How to remove attachments from outlook (2007) emails easily

October 22, 2009 - 9 minute read

I receive often emails with big attachment that fill my inbox space very quickly.
On the other side, I usually like both to remove these attach and keep the email to preserve the thread for future use. Outlook 2007 don't have this feature so I wrote the following VBA function I added to a button on my client that resolve easily this task.
 
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TIP: You can select more message at once too. This is useful if you want to clear a big number of messages you already have archived.
 
Hope this helps!
Nicola

Note: I already developed this VBA for outlook 2003, but Outlook 2007 requires some small update. following code should work.
 
UPDATE (09/06/09): Thanks to John Harvey and Patrick Philippot now the procedure save attachments in a specific folder and make good use of outlook memory:-)
UPDATE (22/10/09): Thanks to Steve Evans now it shows a link to folder where the attaches are saved
 
 
' by Nicola Delfino
'       30-03-2005: First version
'       26-11-2006: Updated for Outlook 2007
'       28-11-2006: Updated with notes from rgreg
'       09-06-2009: Saves the file(s) to a folder location (thanks to John Harvey and Patrick Philippot)
'                   Memory problem with many attach to remove (FIXED) (thanks to John Harvey and Patrick Philippot)
'       22-10-2009: Now it uses default "My document folder"
'                   added HTML and link to saved files (thanks to Steve Evans)
'
'   based on code found at on http://www.outlookcode.com/
'
' Setup and instructions
' (1) Digitally sign VBA project
'          start->office->Microsoft office tools->digital certificates for VBA
'          create a certificate
' (2) sign the code
'          from Outlook -> menu -> Tools -> Macros -> Visual Basic Editor (VBA)
'          project 1 -> Microsoft Office Outlook -> ThisOutlookSession (double ckick)
'          * paste this source code *
'          from Microsoft Visual Basic -> menu -> Tools -> digital signature -> (choose certificate previously created)
' (3) add icon on toolbar
'          from outlook
'          tools->customize (select "Commands" TAB)
'                add icon on toolbar
'                [rearrange commands] to change icon and name on toolbar
' (4) be sure that tools->macros->security
'               on "thrusted publishers" "trust all installed add-ins and templates" is checked
'
'
 
Private Declare Function SHGetFolderPath Lib "shell32.dll" Alias "SHGetFolderPathA" ( _
    ByVal HWnd As Long, ByVal csidl As Long, ByVal hToken As Long, ByVal dwFlags As Long, ByVal pszPath As String) As Long
 
Private Const MAX_PATH = 260&
 
Public Sub StripAttachments()
    Dim ilocation As String
    Dim objOL As Outlook.Application
    Dim objMsg As Object
    Dim objAttachments As Outlook.Attachments
    Dim objSelection As Outlook.Selection
    Dim i As Long
    Dim lngCount As Long
    Dim strFile As String
    Dim strFolder As String
 
    Dim result
    
    'Put in the folder location you want to save attachments to
    ilocation = GetSpecialFolder(&H5) & "\Removed Attachs\" ' CSIDL_MY_DOCUMENTS As Long = &H5"
    On Error Resume Next
    
    result = MsgBox("Do you want to remove attachments from selected email(s)?", vbYesNo + vbQuestion)
    If result = vbNo Then
        Exit Sub
    End If
    
    ' Instantiate an Outlook Application object.
    ' Set objOL = CreateObject("Outlook.Application")
    Set objOL = Application
    ' Get the collection of selected objects.
    Set objSelection = objOL.ActiveExplorer.Selection
 
    ' Check each selected item for attachments.
    ' If attachments exist, save them to the Temp
    ' folder and strip them from the item.
    For Each objMsg In objSelection
        ' This code only strips attachments from mail items.
        If objMsg.Class = olMail Then
            ' Get the Attachments collection of the item.
            Set objAttachments = objMsg.Attachments
            lngCount = objAttachments.Count
            If lngCount > 0 Then
                ' We need to use a count down loop for
                ' removing items from a collection. Otherwise,
                ' the loop counter gets confused and only every
                ' other item is removed.
                strFile = ""
                For i = lngCount To 1 Step -1
                    ' Save attachment before deleting from item.
                    ' Get the file name.
                    
                    Dim strHTML As String
                    strHTML = "<li><a href=" & Chr(34) & "file:" & ilocation & objAttachments.Item(i).FileName & Chr(34) & ">" & objAttachments.Item(i).FileName & "</a><br>" & vbCrLf
                                        
                    strFile = strFile & strHTML
           
                    
                    ' Save the attachment as a file.
                    objAttachments.Item(i).SaveAsFile (ilocation & objAttachments.Item(i))
                    
                    ' Save the attachment as a file.
                    objAttachments.Item(i).Delete
                Next i
                
                strFile = "Attachment removed from the message and backup-ed to[<a href='" & ilocation & "'>" & ilocation & "</a>]:<br><ul>" & strFile & "</ul><hr><br><br>" & vbCrLf & vbCrLf
                
                Dim objDoc As Object
                Dim objInsp As Outlook.Inspector
                Set objInsp = objMsg.GetInspector
                Set objDoc = objInsp.WordEditor
                
                
                objDoc.Characters(1).InsertBefore strFile
                objMsg.HTMLBody = strFile + objMsg.HTMLBody
                
                Set objInsp = Nothing
                Set objDoc = Nothing
            End If
            strFile = strFile & vbCrLf & vbCrLf
            objMsg.Save
        End If
    Next
 
ExitSub:
    Set objAttachments = Nothing
    Set objMsg = Nothing
    Set objSelection = Nothing
    Set objOL = Nothing
End Sub
Public Function GetSpecialFolder(FolderCSIDL As Long) As String
    Dim HWnd As Long
    Dim Path As String
    Dim Res As Long
    Dim ErrNumber As Long
    Dim ErrText As String
    Path = String$(MAX_PATH, vbNullChar)
    
    ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
    ' get the folder name
    ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
    Res = SHGetFolderPath(HWnd:=0&, _
                            csidl:=FolderCSIDL, _
                            hToken:=0&, _
                            dwFlags:=0&, _
                            pszPath:=Path)
    Select Case Res
        Case S_OK
            Path = TrimToNull(Text:=Path)
            GetSpecialFolder = Path
        Case S_FALSE
            MsgBox "The folder code is valid but the folder does not exist."
            GetSpecialFolder = vbNullString
        Case E_INVALIDARG
            MsgBox "The value of FolderCSIDL is not valid."
            GetSpecialFolder = vbNullString
        Case Else
            ErrNumber = Err.LastDllError
            ErrText = "ERROR!"
            MsgBox "An error occurred." & vbCrLf & _
                "System Error: " & CStr(ErrNumber) & vbCrLf & _
                "Description:  " & ErrText
    End Select
End Function
Public Function TrimToNull(Text As String) As String
    Dim N As Long
    N = InStr(1, Text, vbNullChar)
    If N Then
        TrimToNull = Left(Text, N - 1)
    Else
        TrimToNull = Text
    End If
End Function