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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

3 Answers 3

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In Terminal, type:

defaults write com.apple.mail DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool yes

If you want to turn it off again, use

defaults write com.apple.mail DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool no

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

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  • I get a Command not found when running this from terminal on a fairly new MacBook air?
    – HaydnWVN
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 14:32
  • 1
    Don't remove this answer; it's the best way to solve this unintuitive behavior with Mail.app. 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. Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 19:51
  • Note that now we must first give Terminal "Full Disk Access" in System Prefs. See apple.stackexchange.com/a/343356/70115 for more detail.
    – 2540625
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 20:48
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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.

http://lokiware.info/Attachment-Tamer

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 Mail.app'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 com.apple.mail DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool yes

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

defaults write com.apple.mail 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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  • If I drag an image from Finder into a new Mail draft message, it still appears as huge image preview, same as if I click the attach button and navigate to its location.
    – 2540625
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 20:41
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    Note that now we must first give Terminal "Full Disk Access" in System Prefs. See apple.stackexchange.com/a/343356/70115 for more detail.
    – 2540625
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 20:48

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