Removing attachments from your saved messages in Outlook

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Here’s how to trim down your Outlook storage by removing attachments from messsages, without deleting the message itself.

If you’re trying to reduce the size of your Outlook storage file, one option is to remove the attachments from older messages that you’ve sent as well as attachments from messages that you’ve received.

It’s likely that attachments you’ve sent are also stored on your hard drive, so the attachment copy is usually an unnecessary duplicate.

You can delete the message entirely but sometimes you want to remove the attachment only and keep the message.

You can do this in Outlook 2007 quite easily. Open the message and go Message tab | Action | Other Actions | Edit Message .

Outlook 2007 - Edit message image from Removing attachments from your saved messages in Outlook at Office-Watch.com

Outlook 2003 has the same feature but with a different name. Open the message and under the Edit menu you’ll find ‘Revise contents.

Outlook 2003 - Edit message aka Revise Contents image from Removing attachments from your saved messages in Outlook at Office-Watch.com

Now you can edit the body of the message including any attachments.

To remove an attachment, right-click on it and choose Remove.

Outlook 2007 - Edit message remove attachment image from Removing attachments from your saved messages in Outlook at Office-Watch.com

Close the message and click on Yes to confirm the changes.

An alternative is to open the attachment, copy the relevant text and paste it into the body of the message before removing the attachment.

There’s no Undo for this action so you may want to save a copy of the attachment before totally deleting it.

Before you go removing lots of attachments, ask yourself whether it’s really necessary to delete them? Modern versions of Outlook are much better at dealing with large message stores and with desktop search tools you can find the contents of an old message easily.

Some corporate mail systems allow very limited storage to each person and the result is inordinate amounts of work time spent deleting and moving messages to stay below the arbitrary threshold. Removing attachments is just one option to do this.

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