Email a document to OneDrive, DropBox or other cloud storage


Here’s how to add files to your OneDrive account by emailing them as attachments.

Saving direct from emails is easier and faster than uploading.  If you’ve received an Office document, PDF or other file as an email attachment, it’s simple to just forward the email to OneDrive.  If you’re on a slow Internet connection, it’ll definitely be faster to forward the email from a browser based email (because the attachments aren’t downloaded or uploaded to the computer at all).

Some scanners and services have an option to email their output automatically.   Link that option with an ’email to cloud’ service so that anything scanned is automatically saved to cloud storage as a backup.

Office Online

Once email attachments are in your OneDrive account, you can edit Office documents in Word Online, Excel Online or PowerPoint Online.

Outlook.com to OneDrive

Back in 2015, Microsoft added an Outlook.com feature to directly save email attachments to your linked OneDrive account.

Just below the attachment icons are options to either Download the attachment or Save to OneDrive.

The attachments are saved to OneDrive folder ‘Email Attachments’.  From there you can open Office documents with either Office online or your Office software.

That’s quick and easy.  It’s limited to saving into your linked OneDrive account, not another OneDrive location (say for a friend, group or organization) or a specific folder.

Outlook for Windows/Mac

In Outlook for Windows or Outlook for Mac you can save an attachment to a OneDrive or other synced folder.  Of course, you need the OneDrive or other synchronization app running.

As soon as the attachment is saved to the synced folder, the program will start uploading it to online storage.

There’s no Quick Step option to save attachments to a folder.  Just one of the many missing elements from Quick Steps … but we digress ….

 

To broaden your options, look for an IFTTT solution (IF That Then This). IFTTT is a cloud connector that triggers when something happens online to do other things.

EmailItIn

EmailItIn is a free service that gives you a unique email address and the option to save attachments to OneDrive, DropBox, Google Drive, Egnyte etc.  It’s free for attachments up to 5MB and no more than 100 emails a month.  A yearly plan is US$30.

Setup is very simple, you can login using your OneDrive or Dropbox accounts.  A unique email address is allocated to you.  Free accounts can choose to save the message text as well as attachments. Also send an email notice when a new attachment is saved (handy if you give the special address to others).

Attachments are saved to an ‘Email It In’ folder or ‘/Apps/Email It’ In  for Dropbox.

IFTTT.com

The main source of cloud connectors is IFTTT.com .  There are many applets that link OneDrive, Dropbox and others to actions like email attachments.  Applets are mostly added by volunteer contributors, thought some companies to add applets for their products.

Create an account at http://IFTTT.com then link cloud services like OneDrive, Dropbox, Evernote etc to your account.

Choose an Applet that suits your needs.  Sometimes there’s multiple applets that do the same or similar things. The descriptions are sometimes unclear so read the applet details carefully.  We found Send Files to OneDrive.

Click the cog at top right to setup the applet.  The two important settings for this applet are the hashtag to trigger the applet – this hashtag must be in the subject line.

And the folder to save at OneDrive, in this case IFTTT/  but you can choose your own.

There’s an option to make a public, shared link for the new file.

Send a test message with attachment to the address given.  The email has to come from your IFTTT registered email address.  Remember to include the #hashtag in the subject line.

Zapier

Zapier.com is a paid service version of the IFTTT concept.  They have a limited free personal option and seems more intended for businesses than individuals.

They have an integration Add files to OneDrive by sending email but it seems to save the email text to a OneDrive file, not any attachments.  Not what we’re after.

Which one?

EmailitIn is definitely the easiest to setup and use.

IFTTT is OK but seems limited to a single attachment per email.

Zapier doesn’t appear to have an ’email attachment to cloud storage’ option.  Their interface is difficult to handle.

Privacy

All these services have a privacy risk.  Your emails and attachments are going through a third-party who could ‘read’ the content themselves or be forced to hand it over to government agencies.  We could not find any privacy wording in the services about what details they store in their records (in particular, if the email/attachments are saved on their system).


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