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Remove Attachment via Exchange or Outlook rules

Posted on 2012-04-13
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Last Modified: 2012-04-17
Hey all, rule question here...
  I would like to setup a rule to limit attachments inside my domain. This is relatively easy to do via a transport rule on my exchange 2010 box. Unfortunately the 'Actions' available are somewhat limited.
  I currently have the Transport rule set to block any email with an attachment over 2meg sent from 'Inside the organization' to 'inside the organization', it then emails the sender saying it was blocked. Two problems with this, the returned email is the same size as the original sent message, so i end up with users with a bunch of big 'Email was blocked' messages. The other being that the recipient doesn't recieve anything (obviously).

What I want:
  I would like to have a transport rule, or a forced outlook rule that strips the attachment, and allows the message text to continue with a note of some kind saying "Attachment Removed" . I dont think this is possible to do via a Transport rule exclusively so...
  One method I am thinking is maybe I have a transport rule that will add a classification to the email,  or certain text string to the subject that outlook will see. When outlook sees that Classification tag, or text string, it will then run a rule with VB code to strip and delete the attachment.

Thoughts and opinions on other options??
Or directions on the VB code needed, and how to get it into an outlook rule, and make sure that users are not allowed to turn it off?

Sorry for long winded question, hoped the more details on current setup might help us find a solution here.
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Question by:klinkman
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LVL 37

Assisted Solution

by:Neil Russell
Neil Russell earned 134 total points
ID: 37843880
VBA Code would be simpleist.

You should be able to easily adapt the code found here -> http://manage-this.com/strip-outlook-attachments-vba/

use the ItemSend event to call youew routine based on that example and strip the attachments out.
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LVL 47

Assisted Solution

by:apache09
apache09 earned 366 total points
ID: 37849667
To acheive what you looking for, i dont really think your going to get this with outlook/exchange itself.

Realistically, your going to need 1 of two things

1) A 3rd party attachment handling tool or app
MapiLap offers something similar, However slipstick also has a listing of known good attachment handling tools

http://www.mapilab.com/outlook/attachments_processor/

http://www.slipstick.com/addins/auto-process/attachment-management-tools-for-outlook/

2) A Mail Management/Filtering App/Service such as MAIL MARSHAL
http://www.m86security.com
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Author Comment

by:klinkman
ID: 37853140
Damn VB script, havent touched code in far too long. Not going to lie, not sure where to start on slimming that code down to just discard the attachments. It is the right idea though, just not one i am having much luck with.

3rd party is always an option, just evaluating what i can do before spending money on another software package.
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LVL 47

Accepted Solution

by:
apache09 earned 366 total points
ID: 37853784
If you would like to try and use code to do it, Outlookcode.com is a great site.

Just doing a quick search on removing attachments show alot of results.
Im confident you cant find the code you need here to do it.
Possibly code that already been written.

The bonus of using outlook code is the code is specifically written for Outlook.

here is a exampkle of a result on Removing attachments:
http://www.outlookcode.com/threads.aspx?forumid=1&messageid=32759

http://www.outlookcode.com

Also, if you a bit rusty or need help with your code, these guys can help
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Author Closing Comment

by:klinkman
ID: 37857084
Outlookcode.com is a great resource, thank you! I found code that was documented well enough that i could change it to do what i wanted... but...
It ends up i am going to have to go third party for a few different reasons, one being that i want the attachments to be stripped whether the user's outlook client is open or not.
Thank you for the input and suggestions.
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