How to Remove Attachments From Messages in Outlook

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Attachments can be the most important part of incoming emails, but they are also frequently what makes your email archive grow big quickly. While a typical email message is maybe 10 KB to 20 KB, attached files are often in the MB range.

If you use Outlook with an Exchange server or an IMAP account that imposes mailbox size quota, getting the attachments out of the emails and then deleting them on the server should be a top priority. But if you use Outlook to access a POP account and store all mail on your computer anyway, saving the attachments to a folder and removing them from the emails can make things cleaner, clearer and speedier.

If you think you will need the attached files later, save them to a folder outside your mailbox first:

  • Go to the desired email in Outlook.
  • Select File > Save Attachments > All Attachments from the menu.
    • If you have opened the message in its own menu, the command is File > Save Attachments.
  • Highlight the attached files you want to save.
  • Click OK.
  • Go to a convenient location on your hard disk.
  • Click OK again.

Delete Attachments from Messages in Outlook

Now that the attached files are saved, you can remove them from the messages in Outlook.

To delete attachments from messages in Outlook:

  • Double-click on the desired message to open it in its own window.
  • Click on the attachment you want to remove with the right mouse button.
  • Select Remove from the menu.
  • Close the message window.
  • Click OK in the Do you want to save changes? dialog.

Of course, you can also delete the complete message after you have saved the attachment to your hard disk.