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OSX : Force to show attachments as icons

Mac has a really annoying habit of displaying attachments inline When viewing email messages, instead of a simple icon you find the contents of your attachments are displayed. It’s particularly annoying when you want to print a short email, which has a huge PDF or image attached to it. You can right click the attachment and choose View as Icon from the context menu, but that only works for a single attachment, in a single message – and that quickly get’s old!

Preventing this behaviour is pretty simple if you are using a version of prior to 7.1 (the version that comes with Mavericks). Just open the Terminal application and enter the following command:

If you want to reverse the action, just change the trailing yes for no and re-enter.

LokiWare Attachment Tamer

LokiWare Attachment Tamer

Attachment Tamer still best option for Mavericks!

Version 7.1 of mail (the one that comes with Mavericks) and later won’t respond to the same tweak. At the moment there is no known command line tweak to fix the problem, but there is an excellent offering from LokiWare called Attachment Tamer. The Mavericks version of this software is still in beta, but I have been using it for a couple of months (and previous versions since 2007) on my work machine without any problems – it doesn’t yet fix the inline attachment viewing, but importantly it fixes the problems related to sending attachments in a manner compatible with outlook and, well, let’s face it, the rest of the world.

Hopefully the author, Adam Nohejl, will find the answer soon enough.





19 Responses to OSX : Force to show attachments as icons

  1. Patrick August 4, 2014 at 00:47 #

    I don’t normally comment on things but, seriously, I love you. I’ve been annoyed at Mac Mail for years because of this. Thanks a bunch!

    • steve August 8, 2014 at 20:32 #

      Thanks 🙂 have a great week!

  2. Maddison August 25, 2014 at 18:37 #

    This worked great for what I needed, but when I attempt to reverse it back (using above instruction to replace “yes” with “no” it is not working. Any help?

    • steve December 4, 2014 at 12:30 #

      You must log out and back in again…

  3. Valerie September 16, 2014 at 14:12 #

    I tried this several times with no results. It didn’t work typing the command into terminal.

  4. Joe September 18, 2014 at 21:50 #

    Newish Mavericks user here. For years (and previous OSes), I had this exact change to DisableInlineAttachmentViewing in place. The setting appeared to work as expected from the side.

    I discovered recently that Windows Exchange recipients were seeing my attached images as “squished,” as if the dimensions of the original image were overwritten with something smaller. I suspect this may have began when I upgraded to Mavericks (hard for me to pin that down).

    Disabling this (-bool no) restored full images in my composition window — which sucks — but also allowed Windows Exchange recipients to see what I intend.

    So I’ve spent time with the pre-release build of Attachment Tamer and it does seem to send something more acceptable. More experimentation will be had.

  5. Ted October 15, 2014 at 02:41 #

    I have used the Terminal command for some time but have recently found that jpg attachments are often being received as vertically squashed images. For example I can send from and to my two iMac OSX 10.8,5 computers with no trouble but the images are distorted when received on my iPad or some other people’s Macs. Do you know of a work around other than giving up on jpg files?

  6. Tash October 18, 2014 at 01:16 #

    THANKYOU! you know this is actually the first online terminal code that i’ve found that has actually worked for me!

  7. Will October 22, 2014 at 16:12 #

    Thanks, it works perfect in mail 8.0 on OS X Yosemite.

    • David January 21, 2015 at 20:43 #

      Are you running 8.1? I just tried and couldn’t make it work. Haven’t restarted the machine, though, only the program.

      • steve January 23, 2015 at 14:52 #

        V7.3 here… not using Yosemite

    • Tom February 6, 2015 at 01:32 #

      @ Will

      What did you do to get it to work? I’ve just about every combination and it won’t work. I’m running Yosemite, and Mail 8.2

  8. Minka November 12, 2014 at 23:50 #

    I can’t believe that I found you with your solution to Mac mail and inline attachments. Never mind you saved me from tearing all of my hair off my head! I am now a subscriber. Thanks so much!!!!!

  9. jason December 5, 2014 at 12:07 #

    This code works great, thank you. But it also makes my footer image (set in signatures) appear as an icon. Any way around that?
    Still waiting for the yosemite update to attachment tamer

  10. Almond Butterscotch December 8, 2014 at 05:42 #

    I never comment on web articles that help out with minor issues, but this is incredible. Like another user before, I’ve been annoyed at Mail for nearly a decade because of this. Cheers!

  11. Karen February 9, 2015 at 08:05 #

    Thank You!!!

  12. Viking July 10, 2015 at 12:08 #

    Thanks a lot! I really HATE this function in Mail. I installed Yosemite yesterday and discovered Attachment Tamer did not work anymore and no new updates was going to be released (at least that’s what they say on the website). But I tried your method and this worked for me even I am running Yosemite and Mail vs. 8.2.


  13. Gary Dailey August 26, 2015 at 21:48 #

    This didn’t help much. Outlook 365 and exchange servers still had issues. The fixe was a simple install from this page. Anti Inline Attachments:


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