Automatically filter and save attachments on Exchange Server

We all know users love to send large files in messages. As they tend to do so, their mailboxes start to grow bigger and bigger again. While the Exchange message store overloads with mega bytes, the administrator starts to lose control over the amount of information that is being sent in emails. Of course users have been told not to exceed a given attachment size limit but they never listen.

So what should the poor server administrator do in such case? Is there a way to set an attachment size limit on Microsoft Exchange Server and hold the growing message store from receiving too much data? A good idea would be to identify messages that contain too large attachments and either reject them, or automatically save them to a dedicated hard drive, from which they can be easily accessed by the recipient. Here’s how to do it with CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO, a Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and 2010 add-on designed for adding useful administration features to Exchange.

More than Hub Transport rules have to offer

CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO adds a lot of useful email actions to Exchange Server 2007 and 2010 that can be used to control the email flow in the entire organization.  It allows setting up automatic email signatures and disclaimers on the server side, scanning and categorizing emails in search of sensitive content, setting server-sided auto replies, configuring forwarding rules and many more. But most importantly, it allows you to control the attachments that are received by users and store them outside the message store of Exchange Server.

If you want to get a general idea of how the program works , take a look at this video:

Attachment control in CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO

CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO executes email actions according to rules which are defined by conditions, exceptions and options. The rules can be fired according to various criteria, e.g. Active Directory attributes of users or the content of emails, e.g. phrases found in messages. The program is also capable of filtering attachments from incoming mail and when a file that matches the defined pattern is found, it can be compressed, removed or automatically saved to another location.

The screenshot below illustrates some of the options of the attachment filter in CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO.

Attachment filter in CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO

Fig. 1. Attachment filter in CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO.

As you can see, the program lets you filter the attachments found in messages according to the file name or size. You can also choose to perform actions on any file that comes with incoming mail.

Once the attachment fulfilling the given criteria is found in the message you can perform selected actions. The program offers a convenient file compressing tool, but also lets you simply remove the attachment and save on a local or network drive where it can be easily accessed by the addressee. What’s more, you can also automatically add a few lines of text to the message, informing the user that the attachments where automatically saved to another location.

Actions performed on attachments in CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO

Fig.2. Attachment actions available in CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO.

CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO - notifying about attachment location

Fig. 3. Composing the automatic email notification for the user in CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO.

After launching the rule together with the email notification, the number of mega bites from attachments will no longer grow in your message store, but still users will be able to exchange information between them freely.

Try it FOR FREE!

The above mentioned method involves setting a rule that automatically removes attachments from messages and saves them to another place where they do not affect the size of the mailboxes and, as a result, the performance of the server. On the other hand, it is just an example of how the attachment filter in CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO can be used. Download the free trial for the program and play around with the settings. The program was designed to give you as much freedom and possibility in server administration as possible – try it yourself!

Read a detailed guide on this configuration in the Knowledge Base
More about attachment control on Exchange Server
Download the free trial of CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO
See other products from CodeTwo

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7 thoughts on “Automatically filter and save attachments on Exchange Server

  1. Our users send out a lot of pdf files exceeding 2MB. This often causes problems on the receiver’s end. Messages often lack attachments or are simply being blocked. Our users were told to always reduce the size of files to minimum before they send the message, but they often forget to do that. We would like to compress the size of sent attachments automatically each time it exceeds a certain limit. We use Exchange 2010. Can it be done with your tool?

  2. Hi Vlad! Yes, it’s one of the ways you can use CodeTwo Exchange Rules PRO. Should you need more information, this manual may be a bit of a help:

  3. This program appears to have a serious problem dealing with attachments on Exchange 2010 and tech support is slow!

  4. Hi, using that product is possible to compact (zip) and save the attach in file system folder, FTP and put a URL to file in original message?

  5. Hi Vicente,

    Currently this is not possible, but we will try to implement both capabilities in a future release. Please monitor our blog for updates!

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