Remove image attachments and text from emails before mailbox arrival

Posted on 2014-10-28
Last Modified: 2016-10-09
I have configured a mailbox for staff to email their IT issues to.
All our users have a signature that contains some legal text and few images (company logos and what not... the usual garbage)

Is there a way I can remove the text and images from the email BEFORE it arrives into the mailbox.
Maybe with a hub transport rule or a third party application that can forward it on?

Question by:antonioking
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Accepted Solution

Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 400 total points
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You cannot remove attachments with transport rules (it does have attachment inspection, but that blocks the attachment).

The only tool that I can think of that that might do it is Code Two rules pro. It isn't specifically written, but it might be something it can do, perhaps via a rule reversal.

Version of Exchange would be helpful.


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Thank you gentlemen
Currently all user signature .htm files are stored on a share.
Group Policy copies the file to the user's PC

This codetwo application could prove very useful indeed!

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This tool is great for removing keywords, it even allows you to use regular expressions!
Downfall is the attachment support is minimal. You can either remove ALL attachments, attachments of a particular size, or attachments of a particular file type which does not cover my requirement.

I need to be able to specifically target these signature images.
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Assisted Solution

by:Adam (CodeTwo Software)
Adam (CodeTwo Software) earned 100 total points
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Hi antonioking,

The only solution I see is using the Force email format action set to Convert messages to Plain Text. This will remove all the images embedded in the body of an email, regardless if they were in the signature or in the email text. Note that, if your users used to send you e.g. images that illustrate the issues they noticed, they would now have to send those images as standard attachments.

Also keep in mind that the Force email format action will remove any other HTML content such as tables, font formatting, embedded hyperlinks, etc.

BTW, can you share the reason for using Group Policy instead of Hub Transport rules to add email signatures? Maybe that would put us on a track to finding an alternative solution.

Best regards,

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Thanks Adam
I have enabled the Force Email format rule and I am re-formatting the emails as Text. However the embedded images are simply added as attachments.

Our email signatures are stored on a shared folder.
Group Policy will copy the users signature to the %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Signatures folder
Reason for storing the signature files and not using rules is because our signature's are in html format, contain a number of images depending on the user's department. The signature also contains links to social media pages and contact information for the user.
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
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If you were to use a proper signature management tool then you could configure everything that you want on the signatures (although I am not a fan of images in signatures at all). That way if a member of staff moves to another department, simply update in one place and it works. The signature would also be applied no matter how the email was sent - Outlook, ActiveSync or OWA.
You could also then configure a rule to not apply the signature when sent to the mailbox in question.


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Hi Simon
I'm definitely going to look into this. I'm also not a fan of the imagery but it's our directors wish to include them.
Currently, it is very easy to manage. We do only have to update the signatures in one place, since everyone's signatures are in one shared folder, and GPP handles copying the files to the users computers. If we need to update a bulk of them or all of them I simply use find and replace and open all the files in NotePad++

But yes, do agree this CodeTwo tool could fit ours needs and does sound much easier to manage.
The fact it will add the signature to all outgoing mail (activesync and owa) is a huge plus.

Thank you guys, I'm not sure yet how we can remove these specific signature images but the tool has already proved very useful in removing the text and common phrases!

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