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How can I allow (or prevent) messages with attachments being sent to a list?

If a mailing list is set up so that attachments will be removed from postings, what happens is that the message with the attachment is stored in the list's archive, and list members are provided with a web link to get to it.  This can however prove troublesome, particularly if the subscriber doesn't know their list password.

As a list administrator, you can choose whether or not to allow attachments to be posted to your mailing list.  Follow these steps:

  1. Open your mailing list's admin web page ( where listname is the name of your mailing list).  Remember that you'll need to enter your administrator's password.
  2. Click the Non-digest options link.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of that page, where you will see the somewhat nonsensical option "Scrub attachments of regular delivery message?"
  4. Click Yes if you want attachments to be removed and archived, or click No if you want to allow them in messages.
  5. Click the 'Submit Your Changes' button button for this option change to take effect.

NOTE: New mailing lists on the Sussex Mailman system are initially configured such that this option is set to No; in other words, attachments will not be removed from messages as standard.

The consensus of opinion of the experienced email user community is that due to the wasteful use of resources (remember that an attachment will be duplicated for every list member) it is considered Bad Practice to send attachments to mailing lists.   It is far better to make a document available on a website, either for viewing or downloading, and provide the web link to that document in a message to a list, then your recipients can view the document at their convenience rather than having attachments (some possibly unreadable) in their email.

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This is question number 1174, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Andy Clews on 5 August 2005 and last updated by Richard Byrom-Colburn on 20 October 2016