

AutoSave (new in EZDetach v6) allows you to map Outlook folders to file system folders. Such that whenever a message is moved or copied to a particular Outlook folder, its attachments are automatically saved to the corresponding file system folder.

If you have folders for your projects or clients in both Outlook and file system (local hard drive or a shared drive on a file server), you can easily keep their attachments in sync.

To configure an AutoSave folder:

  1. Open the Mapped Folders window. (Advanced Options -> General Tab -> Manage destination folder preferences -> Manage folder mapping).

  2. Click Add. You will see the Folder Mapping window.

    Folder Mapping Window

  3. Select the Outlook folder you would like to map.

  4. Specify the corresponding destination folder.

  5. Check Automatically save new attachments from this folder (AutoSave).

  6. Click OK.

Now whenever a new message lands in that folder, its attachments will be saved in the folder you specified.

Note

AutoSave only works when Outlook is running. If a new message arrives directly into that folder when Outlook is closed, AutoSave will not pick it up. To deal with cases like that, also configure a scheduler for the same folder whenever you use AutoSave.

Tip

AutoSave is a perfect feature to use in combination with our SimplyFile product. SimplyFile is a much more efficient alternative to filing email messages into Outlook folder using drag and drop. You can have AutoSave automatically save attachments from a message, whenever you file it using SimplyFile.

Automatically saving attachments using the Scheduler

EZDetach supports automatically saving attachments at pre-defined time using the scheduler.

To configure the scheduler:

  1. Open the Scheduler tab of the Advanced Options window. (Advanced Options -> Scheduler Tab).

    EZDetach scheduler window

  2. Follow the directions on this tab to specify:

    1. What options you would like the scheduler to use.
    2. Which folders you would like the scheduler to process and the location where you would like the attachments saved.
    3. When you would like to have the scheduler run.

Warning

In most cases when using the scheduler, you want to either remove attachments and replace them with links or enable “Do not process messages which have been processed before”, located on the History Tab of the Advanced Options window. Otherwise, a new copy of every attachments will be saved every time the scheduler runs.

Automatically saving new attachments using Rules

EZDetach implements an Outlook custom rule action. This means that EZDetach can be called from an Outlook rule. You can create rules to automatically save attachments from new messages which match a set of criteria you specify.

To create a rule with EZDetach:

  1. Create an Outlook rule that matches the messages which you would like to save. See the Microsoft website for instructions on creating rules.

  2. In the “What do you want to do with the message?” step check the “perform a custom action” option.

  3. Click on “a custom action” hyperlink in the “Rule Description” window.

  4. Select “EZDetach” in the “Choose an action to be performed” drop-down box.

  5. Click “Change...” button.

  6. Select the options you would like to use for this rule.

    Note

    These options are specific to the rule. Different rules can have different options. For example, you can have multiple rules to save different types of attachments to different folders.

  7. Click the “OK” button to save the rule options.

  8. Click the “OK” button in the “Select Custom Action” window.

  9. Finish creating the rule as usual.

Please refer to Outlook documentation for details on creating and working with rules.

Outlook 2013 or later rules and attachment custom action

Rule custom actions are no longer available in Outlook 2013 or later. Microsoft has removed that functionality. As an alternative, you can use built-in Outlook rules to sort incoming messages into Outlook folders, and use EZDetach Scheduler to automatically process attachments in those messages.

Automatically saving attachments from sent messages

Due to the way Outlook sent message rules work, you will not be able to use EZDetach in sent rules. Instead, you can use AutoSave and/or Scheduler on your Sent Items folder.