macOS High Sierra

View, save, or delete attachments

There are various ways to work with attachments in messages you receive.

Open Mail for me

View attachments

Do any of the following:

  • Open an attachment displayed as an icon: Double-click or force click the icon. The attachment opens in another app, such as Preview or TextEdit.

  • Preview attachments (without opening them): Select the attachment, then press the Space bar. Or move the pointer over the message header, click the Attach button , then choose Quick Look. To preview attachments as a full-screen slideshow, press and hold the Option key when you choose a Quick Look command. You can also force click an attachment to preview it.

  • Display an attachment as an icon: Control-click an attachment that’s shown in the message (such as a one page PDF document), then choose View as Icon from the shortcut menu. To show the attachment again, Control-click it, then choose View in Place.

Mail automatically downloads attachments you receive based on the option you set in Account Information preferences in Mail.

Save attachments

Do any of the following:

  • Move the pointer over the message header, click the Attach button , choose Save All or click the name of an attachment, then select where to save the files. Or choose File > Save Attachments.

  • Drag an attachment to the desktop to save it there.

By default, Mail saves attachments in the Downloads folder, available in the Dock. To specify a different default folder, choose Mail > Preferences, click General, then select a folder.

Delete attachments

  • Choose Message > Remove Attachments. The message remains in the mailbox, and is annotated to indicate that all attachments were manually removed. For IMAP accounts, attachments are also deleted from the mail server, and can’t be retrieved.

By default, when you delete a message with an attachment, the attachment is deleted too. To change this setting, choose Mail > Preferences, click General, click the “Remove unedited downloads” pop-up menu, then choose an option. Mail doesn’t delete attachments that you have saved.

If you send or forward images or PDF documents you receive to other people, you can mark up the attachments with comments, drawings, or a signature before you send them.