Attachment Extractor for Thunderbird

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 24, 2007
Updated • Mar 15, 2014
Email, Thunderbird

I encounter a situation recently where I had to extract about forty emails with attachments in Thunderbird. Doing so manually would waste a lot oft time and I decided to look for a way to extract all the attachments automatically. instead to save time for this operation and future operations as well.

Thankfully genbeta posted a link to the Thunderbird Attachment Extractor extension the other day which can be used to extract multiple file attachments in Thunderbird automatically.

The extension makes it easy to extract multiple attachments at once. Just select all the mails that have attachments that you want to save to your system and right-click afterwards.

The option to extract them either to the default Thunderbird directory or to another location can be selected from the context menu. You may want to configure the Attachment Extractor before you use it though.

You can for instance add potentially dangerous file types to a filter so that attachments that are executable are not saved, add a default save path or define which action should take place if a file name already exists.

Installation is a little bit trickier than installing extensions in Firefox. You have to download the xpi file and install it directly in Thunderbird by going to Tools > Extensions > Install. Choose the downloaded file and it will be installed automatically at the next start.

Update: Attachment Extractor is now hosted on the official Mozilla Add-ons repository for Thunderbird. The way you install the extension in the email client has changed slightly. You need to download the extension from the Mozilla website first by right-clicking on the download link and selecting the Save As option from the context menu.

thunderbird attachment extractor

In Thunderbird click on Tools > Add-ons > Extensions, and there on the small menu icon next to the Search all add-ons field at the top. Select Install add-on from file and pick the file you have just downloaded. The extension installs then automatically and you need to restart the browser before it becomes activated.

You do not need the extension if you want to save multiple extensions from a single email. Just click on the save all link in this case when the email is open to save all mails attached to it to your local system.

It is however excellent if you have received multiple emails with attachments, and want to save them all to your system.


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  1. Ondrej said on February 28, 2020 at 10:34 am

    This add-on doesn’t work at all on new (60+) versions of Thunderbird.

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