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It turns out it's not all that easy to remove attachments from received email in Outlook Express. In fact, it apparently requires a bit of a hack.

After recieving a message, the person asking the question saves the attachment to disk and then wants to be able to remove the attachment from the email, saving only the text.

I thought this one would be easy. In Outlook you can open up the received message, right click on the attachment, and select remove.

No such luck in Outlook Express. In fact, as far as I can tell it can't be done within Outlook Express.

However I did stumble into this hack for manually removing attachments. I'll warn you that it is a hack; it involves using a text editor to remove the attachment portion of the message from its raw form. Relatively straightforward, but not something I'd want to do.

Article C1976 - June 2, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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10 Comments
Anoop Kumar Sharma
November 17, 2005 9:19 PM

Dear Sir,

For the last 7 days, I've encountered a very typical problem with Outlook Express. In each mail, it shows a attachment but in real no attachment exists. When I try to find solution on internet. It shows a message "Download Service Pack 2 Update for Windows XP" as I have Windows XP OS. But it is not a gwnuine one. I have downloaded it but after download, the networking fails. All the other cupmuters connected to my coputer can't able to extract any information as my system is Server. When I told this problem to a software engineer. He said as yu have pirated version of windows, you must not download the updates. Then I uninstall that SP2. But then again OE starts creating same problem "Showing attachment with every file".

I request you to pls send me the solution earliest.

Thanking you.

(Anoop Kumar Sharma)

kathy conway
June 13, 2006 6:15 PM

I get e-mails with pictures. Can't send them unless I do a attachment. Can't do a unattachment. Says I have a block on pictures
I can't find how to delete the block I have. I want to be able to receive my e-mails with pictures but if I do they are x I can't get my alltel Server to help me so you lwt me know what is on out look express that blocks me. I don't have attachment with every file with pictures but can't send them unlwss I do message attachment because if I forward them my e-mail people has a x thanks Kathy

nasa
January 10, 2007 11:32 PM

I've encountered problem with Outlook Express. In each mail, it shows a attachment sign but in real no attachment exists. i even rename the outlook express on registry but problem is same.

Chuck Eglinton
June 4, 2007 12:25 PM

Hi Leo,

There's also a shareware program that will remove Outlook Express attachments. You can read more at the link below:

http://www.sharewareconnection.com/outlook-express-attachment-remover.htm

TD Pittsford
June 30, 2007 5:01 PM

The question does not exactly address my problem which is this: Every email, regardless of source, shows the paper clip indicating an attachment when in fact there is none. What's going on with this?
Thanks
TD

PT
December 18, 2007 8:10 PM

We, too, are suddenly experiencing the ghost attachments. One morning the computer showed attachments on emails to which nothing was actually attached. Knowing the senders, we confirmed that they had not sent attachments. Yet, OE reflects the paper clip beside the emails as if there are attachments.

We have a legal copy of Windows XP which came with the computer purchased direct from the manufacturer (Dell). We updated SP2 quite some time ago, as well.

Our biggest fear is that this is some type of virus attaching itself and will be sent were we to forward the emails with the ghost attachment. Otherwise, it will be a grand nuisance, but not knowing whether or not there is an attachment is not the worst obstacle faced daily. :^)

Thanks for any insight...

Nathan F
December 31, 2007 1:21 AM

The problem of ghost attachments (paper clip icons on e-mails who do not have an attachment) can be caused by a bug in the virus scanner AVG. If you have this program, go into the e-mail scanner settings and uncheck the box "Certify e-mail." Your incoming and outgoing e-mails will continue to be scanned, just not given an AVG certification which is pretty much irrelevant. This will fix the problem.

Ralph G
January 10, 2008 1:17 PM

Leo. I ended up here when I was trying to find out how to forward an e-mail I'd already sent outside to my internal cohorts WITHOUT attachments using outlook express. The help for OUTLOOK EXPRESS was worthless, but the answer is simple and maybe someone else can benefit; it took me 10 minutes to try the obvious.

Chose FORWARD, add your message to the forwarding addressees, SELECT each attachment and press DEL, then SEND. DUH
Ralph

PS: Of course, large companies use industrial strength e-mail systems which always have "Send without attachments" as the DEFAULT, but I'm semiretired and working mostly from home; my cohorts needed to know what I told clients, but didn't need the attachments.

Stewart
March 1, 2008 6:53 AM

The hack to remove attachments is fine, and easy to use. But as the reason for wanting to remove an attachment is that it is large, using notepad or wordpad takes forever.
Instead use Word, keeping the file in txt format.
Very quick and works a dream.

Sushil Kumar
April 11, 2008 9:16 AM

dear sir
i have typical problem in outlook express my outlook express show all attechment from senders but only one sender send me word or excel attechment don't download in my outlook express but this attechment show in my web mail i don't understand how do i if u have any solution give me please

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