How do I bulk download all attachments from all my emails in Gmail?

Hereward Dundas-Taylor April 14, 2012

Any bright spark can download attachments from a single email in Gmail, or a bunch one at a time, but how does one download all the attachments from all the complete history of emails in Gmail to their hard drive.

I have over 50,000 emails in Gmail over the last 7 years. After a critical loss of data and back ups, I want to automatically search and download all the attachments from my Gmail to my hard drive. Doing this individually would take many months.

Has someone got the answer?

  1. kevin
    September 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    that mail attachment downloader by gearmage (first link in first comment) works pretty well, thanks!

  2. Makeuseof
    April 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I'd like to be able to selectively transfer Gmails (not just the attachments) from one account to another. Say, transfer all mails with label ABC from account A to account B. You start with one account, then due to changes in purpose, may want to separate/split that account into two or more.

    • Charles
      June 29, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      You can do this in Gmail by creating a filter. Click the gear icon (top - right), then settings, then "Filters". The filter can look for certain things in all the usual email fields as well as if the message has an attachment.

  3. Chris Hoffman
    April 14, 2012 at 9:49 am

    This process (if you change the about:config settings, as mentioned in the article) will download all your email, including any attachments: 

    The attachments will be in Thunderbird, though -- if you really want to download them separately, this process isn't for you.