Tip

DetachPipe: Outlook add-in tool saves and restores email attachments

Microsoft Outlook users often attach massive files to email messages instead of using file transfer protocol (FTP) or other file transfer methods. While dragging and dropping a file into an Outlook email seems quick and easy,

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there's only a 50% chance that the message and attachment will end up in the recipient's Exchange mailbox.

Two of the biggest obstacles to emailing large files are:

  • Attachment size restrictions on incoming email
  • Storage limitations -- Although Exchange storage is cheaper than ever before, it tends to expand to fill any available space.

I've recently discovered a standalone Microsoft Outlook add-in called DetachPipe, which can help ameliorate problems that large attachments in an Exchange environment can cause. The software supports all versions of Microsoft Outlook -- from Outlook 98 through 2007.

More on Microsoft Outlook email attachments:
Process, compress and block Outlook email attachments

Automatically save Microsoft Outlook email attachments to disk

Manage email attachments with Outlook Attachment Sniffer

The Microsoft Outlook Toolbox
When an email arrives with an attachment, DetachPipe automatically strips the attachment from the email and stores it in a directory on the local computer or on a network share. A hyperlink then replaces the attachment in the saved email. There's no need to search for the attachment; simply click the link and go to it directly.

This tool creates single instances whenever possible. For example, if four copies of the same file are received, DetachPipe will store only one copy locally. There is also a manual mode, which can be run not only on incoming email, but also on existing email.

DetachPipe retains references to the detached items for future use. For instance, if you forward a message with a stripped attachment, it automatically restores the attachment before sending the message.

The full version of DetachPipe is $29.95 per seat; a 30-day field trial is available for sites with 20 or more seats.

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of Windows Insight, a newsletter devoted to hints, tips, tricks, news and goodies for all flavors of Windows users.

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MAPILab's Attachment Processor, another Microsoft Outlook add-in, has been doing this for many years.
—Guido E.

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This was first published in April 2008

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