As I have only 500MB quota on my IMAP account and I want to keep messages when I sent something to someone but the data attached to those mails is often out of date and of no use anymore, it come to my mind that I could delete the attachments and keep the message. I know that this would mean to alter the original sent mail.

Is there anything I can do?

2 Answers 2


This is already implemented without addon:

just right-click on the attachment and choose "detach".

This will detach the attachment and keep the mail where it is.

There will be this message:

The following attachments have been successfully saved and will now be permanently deleted from this message: file.test

This action cannot be undone. Do you wish to continue?

Also, you can choose "delete" there.

If you want to extract attachments from lots of emails at once, you can use the add-on AttachmentExtractor (since Thunderbird 60 AttachmentExtractor Continued)

  • I added a hint to my answer
    – rubo77
    Aug 1, 2013 at 22:11
  • Thanks for the hint, AttachmentExtractor from October 16, 2011 seems to work well with current Thunderbird. Aug 1, 2013 at 23:43

have a look at http://www.werockyourweb.com/thunderbird-mass-remove-attachments

there is a short introduction to the thunderbird-extension AttachmentExtractor. With that you can remove file attachements and choose what should happen to the remaining mail (archive, leave it or delete it...)

  • In first time I also thought this could be of help, but when I detached the attachment, the mail when to trash! I don't want to save the attachment but the mail, remaining in the IMAP folder!
    – math
    Jan 4, 2012 at 10:57
  • did you try the thunderbird extension 'attachment extractor' that is described? using that you should be able to specify what happens to the mails from which attachments are removed
    – Ingo
    Jan 4, 2012 at 11:05
  • 1
    Oh, nope, that Attchment Extractor Addon worked :). Only drawback, the mail is still indicated to have an attachment, but size is reduced and that is what I want. Maybe rephrasing the answer to Attachment-Extractor addon as solution to my question? I should have read more carefully :D
    – math
    Jan 4, 2012 at 11:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.