I regularly receive emails with very large attachments (uncompressed scans, photos, videos, etc.). Obviously, the sender could have done me a favor by compressing the files before sharing. But not everyone takes the time or even knows how to.

To save space in my inbox, I can either delete the message or if I'd like to keep it for later reference I can (with the message selected) click on "Message" in the menu bar followed by "Remove attachments".

enter image description here

However, what if I'd like to keep a compressed version of the files for later reference as well? Is there some way to do this?

  • 2
    Photos & videos will not compress; they would need to be re-encoded at lossier settings. Text compresses a lot, pdf might do but depends on what's in it. – Tetsujin Dec 9 '17 at 8:36

Within mail? No. You'd have to create a filing system outside mail and drag your attachments into that. If you do that I recommend dragging the email into that too, otherwise later you'll lose the context. Also, that makes it easier to search for what you're looking for.

Remember: file with easy retrieval in mind. Assume you won't be sure exactly what you need, when you filed/received it, who sent it and where you filed it. In other words, try to lose all context that gives the file any meaning now and build that meaning and context into the filing system. If you can figure out what would make it easy for you to find that file in those circumstances, you're off to a good start.


if you download the file to a folder, right click on it, and there should be an option to compress it. if it doesnt give that option, make sure you have an app installed that does some kind of compression. i have an app installed called "the unarchiver". so maybe thats why it shows up on right click. but i think mac has built in zip software.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .