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Getting gmail attachments without also downloading signature files, etc.

  • 31 August 2022
  • 7 replies

Hi there,

We use Gmail and we are able to take ‘All Attachments’ that are on an email and save it to a linked Google Drive.

This works well. Multiple files are uploaded as a Zip file.

However, my issue is that I want to avoid ‘All Attachments’ and try and split these individual files.

For example, a Zip file may contain the PDF attachment that I want BUT then also all of the 3KB signature icons from the email. 

How can I just take the attachment that I want rather than ‘All Attachments’?

@Danvers - does your comment relate to this?! 

Thank you! 


Best answer by Danvers 13 September 2022, 18:01

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7 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

Hi @Rob B!

Great question!

With Gmail you can use the trigger New Attachment, which will trigger the Zap for eacattachment on an email as a separate file rather than one zip file with all the attachments. 

You mentioned that you don’t want the Zap to run for every attachment (eg not for signature files) and you can add a Filter by Zapier step to make that work. With Filter by Zapier, you could specify that the Zap should only continue if the file type is pdf, or if there are certain words in the title of the file. You can learn more about filters in this help guide


I hope that helps!

Hi @Danvers , thanks so much for the advice here!

I’m struggling to single out individual attachments on an email.

Say if an email arrives with 4 attachments in it. 3 of them being PDFs (that I want to upload to Google Drive) and 1 being a Jpeg (that I don’t want), how can Filter help me? 

The Filter will always continue in the above case as it sees ‘PDF’ in the file type of some of the attachments on the email.

I’ve looked at using an extra step in the Zap where, after Google Drive upload, you use a Google Drive Zap to find new/recent PDF uploads and move these to a different/filtered folder for use.

However, if there are multiple uploads (3 PDFs and 1 Jpeg in this case), they are uploaded as a single Zip file rather than in multiple files. So no moving of ‘just’ PDF files can take place...

What do you think?

Thanks so much! Rob 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Hi @Rob B 


What @Danvers is suggesting is using the Gmail Trigger “New Attachment” , this triggers once per attachments. i.e.: if an email has 4 attachments it will trigger 4 times. This way the filter will stop only 1 zap which is the JPG attachment. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Hey @Rob B just checking in here! Were you able to try out the “New Attachment” trigger to see if that helps bypass the issue you were having with all attachments being rolled up into a single .zip file? Let us know - we want to make sure you’re taken care of here! 🙂

Hi @jesse 

Thanks so much for following up on this.

I’m still a bit confused, to be honest.

If there are, say, 4 attachments - therefore 4 triggers - how do you know what trigger you are using?

Do you just create 4 actions in a row? 

Or would this just add the first attachment four times?

Thanks so much for the help!


Userlevel 7
Badge +12

Hi Rob!

Let’s see if we can clear this up for you :) 

You would just need to create one Zap, the Zap should use the Gmail New Attachment trigger. So the first two steps of the Zap would be

  1. Gmail - New attachment
  2. Filter - only continue if the attachment type is a pdf
  3. Google Drive - Upload file

When you get a new email with any number of attachments, the Zap will run through all three steps for each attachment. 


Maybe an analogy will help. Let’s say you run a paper recycling company and get bags of waste. The bags could have all kinds of recycling it in, but you only want to send paper to be processed. 

Your emails are the bags of waste. If you use the new email trigger, the whole bag gets put on the conveyor belt at once, so your sorting machine (filter step) can’t tell what needs to go where. The new attachment trigger is the equivalent of someone taking the each new bag and taking the items out  out one at a time to put on the conveyor. The machine can then go through each piece of waste on at a time to sort what needs to go where.  


I hope that helps, please let me know if my analogy just made things more confusing 😅



Hi @Danvers 

Thanks so much for the help here - it’s really appreciated.

I’m still having problems with the Filter.

See this screenshot:

As you can see, the “Matched Items” include attachments that are PNG files. Even though the single rule requires for a File type that exactly matches “application/pdf”.

Am I doing something wrong here?

On my testing I seem to be only able to run the Zap once (which makes sense!) but this pulls out the ‘first’ attachment on the email - a “image/png” file.

Thanks so much again,