I have an email account and I use IMAP to access it. There are a couple of emails I have received that I really want to keep, but I would like to make them smaller. They have some attached images that are very big (got them from someone who doesn't know how to make images smaller), and I would like to make those images smaller. So, I don't want to remove the email or re-send it to myself or anything like that. I just want to edit the attachments and let all the other things about the email stay the same.

So, is there a way to change the attachments of emails through IMAP?

Note: I'm currently using Windows Live Mail, Opera and online SquirrelMail, but I can set up another if it can help me do this :)

3 Answers 3


Not really. You need to edit the email itself in whichever format it is, which may not be easy. I've seen emails stored as one huge text file per folder, or as one huge crypted database per folder, for instance. Not fun. You're better off downloading the attachment, fixing it, deleting the original email, and resending yourself the fixed attachment.


You do not say what email client you use. But Mozilla Thunderbird can delete attachments from an email.

I just tested this with an IMAP folder. The way it worked is kind of weird, but manageable.

Here's what I did:

  1. Right-click on the attachment in Thunderbirs, and select delete
  2. The attachment name changed to "Deleted: myattach.txt"
  3. I checked my email using a web interface. What I saw there was the original email with the attachment, and a new one, exact copy of the original, but with empty attachment named "Deleted: myattach.txt".
  4. I just wen and deleted the original email.
  5. Done :)

So, even if your primary email client is not TB, you can still use TB to access your IMAP store just to delete what you need.

  • Thunderbird just didn't purge the folder yet, that's why you've seen old unedited message. Jun 4, 2014 at 14:11

I would forward it to myself and edit it in the forwarded email.

  • 1
    And deleting the original of course, since size is the issue. Mar 5, 2010 at 17:14
  • But then you'd lose who the email was originally from and when you got it, wouldn't you?
    – Svish
    Mar 5, 2010 at 17:49
  • No. The information is saved in the forwarded post, unless you delete it.
    – Xavierjazz
    Mar 5, 2010 at 18:31

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