If you are working in a corporate environment similar with mine, then you would also encounter this similar problem every once in a while: cleaning up your mailbox.

Though it should not be hard, with the archiving function included in Outlook email application (and others alike), there are cases where you need to retain all of the communication emails with certain clients within easy reach; even though they are the ones that raises the issue of having to clean your inbox in the first place: emails with big file attachments.

Well the most logical steps in this part I think is to strip all of the big attachments from the email system, and put them out somewhere still accessible though not need to be immediately. The other option would be to have your mail administrator increase the size of your inbox; which I believe will only delay the time before the same issue arises again, though I prefer to choose the first option: exporting or removing the file attachments only, while keep the original message in your inbox.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do that. Microsoft failed to address this issue so there’s no such thing as “exporting attachments only” feature included in the core application, and you can’t erase attachments from received emails, hence it’s up to us end users to find a creative and efficient solutions.

Now exporting them one by one mail by mail is okay, if you have a tiny system or a lot of free time to kill. However if you don’t, then the best way to do is by automating the exporting or removing of those email attachments, and there are two ways of accomplishing just that:

  1. Writing (or copying) macros using the built in developer function in Outlook, or
  2. Using a third party applications to do the thing for you within a few clicks

Now I have used them both, and though writing macros enable you to have a fine grained control, the second option is much easier to apply for the rest of us. Here’s one application that might suit your need, and its free:

“Outlook Attach View” by Nirsoft

It’s small, it’s quite easy to use, and it does the job. While the User Interface might not be stellar, and you might have thinking the sorting function doesn’t work (it wont, if the program is still processing your mails), and the “stop” processing button is not immediately catch your attention, it works.

There is also a part which I don’t quite understand, when the application is able to detect attachments not available in my inbox, thus I’m still required to have another screening through the result to avoid deletion of files I don’t even know they exist.  However despite of those issues, let me say it again, it works; it stops the annoying “mailbox is full” warning from Outlook, I can still have the attachments stripped, and I can do that with spending just a little effort.

Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have better options or choice of application software to escape the issue of a full mailbox. (byms)



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