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Remove Duplicate Attachments

Remove Duplicate Attachments
Safely removes duplicate attachments in messages, contacts, appointments, meetings, tasks, notes, journal entries and other Outlook items by replacing them with links.
Version: 4.21 released on May 11, 2023.
(4.7 / 77 reviews)

Remove Duplicate Attachments for Outlook
You can download a free limited version down below

Microsoft Outlook is a powerful email client that allows you to manage not only emails but also contacts, calendar and journal entries, tasks, and notes in one application. These items may contain bulky attached files. When the same attachments are sent multiple times, they accumulate in your Outlook mailbox and take up valuable space. Outlook duplicates slow down overall performance and interfere with your daily work.

Let's see how to solve the duplicate Outlook attachments issue.

Main features

  • Searches for duplicate attachments in multiple Outlook folders, across folders or in each folder separately.
  • Allows you to search for duplicates using a specific file name mask.
  • Saves duplicate attachments to a disk, replacing them with links instead of eliminating them permanently.
  • Retains a folder structure by saving deleted attachments on disks in the same subfolders as they were in the Outlook mailbox.
  • Allows you to set a folder priority to determine which attachments are considered originals and which are duplicates.
  • Searches for attachment duplicates among the Outlook items of selected type: emails, contacts, appointments, meetings, tasks, notes, and journal entries.
  • Filters Outlook items by date so that you can only search for duplicates within a specific date range.
  • Provides command line app in the Professional Edition of the utility, which allows for running batches, scripts, and Windows Task Scheduler.

Why Outlook duplicates attachments

There are several reasons why attachments duplicate in Outlook mailbox:

  1. The email was forwarded multiple times, and each forward added a copy of the attachment.
  2. Different emails with the same attachments may be sent from several addresses, especially in big companies. 
  3. The email is copied to another mailbox folder, and a copy of the attachment is saved in each location.
  4. The recipient has multiple email accounts configured in Outlook, and the same email was delivered to each account, resulting in multiple attachment copies.
  5. The type and configuration of the recipient's account may result in an attachment duplication.
  6. Email client software bugs may also cause attachments to appear as duplicates.

Another cause of duplicated attachments may be the duplication of the items that contain attached files. Learn more about the reasons for Outlook duplicates to avoid this problem.

How to delete duplicate Outlook attachments manually

Outlook does not have a built-in feature to detect and remove duplicates. To manually delete duplicate Outlook attachments, you need to search for them by name or file type by entering them in the Search bar. Or sort the items and identify and delete the same attached documents one by one.

  1. Open Outlook and go to your inbox or the folder where you want to delete the duplicate attachments.
  2. Sort your emails by attachments. Go to menu View > View Settings > Sort, and then select  "Attachment" from the "Sort items by" drop-down list. 
  3. Scroll through your emails and look for the same attached files.
  4. Click the email that contains the duplicate attachment and then right-click the attached document in the message. 
  5. Select "Save As" to save the attachment to your computer if needed.
  6. Once you have saved the file, you can delete it by clicking on ‘Remove attachment’ from the context menu. 
  7. You can also delete the email or other item that contains the duplicate attachment. 
  8. Repeat Steps 4-7 for all duplicate attached files.
  9. Repeat the whole process for all folders where you want to eliminate duplicate attachments.

The manual process is time-consuming and inapplicable for large numbers of duplicates. It is error-prone and insecure. To avoid losing important information, use a professional automatic tool.

How to automatically remove duplicate attachments in Outlook

By using this utility, you can automatically detect and remove duplicate attached files in Outlook items. This tool is easy-to-use and safe.

Benefits of the automatic duplicate removal

  • The utility quickly finds and removes duplicates, freeing up space in your mailbox.
  • The removed files remain easily accessible as they are replaced with links. 
  • Deleted attachments can be restored at any moment using the Restore Attachments from Links tool.
  • You can use the file mask to identify duplicates by file name or type or to exclude certain files from the process.
  • You can set the folder priority to determine which folder contains the originals.
  • The utility can keep the original Outlook folder structure when saving attachments on a local drive. 
  • You can search for duplicates among the selected Outlook items using the filter by type or by period.
  • The software removes the same attachments in multiple mailbox folders, and the Professional Edition allows for batch removal in multiple mailboxes.

Steps to remove duplicate attachments in Outlook:

  1. Open the utility from the Outlook ribbon or separately without launching Outlook.
  2. Select the Outlook folders to scan for duplicates by clicking the "Configure" button.
  3. Use the file mask to include or exclude attached files of a certain name or type, optional.
  4. Indicate the path to the destination folder where removed files are saved.
  5. To preserve the folder structure of the attachment's original location, check the “Create subfolders” box.
  6. By setting the folder priority, you can determine where to leave the originals (high priority) and where to remove the duplicates (low priority). If the priority is not set, the utility leaves the unique attachment in the oldest message.
  7. Use filters in the Advanced tab. Select Outlook items of a certain type and for the chosen period.
  8. Run the tool and get the final log report.

Remove duplicate Outlook attachments in bulk.

The utility Professional Edition includes the command line app, which allows you to mass-remove duplicate attachments in multiple user mailboxes and Exchange Server public folders.

You can use different batches, scripts, and Windows Task Scheduler to automate the mass-duplicate removal in the way you need.


Why remove duplicate attachments in Outlook?

Duplicate attachments in Outlook refer to multiple copies of the same file that are attached to different items within your mailbox. These duplicates occupy valuable storage space and make it more difficult to find the information you need.

Why do duplicate attachments accumulate in Outlook?

Duplicate attachments accumulate in Outlook due to a variety of reasons. The main ones are:

  • Receiving multiple emails with the same attached files
  • Copying items to another Outlook folder
  • Forwarding an email with the same attachment multiple times

How can I remove duplicate attachments in Outlook?

You can remove duplicate attachments in Outlook by manually going through your emails and deleting the same attached documents, or you can use this utility specifically designed to save and replace duplicate attachments with links. This method is safe and clears up mailbox space quickly and easily.

If the attached files are duplicated along with the Outlook items, you need to prevent and remove Outlook duplicates as described in our blog.

Can I remove duplicate attachments from several mailbox folders at once?

Yes. By using a command-line app in the professional version of the utility, you can remove duplicates from several mailbox folders in one go. Also, you can deduplicate attachments in multiple Outlook and Exchange Server mailboxes. You can create different scenarios with scripts and Windows Task Scheduler.

Is there a built-in feature to remove duplicate attachments in Outlook?

Outlook provides no inbuilt options to remove duplicate attachments. You need a special add-in like this one to remove duplicates automatically.

The attachment links have been blocked. How can I open them?

Sometimes, after replacing attached files with links, you may see a message that attachments have been blocked as potentially unsafe. This is a common Outlook warning on the attachment links. This can be easily fixed by using the free ReliefJet Tweaker tool:

  1. Launch the ReliefJet Outlook Tweaker.
  2. In the Control Attachments tab, find and enable the "Allow linked attachments" option.
  3. Restart Outlook to have access to your attachment links.
OutlookFreeware.com Outlook Ribbon
All utilities easily integrate with Outlook (optionally)

* This utility is for non-commercial home use only. It will not run in domain enviroment. Some of the described features and support for domain enviroment are available in advanced version of the utility only. Free version may have additional limitations.

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