It can be quite beneficial to move select Gmail email attachments directly to a cloud storage provider such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Microsoft's OneDrive.
The reason is simple: usually, you get much better file handling capabilities there, and options to share the files with other users are also integrated into most file hosting solutions. Also, you may make some of these files available publicly on these file hosting services, something that cannot be done directly on Gmail.
If you are a teacher, you could ask your students to send emails to your Gmail account with their homework attached to them, and have the files moved automatically to your file hosting solution of choice.
You could also use that for work. Automatically add all attachments to a folder on the file hosting site that is shared with all team members, so that everyone has access to those files even if they do not have access to the email account itself.
It takes two steps to create such a solution:
We start with the filter, as we need it to create a new recipe on IFTTT. Here is what you need to do:
I have mentioned IFTTT (If This Then That) before here on Ghacks.It allows you to create automated rules that it processes for you, something along the like IF the sun shines tomorrow Then send me an email.
Rules use a trigger channel that defines the "This" component of the rule. A trigger channel is a service like Gmail, Dropbox, Google Drive or a device or feature such as Android Device, Android SMS or iOS Photos.
Once you have selected a channel, Gmail for example, you are asked to select the trigger. For Gmail, this can be a new email, a new attachment, new email from an address you specify, a new starred email, a new labeled email, or new email from search.
Once you have made the selection, you are asked to enter additional information if required. None is required if you select "a new email" for example, but if you select "a new labeled email", you are asked to enter that label there.
The "That" part defines the action which is what you want to be run when the "This" part is triggered. Here you select a device or service again, say Dropbox, and select one of the available actions that you want performed.
Create the recipe
To create the recipe on IFTTT, do the following:
The new rule is live the moment it is created. I suggest you send a test message to the email address in question to make sure everything is set up correctly. If it is not, go back and modify the recipe or the filter on Gmail to correct the issue.
Note that you need to authorize IFTTT to access Gmail and the cloud storage provider that you have selected.
What you may need to do in addition is notify other users about this, and maybe share the folder on the file hosting service with others as well if that is desired.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.