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Is it possible to turn off automatic preview of attachments when composing an e-mail?

NOTE: Yes I know that I can manually ctr+select the attachment and disable preview, but I want this done automatically

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

In Terminal, type:

defaults write DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool yes

If you want to turn it off again, use

defaults write DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool no

You may need to restart Mail after running this to change the behavior.

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

I get a Command not found when running this from terminal on a fairly new MacBook air? – HaydnWVN Feb 20 '14 at 14:32
Don't remove this answer; it's the best way to solve this unintuitive behavior with This changes the default behavior of the "attach" button in the app to do real attachments instead of inline attachments. The Viewing portion of that is really misleading; it affects how attachments are sent. – Jim Stewart Aug 5 '14 at 19:51

There is an extension for Apple Mail called Attachment Tamer. It has all kinds of settings, but the most useful is the one that defaults attachments to the icon view.

It is $15 but well worth it.

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To expand on @user43521's answer, there are two ways to solve this problem:

First solution:

If you drag-and-drop files—even images—into's compose window, they'll be sent as real attachments (Content-Disposition: attachment).

Second solution:

If you open a terminal and enter this command, it will always make attachments real attachments:

defaults write DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool yes

You only need to do this once. To revert to normal behavior:

defaults write DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool no

The Viewing portion of this is very confusing; this affects how your outgoing mail is sent. If you receive mail with inline attachments, they'll be displayed as expected. In fact, it's even more confusing than that, because regardless of this setting, both inline and attached images that you receive will be displayed inline.

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