Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there a way to prevent Thunderbird from downloading attachments? I just want to download the message and leave attachments on the mail server. When I need to open the attachment I would then download it again from the server.

Is there any way to do this?

share|improve this question
The best you can do is create filters that look for certain file types, like x-zip-compressed. – surfasb Aug 7 '11 at 0:20
Sorry I can't get you. The problem is it takes time to load the entire message + attachments so I want to only load and read the message first then I would download the attachmetns later. – ITFan Aug 7 '11 at 11:00
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Attachments are encoded as part of the message, so no.

share|improve this answer
In IMAP, you can actually download only parts of a message. – WGH Sep 27 '15 at 16:46


Menu -> View -> Message Body as -> Plain Text  

furthermore, you have to change some values in about config, see this articele in the german TB forum

you need to disable the default setting for "the holding of messages", otherwise TB always downloads the entire mail for offline reading. An attachment is indeed a direct component of the mail and not a separate file. There should be no filters applied to the message body or attachment.

Menu -> View -> "Display Attachments inline"

must be checked.

In the advanced configuration then you have to Check if mail.imap.mime_parts_on_demand is set true.
also: mail.server.default.mime_parts_on_demand
Leave the entry mail.imap.mime_parts_on_demand_threshold on 30000 (= 30 KB)

because attachments less than 30 KB are rare (eg *.Vcf files, etc.) and do not interfere with the retrieval of mail.

also see:

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .