I want to look at some options that will help to manage the size of an Exchange mailbox. There are lots of utilities out there that will extract an attachment from an email and replace it with a file:// URL link.

Now comes the wrinkle - the file:// URL works great on Windows - what is the equivalent on the Mac?


Try using file:///URL

You need the extra forward slash to signify the root directory of the drive.

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  • Thanks John One other thing to mention: the file will be located on a Windows server, e.g. \\server\user\email\attachment1.pdf – Steve French Feb 5 '10 at 22:02
  • To access a share, you can use file://///server/user/email/attachment1.pdf (simply append the UNC to file:/// and flip the backslashes), although this does not work from a webpage: bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=62851 – John T Feb 5 '10 at 22:05
  • The third slash does not refer to the root directory. Otherwise,, it would not be possible to specify relative paths. The third slash separates the (empty) host name from the actual path. What follows it is OS-dependent. You will need another, fourth, slash, or backslash, to refer to root. – Douba Nov 2 '17 at 15:46
  • @JohnT What about the file( /Users/john/filename.crt ) located on local mac OS, would it be file:///Users/john/filename.crt ?? – Learner Feb 14 '18 at 19:24

Try using this syntax


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The following two outgoing email syntaxes should work for Mac recipients, even when the path or filename contains spaces.




Mac Mail will not convert the text into a blue link until after your message is sent. Remmeber to replace each space with %20 .

For sending to Windows recipients, this works:

<\hostname\full path to file>

But I have not found a single syntax that works for both kinds of recipients.

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