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1532
How can I delete attachments from emails with Outlook, while keeping the email itself?


It's a very good idea to delete attachments from email, after saving a copy of the attached file to a more permanent storage area such as your network storage or to your computer.  This is because files of any type have to be encoded into a textual format (MIME) in order to be sent in an email, and this can vastly increase the size of the file and make its use of resources very inefficient.   Storage of the file in email also prevents the file being modified in any way.

OUTLOOK 2013 and 2010

First, if required, save a copy of the attachment(s):

  1. Double-click the relevant email to open it in its own window.  Or, you can leave the message in the Preview window if you have one visible.
  2. Right-click on one of the attachments, then click on Save All Attachments... in the pop-up menu.
  3. In the list shown,  click to select the attachments you want to save.
    You can use SHIFT-click or CTRL-click to select several at once.
    Then click OK.
  4. Navigate to where you want to save the file(s), then click Save.
  5. If you had selected and saved all the attachments, the Save All Attachments window will close. Otherwise, repeat steps 3 and 4 as required, then click Close.

Now delete the attachment(s):

  1. Double-click the relevant email to open it in its own window.  Or, you can leave the message in the Preview window if you have one visible.
  2. Right-click on the attachment you want to remove.
  3. Select Remove Attachment from the pop-up menu:

    Remove Attachment menu pop-up

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for any other attachments you want to remove.
  5. Close the message window.
  6. If you are asked 'Do you want to save changes?', click Yes.

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This is question number 1532, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Andy Clews on 20 March 2009 and last updated by Richard Byrom-Colburn on 20 October 2016