OS X: Turning Off Inline Mail Attachments

| TMO Quick Tip

A few operating systems ago, there was an excellent Terminal command that would let you disable inline attachments in Mail. What are inline attachments? Well, as you may have noticed, when you insert an image or a single-page PDF, the item plops itself right in the body of your email.

That’s kind of cool, but it’s frustrating and weird for a lot of people. And by “a lot of people,” I mean me. I like being able to drag my attachments around as icons, and while I know you can change a single attachment by right-clicking on it…

…that’s just not convenient to do all of the time. Luckily, the command that disables this feature is working again in El Capitan, so let’s rejoice and check it out! To do so, open the Terminal program (it’s within Applications > Utilities) and copy and paste the following text into its window:

defaults write com.apple.mail DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool YES

Press Return, and then instead of your attachments looking like they do in my first screenshot, they’ll all be icons, like this:

I just find things so much easier to manage that way! 

If you decide you don’t like this setup, you can reverse the command by changing the last word:

defaults write com.apple.mail DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool NO

And that’s all there is to it.

One more thing—be aware that if you change this on your own machine, it won’t necessarily affect how your recipients see things. For example, I put images and a PDF into an email as shown in the screenshot below:

And this is how it showed up on the other end:

So this command is solely for your own email-attachment happiness. That’s enough for me, though!

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