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Download Attachments from Multiple Emails in Thunderbird [100% Extraction]

Anuraag Singh | Published: 2021-12-29T13:00:15+00:00|Email Client | 4 Minutes Reading

Mozilla Thunderbird is a popular open-source email client. It is easy to use and maintain. It allows the user to access emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, etc. easily.

There can be many instances when there is a need to download attachments from multiple emails in Thunderbird. For example, HR is responsible to download a number of resumes of the candidates and process the same. The second instance could be when the manager wants to download the daily progress report of each individual for evaluating their performances for appraisal.

Some of the user queries that have been captured to give an insight for a need to extract attachments from Thunderbird is as below:

user query on thunderbird

There are two manual methods to download attachments from multiple emails in Thunderbird which are as below:

  1. Individual Download
  2. Using Add-On

Manual Method Using Individual Download

The following are the steps to download the attachments from emails using Individual Download practice:

  • Open Thunderbird in your system.
  • Then, open the email that contains attachments by double-clicking on it.
  • Locate the attachments at the bottom of the email page and then click on the ‘Save’ button.

save button

  • In the opened ‘Save Attachment’ window, choose the folder to save the attachments and then click on the ‘Save’ button.

choose destination

Limitations of Individual Download

  • The process of attachment extraction has to be repeated again for each email.
  • It is a tedious and time-consuming process.

Manual Method Using Add-On

Thunderbird allows adding multiple features using the Add-On functionality. ‘AttachmentExtractor Continued’ is an add-on that can be downloaded from the Add-ons section located in the Tools menu.

The following are the steps to download attachments from multiple emails in Thunderbird using the ‘AttachmentExtractor Continued’ add-on feature:

  1. Open the Thunderbird email application.
  2. Install the ‘AttachmentExtractor Continued’ add-on in the Thunderbird.
  3. Then, restart the Thunderbird application.
  4. Right-click on the ‘Inbox’ folder, select ‘AE Extract from Messages in Folders’, and then click on the ‘Browse’ option.
  5. In the opened window, select the folder where the attachments would be saved and then click on the ‘Select Folder’ button.
  6. In the newly opened window, keep the file name pattern as default or choose it from the drop-down list. Then, click on the ‘OK’ button.
  7. Now, the extraction of the attachments would begin. Once, completed you can click on the ‘OK’ button to finish extraction.

Limitation of Using ‘AttachmentExtractor Continued’ tool

This tool is applicable only on Thunderbird 68.0-78.* versions. The latest version does not support this add-on facility as addressed officially:

development given up

Automated Method to Download Attachments from Multiple Emails in Thunderbird

The alternative is by using the automated method as the MBOX Attachment Extractor tool.

Thunderbird emails are stored in MBOX format and therefore they can be downloaded using the ‘ImportExportTools NG’ add-on.

Once the Thunderbird emails are downloaded into MBOX format, then you can proceed with the automated tool.

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The following are the steps to extract the attachments from the MBOX files using the professional tool:

  1. Install and Launch Thunderbird Attachment Extractor tool.
  2. Click on ‘Add Files’ or ‘Add Folder’ to add MBOX files to the software.
  3. Select the MBOX files and then click on ‘Open’ button.
  4. You can now view the MBOX files into the software window.
  5. By clicking on ‘Search Files’, you can find the MBOX files from your system.
  6. The folder hierarchy options located at the bottom can be selected as per the user’s choice and then click on ‘Next’ button.
  7. You may change the destination location to save attachments and then click on ‘Next’ button.
  8. You can apply the filter options, file size, file type and naming convention available in the software window
  9. Now click on ‘Extract’ button to download attachments from multiple emails in Thunderbird into the selected destination location.
  10. Once the attachments are extracted successfully, then, you will get the message as ‘Attachments Extracted successfully’. Then, click on ‘OK’ button.

Final Thoughts

In the above blog, a brief on Thunderbird, the reasons for extraction of attachments, and the possible methods to download attachments from multiple emails in Thunderbird have been discussed. The manual methods are suitable for the extraction of fewer attachments and some are limited to specific versions. However, the automated method using Thunderbird Attachment Extractor works well on all the versions of Windows and gives the best results in a short period of time.

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