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How to Download Embedded Images as Attachments in Microsoft Outlook

Author: Chris Lee, Senior Director, Information Technology

With the rise of smartphone email clients such as Apple Mail and similar, many email messages that you receive in Outlook will contain images – but they are not sent as attachments. Rather, they are embedded within the actual body of the email itself.

This is an annoyance for the many users of Microsoft Outlook (and similar email programs) who want to quickly access and save those images as file attachments.

Depending upon what version of Outlook that you have, there are two workarounds for this:

Outlook version 2010 or later

If you're using Outlook version 2010 or later, you can right-click the image and save the file directly like this:

Downloading Images As Attachments in Outlook

Problem solved and you can save the image directly to your hard drive.

Save the entire email as an HTML document

If you are using an earlier version of Outlook or another email program that does not easily allow you to access attachments, here's a great workaround:

  1. Select FILE, and then SAVE AS:

    Downloading Images As Attachments in Outlook
  2. Choose HTML for the message format:

    Downloading Images As Attachments in Outlook
  3. You will notice that you've saved one file and one folder to your hard drive. The file is the email itself (with an .htm) extension, and the folder is the name of the email. You want to open the folder.

    Downloading Images As Attachments in Outlook

  4. Voila! Inside the folder are all your images that were contained within in the email!

    Downloading Images As Attachments in Outlook
    There are other files in there also (mostly XML files) that make up the structure of the email itself.

    Check the images carefully, as sometimes you may get two different versions of the same image (as shown above). Everything else being equal, you should select the larger file size of the two photo files.

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