I have a bunch of gmail messages (All in account, or search results, or specific label - I'm fine if the answer applies to any of these sets).

Some of them have images, either inline or as attachments.

Is there a way to download all images from these emails?

I'm comfortable if the solution downloads all attachments, not just images - just assume every attachment IS an image - as long as inline images get downloaded too.

  • Extra bonus points (as in, a bounty promise) if the solution allows deleting all images after download.
    – DVK
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 2:59
  • Deleting all images? From the server, or from the computer downloaded to? From the local computer it easy, just download to a specially created directory, then delete that directory. From the server is another story. Deleting those images will require deleting the emails that they are in or attached to. If that's what you want, download to local, then delete the emails, then use POP rather than IMAP, and set the server to not keep a copy of POP downloaded emails.
    – user144900
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 7:28
  • @gyp I only need to delete images. NOT emails. From server.
    – DVK
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 12:06
  • AFAIK the only way to delete parts of an email, such as embedded images, is to delete the whole email. You could, theoretically, open the email file itself, not just the body, in a text editor and delete the lines containing the encoded images. But, then I don't know how you'd re-save those to your Gmail account. I can't imagine the end goal, or reasons, so I'm somewhat lost on how to proceed. Seems that you're trying to go against the normal flow of the tools at hand.
    – user144900
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 20:33
  • @GypsySpellweaver - it's quite doable. Challenging and tricky but doesn't require any black magic.
    – DVK
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 23:31

1 Answer 1


Gmail emails are the hardest thing to download properly. Google’s other services let you download a file directly from the associated website, but Gmail requires an email application that supports IMAP. We’ll use Mozilla Thunderbird here. Gmail Backup, which we’ve covered in the past, is another option. First, you’ll have to head into your Gmail settings, click over to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab and ensure that IMAP is enabled. You’ll also want to disable folder size limits – otherwise, Thunderbird won’t see all your Gmail messages.

Google Takeout

You may have heard of Google Takeout, which we’ve covered in the directory. Google Takeout is supposed to package all your Google data into a single file for download, but it isn’t quite there yet. It is improving, though – Google recently added Google Docs support.

Google does all the work of getting your data together and packaging it into a single ZIP file for you — you can even close the window and have Google email you when the file is ready to download.

This article would be helpful to you

As they suggest a number of tools like thunderbird which can help you.

  • 1
    An answer isn't very useful if all of the useful information is on some other site.
    – ale
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 13:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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