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How to Save Email Attachment on iPhone with Attachment Saver

Even with the release of iPhone 3.0, it lacks some well-expected features. Here is one complaint that I was told by some iPhone users:

How come I can’t save email attachment on iPhone?

On iPhone 3.0, it only allows you to save image in email attachment to photo library. But how about other types of attachment such as PDF, document or excel files? Presently, there is no way to save these kinds of attachment. You can only open the email and view the attachment within the Mail application.

Now, with a jailbroken iPhone, you’ll have the privilege to save email attachment to iPhone’s internal disk. Thanks to the developers of Attachment Saver to make this happen.

Attachment Saver is a hack that tweaks iPhone’s built-in Mail application to allow you to save email attachment. With the hack installed, you’ll see a new option called “Save to Disk” when you tap on the attachment. This option allows you to save the selected attachment to local disk and you can even choose specific folder to save the file.

Attachment Saver - Save attachmentAttachment Saver - Specify folder to save

With multiple email attachment, you can also tap the “Reply arrow” button to save the attachments all at once.

Attachement Saver - Save all attachments

Okay, when you read here, probably you already have a question in your mind. How can you open and read the attachment? When is it saved? iPhone does not come with any file browser to navigate the file system. With jailbroken iPhone, you can install iFile or FileViewer to open the attachment. By default, Attachment Saver saves all your attachment under /private/var/mobile/Library/Attachments. Simply use the file browser application and navigate to the folder. You’ll then find all your email attachments.

iFile - File Browser for iPhone

Attachment Saver is a paid cydia application and available at Cydia Store for US$1.99. I highly recommend this application if you are in search of the way to save email attachment on iPhone.

Tip: To learn more about how to purchase cydia apps from Cydia Store, check out this walkthrough guide.

About Simon Ng

Founder, developer and chief blogger of simonblog.com

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  • tomi

    is there any known way to change the default place to store the attachments downloaded? thank you very much

  • Msoes Lee

    /private/var/mobile/Library/Attachments.

  • http://www.toybox-uk.com Paul

    Great help , clarified a few things for me. Cheers for sharing the knowledge. Paul

  • Thomas

    Dear Simon,
    your report gives me some hope that a solution is available.
    Just to illustrate: As one of the Apple oldies (SE 4/20MB) I waited for the 3GS hoping that the product had matured. Clearly, the iPhone is a nice music/slideshow/video player with added phone functionallity but quite useless for mobile business use.
    Here Apple failed shamefully and adds to its long history of believing that they know best of how we should use their products. And unfortunately, their sales success might even confirm their belief.
    Harsch words, but unfortunatelly true:
    On a trip, I received an excel file as an attachment which needed my urgent input whereafter I needed to send it to someone else. Firstly, I thought I could transfer that attachment to my MacBook Pro (wrong assumption). Thethering was unfortunatley also not available from the network provider.
    So the file was somewhere in my iphone, and I was completely taken by surprise and disbelieve that Apple does not allow neither to save the attachment in an accessible location, nor gives me access to the file system nor has any decent offerning in the itunes store.
    To solve that, I had to revert to my old Sony Ericsson P1 where I could do all the things I wanted.
    My current conclusion if your advise does not help: I will give the iphone to my son to enjoy music and I will buy a decent phone capable of business use.

    PS:
    If jailbroken, is there a way to access the caller list to account/invoice for the time spend on the phone?

  • Lisa

    Does this app void the warranty on the iPhone?

    • http://www.simonblog.com Simon Ng

      @Lisa, to use this app, you will need to jailbreak your iPhone first, that may void the warranty.

  • Pingback: How to Save Attachments on the iPhone | Project Heresy

  • Stephane

    Just as Thomas said above, I too had to read a pdf file sent to me on the ipod.

    I was amazed at the ipod touch 3 would not allow me to save the attached pdf so as to open it with the app GoodReader.

    This app, apparently, opens the pdf in such a way that one needs only scroll vertically. I haven’t been able to verify that myself.

    As it is now, to read a pdf file, you need to first find again that old email containing it. Then you will have to be the master of scrolling, both vertically and horizontally to be able to read the pdf document. It should sharpen your psycho-motricity skills. When they tell you the ipod is a game platform…

    Hopefully, the some business friendlier Android alternative should come from South Asia in a year or two, just in time for me to replace the ipod.

  • FT

    Hello I already have the Save attachments and I use ifile to browse these files. When i open an excel file it use i think a web viewer or something like that because the letters are very small and I can increase the size.

    So all the beatifull of saving an attachment open with a file browser doesn’t work to good if you can’t saw the file.

    Any idea???

  • http://Studiobolaris.net BoLaRiS

    Ok folks if you want to be able to retrieve files that attachmentsaver doesn’t lock onto such as pdf’s and XML’s etc. there is a very basic way of getting to it.

    Whenever you read an email and click on an attachment to view it, what the device does is actually save it temporarily to the local directory : var/mobile/library/mail/attachments

    So after finishing reading your email and viewing your PDF or whatever it is you received as an attachment just use Ifile and grab it from this folder.

    An important note also is that this saved attachment gets replaced with the next viewed email attachment when loading up a fresh email, so be sure to grab your file and simply transfer it to a different folder of choice before loading up a new emails attachment.

    Done.

  • http://capelle.co.uk Kris

    This is all great but you need to jailbreak your phone – meaning – losing warranty on it. Just got myself a bran-spanking-new iphone 4 and will not risk to do it. Any “legal” ways to achieve the same?

    Thanks,
    K.

    • jonathan

      Jailbreaking is legal, remember, in the news?? anywhoo, if you want apple to service it just restore it to factory settings. Jailbreaking is more than worth it.

  • Dan

    Hi, I have an iphone 4 and this app crashes every time that I tell it to save. I’ve done a hard reboot, and it still does it. Please help. Thanks

  • Sam

    I also have an iPhone 4 and I have the same problem

  • Carl Thomerson

    Firstly, Attachment Saver is now $3, not $1.99. It’s worth the $3 as it does a few more things now than the $1.99 version did.

    Secondly – Jailbreaking is perfectly legal. Apple was ruled against in this decision and jailbreaking is legal. Also, it will NOT void your warranty (as the regional manager of several Apple stores, I can assure you that this is indeed the case- just don’t take it in to a store if you have problems with it jailbroken!). All you have to do is save your SHSH on Cydia and do a restore on your phone – good as new and warranty is intact. You then go back to Cydia and restore your phone to the jailbroken state. With Apple trying to control every aspect of your iPhone usage, I don’t have a clue why anyone would buy an iPhone and NOT jailbreak it! It’s is so much more useful and, let’s face it, fun when it’s jailbroken (I have Flash support on my iPhone – can anyone with a non-jailbroken iPhone say that?). I have complete control over this device. I don’t know why someone would pay the kind of money these things cost and not want to have full usage of it! Would you buy a car and let the manufacturer tell you you’re not allowed to listen to all the stations on the radio or adjust your mirror a certain way or only use part of your glove box? Every security hole that Apple has issued updates for a fixable through a 3rd party app. I have had every model iPhone since the original and all of them have been unlocked and jailbroken. Bad news is that if you have upgraded you’re iPhone with the newest update, there is a good chance you may not be able to jailbreak it or it will be with great difficulty.

  • Shanice

    Have anyone tried the application “USB disk”? It can be downloaded free from App store.
    Just as its name suggest, it lets your iphone work like a USB disk.
    Email attachment can be downloaded to this application and once iphone is sync with your computer, u can transfer (drag and drop) files from both ways.

    I have just started using it a while a go and i think it works just fine.
    Hope this application is any of the solution some of the people here are searching.

    • http://www.simonblog.com Simon Ng

      @Shanice,

      Great tip! Thanks for sharing. I’ll probably cover USB disk in this blog to share with others.

  • Kris

    Thanks a lot for your post Shanice! I’m using it right now. Works the charm! Awesome!

  • Kris

    It’s probably worth mentioning the app is free too..

  • Shanice

    Glad u find it helpful;)

  • K

    USB Disk is the best iPhone app for wanting to briefcase their PDFs along inside their iphones. Works like a pro as a file-manager. Great sync. Great viewer. And it’s free! Kudos to the OP suggesting this!

  • http://www.pogressseder.com Sharice Palis

    Nice post! GA can be my largest earning. Nevertheless, it is not a a lot.

  • D S Anand

    How to Email Attachment on iPhone with Attachment Saver