Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If I attach something to a mail which I send to 100 people and then each of them might then forward it again somewhere, how many copies of the attachment are the on the servers?

When would a new copy be created?

share|improve this question
Attachment handling is probably one of their trade secrets. I imagine they minimize copies as much as possible, but distribute them to each server close to where the recipients usually access their mail. But why do you care? – William Aug 12 '10 at 22:28
@William: a general wondering. – Lazer Aug 13 '10 at 7:56
up vote 3 down vote accepted

New copies are created once the email is sent. The file(s) only exists on the server until the email is actually sent. That's why you can get bounceback messages because an email is too large in size from recipients. The attachments are actually embedded within the email itself when it's sent (and forwarded).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.