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download multiple attachments gmailAwesome free email services like Gmail have made it possible to exchange multiple emails with attachments (almost) without the fear of exceeding the storage space. As a result, we have lots of important files and documents saved online in our inboxes.

This post will show you how to extract and save some (or all) of those attachments without the need to open each individual email. The following two tools will let you manage your email attachments How To Quickly Find Messages With Attachments In Gmail How To Quickly Find Messages With Attachments In Gmail Read More more efficiently, back-up your files stored online and save on your email storage space (if you have managed to exceed it).

1. Attachment Extractor (Thunderbird Plugin)

If you are using Thunderbird, you are lucky because there is a handy, flexible and easy-to-use addon called Attachment Extractor that lets you easily extract and save attachments from the selected messages. The addon has already made one of Make Use Of’s lists: 10 must-have Thunderbird Addons (+ 25 more) 10 Must-Have Thunderbird Addons (+ 25 More) 10 Must-Have Thunderbird Addons (+ 25 More) Thunderbird lives on. This desktop email client thrives because of its many customization options. These must-have Thunderbird addons will help you make the most of it. Read More .

  • The first step to take after installing the addon is to set the default folder (the tool won’t work without that!). Go to Tools -> Attachments Extractor Settings and select the default folder you want all the attachments to be extracted to.

Now whenever you want, just select the messages containing the attachments you need to extract, right-click and select one of the following options:

  • Extract from Selected Messages (to a default folder);
  • Extract from Selected Messages (to a custom folder);
  • Extract with a custom filename pattern (to automatically intelligently rename files to avoid replacing existing files)

download multiple attachments gmail

The same set of features is available for extracting all the attachments from any folder (just right click on any folder in the right-hand panel).


The addon offers you quite a few options to save on your Thunderbird and email space. For example, you can set it to:

  • Delete the message after the attachment is extracted;
  • Delete the attachment after downloading it (while keeping the message):

extract multiple attachments

The addon can also be configured to extract attachments automatically on email receipt. To configure this option, go to Tools -> Attachment Extractor Settings -> Auto-Extract and there:

  • Set when the attachments need to be extracted (the tool can be set to wait until all messages are downloaded before starting to extract);
  • Specify the default folder to save the attachments;
  • Set up the filter (Extract only messages tagged …);
  • Choose what to do if the file with the same name already exists:

download multiple attachments

2. Mail Attachment Downloader (Windows only)

Mail Attachment Downloader is a desktop client that connects to your email account, extracts all the attachments and saves them to the specified folder.

It works with popular email clients like Gmail, Hotmail/Live, AOL and Y!Mail – and it looks like it can be configured to work with other services as well. The tool keeps your mail untouched: the messages won’t be marked as read.

download multiple attachments

The “Basic” and “Advanced” Filters give you some flexibility over which type of attachments you want to download:

  • You can filter email attachments by size (“greater than”)
  • You can filter email attachments by file type (movies, pictures, music, documents)
  • You can choose to check all mail or selectively check new messages only.
  • You can filter emails by the sender of recipient, the keyword in subject or in the body;
  • You can also specify the time frame:

Basic Filters:

download multiple attachments

Advanced Filters:

download multiple attachments gmail

I am sure there are other great ways to download multiple email attachments (for Outlook, for example) I am not aware of. Please let me know which ones you have tested and had success with!

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  1. Davin
    April 28, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Nice write-up. I ended up using the Mail Attachment ( program you mention here in my company to extract attachments using Exchange to pass to our invoice processing software that extracts order information. It looks like they recently added support for Exchange which I am happy with.

    Now if only I could find something that could avoid sending those invoices through email, that would be great too :-). But email IS the common denominator, isn't it? Yes, there are other services that do the trick for sharing files and other such, but they pose issues with security or permissions or lack providing context. Oh well.

  2. bdusneubd
    February 11, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    u r a chutiya if u do this..

    • DJ
      March 9, 2016 at 7:31 pm


  3. Akash Sethiya
    March 23, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    is it secure to use this downloader or addon. i mean we are providing our credentials to it, so is it secure??

  4. Memo
    December 29, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    how i can dowload it plz ?

  5. Sue Frantz
    April 30, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I use EZDetach, an Outlook add-in ( ). It looks like it has similar functionality as the Thunderbird plugin you wrote about.

    • Ann Smarty
      May 1, 2011 at 10:20 am

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Endomancer
    April 3, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Do you really think it wise to go opening multiple attachments at once?
    Especially when so many viruses are transmitted as email attachments

    • Ann Smarty
      April 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm

      A good way to get yourself protected from emailed viruses is to have a solid anti-virus software (otherwise you'll get a virus in any case: by downloading attachments one by one or in bulk).