print friendly version

Questions and answers

How do I configure a mailing list so as to accept (or block) attachments?

In Mailman, scrubbing an attachment means that the attachment is stored in a mailing list's archive (if one exists), and is removed from the original email before it is sent to all the list members.  This helps to prevent waste of resources caused by multiple copies of attachments.

To configure your mailing list to accept (or scrub) attachments, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to your list's admin page (you must be the list administrator).
  2. Open the section link called Non-digest options.
  3. At the bottom of that page, there's an option labelled 'Scrub attachments of regular delivery message?'
    - Select No to ALLOW attachments to be sent to the members of your mailing list.
    - Select Yes to SCRUB attachments (prevent them being sent to members).
  4. Click Submit Your Changes to confirm the change.
  5. Click the Logout link to close the admin page.

If you configure your mailing list to scrub attachments, any attachments subsequently sent will be held in the list's archives (if they exist), and members would need to visit the archive to see the attachment (details would be given in the message from which the attachment was taken).   They would need to know their list members' password to do this.  If a mailing list does not keep an archive, attachments in emails would be refused.

PLEASE NOTE that it is widely considered Bad Practice to send attachments to mailing lists, because of the duplication that occurs (this would waste a great deal of storage space if attachments were sent to large mailing lists).  It's far better to store the document in an online location and provide a web link to it in your message.


Help us to improve this answer

Please suggest an improvement
(login needed, link opens in new window)

Your views are welcome and will help other readers of this page.


This is question number 1206, which appears in the following categories:

    Created by Andy Clews on 18 January 2006 and last updated by Richard Byrom-Colburn on 29 September 2016