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Process, compress and block Microsoft Outlook email attachments

Everyone uses email as a quick-and-dirty way to send and share files. While convenient to end users, this behavior raises email storage, security and performance concerns for messaging administrators. Learn about a third-party add-on that can automatically convert Microsoft Outlook email attachments into .ZIP files to save system resources, process and save file attachments to designated folders, and block specified attachment types.

Everyone uses email as a quick-and-dirty way to send and share files. While convenient to end users, this behavior...

raises email storage, security and performance concerns for messaging administrators.

Email attachments that easily lend themselves to being compressed into .ZIP files are less troublesome -- but you have to rely on your users to remember or bother to compress their own files.

Some Exchange Server administrators impose limits on the size of email attachments that can be sent or received; others just accept this "email for file sharing" trend as inevitable and unavoidable and deal with it as best they can.

MAPILab has created an add-on called Attachments Processor for Outlook that addresses the management of email attachments in Microsoft Outlook.

Attachments Processor for Outlook provides three major functions:

  1. Its main function is to automatically convert any email attachments sent via Microsoft Outlook into a .ZIP file to save system resources -- i.e., the storage needed to save the message with the attachments included, the bandwidth to transmit it, and the effort involved to manually compress the attachments in the first place.

  2. It automatically processes and saves file attachments in incoming email to designated folders. The extracted email attachments are replaced with a link to wherever they are on a disk drive.

    Additionally, you have the option to only email attachments that match certain criteria -- e.g., an email attachment with a specific extension, a given size of file, or certain keywords in the filename. Likewise, the saved files can be automatically renamed according to incremental naming conventions to avoid filename collisions.

  3. A built-in attachment-blocking manager lets you control how Microsoft Outlook deals with certain pre-blocked attachment types. You can elect to unblock previously blocked attachment types or re-block email attachments that have been unblocked in the past.

A single-user license for Attachment Processor for Outlook is U.S. $24 with sliding discounts for bulk purchases. There is also 30-day trial version available.

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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Related information from

  • Exchange Admin 101: Attachment blocking
  • Script: Attachment reminder for Microsoft Outlook
  • Tip: How to configure attachment blocking in Outlook Web Access
  • Tip Manage attachments with Outlook Attachment Sniffer
  • Tip: OutDisk -- a simple solution to sending large email attachments
  • Tip: How to override the attachment size limit for OWA public folder posts
  • Learning Center: The Microsoft Outlook Toolbox
  • Reference Center: Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Server administration tools

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  • This was last published in April 2007

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