Gmail does give you a lot of free storage space (15 GB), but if you’ve been using your email account for a while you may have received a ton of emails with attachments. Not only do they occupy most of your space, be it files, photos or videos, sorting through these attachments and downloading them manually is a mammoth task Also, deleting them isn’t always an option, especially if they are work-related.
What if you could automatically save your Gmail attachments to a cloud storage service like Dropbox? Not only would this solve the space problem, you won’t ever have to worry about organizing things either.
There are a few ways you can go about sending Gmail attachments to Dropbox. In this article, we’ll show you a couple of the easier ones.
Using the IFTTT Service
IFTTT – short for If This, Then That – is a web-based service that lets you create scripts called “recipes” to help you queue and perform recurring tasks automatically. It sounds technical, we know, but it really isn’t – we’re going to show you how to do it.
With IFTTT, we are going to create a recipe to automatically forward any attachments that arrive in your Gmail inbox to your Dropbox account. A recipe has two parts: the trigger and the action. The trigger is a condition (an event) that IFTTT needs to execute your task for you.
First things first, sign up for an IFTTT account, if you don’t have one already. After that, click on the Create a Recipe option that should be on your dashboard.
On the next page, an “ifthisthenthat” message will appear, with the “this” part highlighted. “This” is the first part of the script we’re going to create, a trigger condition that the IFTTT service will use to do your task. In this case, the trigger condition is going to be the new attachments that arrive in your Gmail inbox.
Click on the “this” keyword, and then find the “Gmail” channel on the list of channels that show up. Click on the channel and in the sub options that show up, find the “Any new attachment” box. Select it and then click on “Create Trigger”. The first part of the script is done.
If you did it successfully, the “ifthisthenthat” phrase will appear again, only this time with the word “that” highlighted.
Click on “that” and a list of channels should appear. Find the “Dropbox” channel in the list and click on it. In the sub-options that appear, click on the “Add file from URL” option. This will open a new page where you are given the option of creating a naming convention for the attachments that are about to get stored in your Dropbox account.
You can choose not to name them, but it will be hard for you to identify them later. We recommend you at least choose a single “Ingredient” in the “File Name” drop-down list. For example, if you choose “Subject”, your attachments will be stored and sorted by subject.
You can choose to add several new “Ingredients” to customize the naming convention further.
This page will also let you choose where your attachments will be saved. By default, they get saved in a folder called “IFTTT/Gmail”, but you can change this to any path of your choice (if it doesn’t exist, it will be created).
Once you’re done customizing everything, click on “Create Action”. That’s it, you’re done! Try sending some attachments to yourself to test it out. You can always refine your recipe again later if you get anything wrong.
Please note that for the IFTTT method to work, you will need to give IFTTT access to both your Gmail and Dropbox account.
Using the Kloudless Extension for Chrome
Kloudless is an extension available for Chrome that lets you move attachments between Gmail and any cloud storage service of your choice. It will also let you set rules for automatically saving attachments to a cloud service like Dropbox, which is exactly what we are going to do.
First, sign in to your Gmail account and keep it open (just so you can see the changes when you install the extension). You will also need to be logged in to your Dropbox account to allow Kloudless access to it.
Next, go to the Chrome Web store, download, and install Kloudless. Once that’s done, go back to your Gmail account and refresh the page.
Do you notice the new “kloudless” icon that has popped up to the left of your account name at the top? This is where you can control the extension.
Click on it and then on “Get Started”. A new window will pop up with a list of the cloud storage services the extension lets you link to.
Find the Dropbox service and then click on “Connect” at the bottom. You will be asked if you want to allow Kloudless to access your Dropbox account. Click on the “Allow” option.
Once that’s done, you need to create a trigger that will get Kloudless working for you, just like we did with IFTTT above.
Click on the “Automation” menu on the Kloudless window and create a new “Rule” (Kloudless calls recipes rules). The rule should be something like “Move attachments to folder”. You can customize what kinds of attachments are to be moved (containing a specific subject or from a specific person) to your Dropbox account. You can also create or choose a folder where they are to be saved to.
Once you’re done customizing the conditions, send yourself an attachment to test it out. Please note that it can take as much as 5 minutes for new attachments to arrive in your Dropbox account. If you ever need to move a single attachment and not all of them, you can use Kloudless for that. Just find the attachment you want to move and click on the Kloudless icon on it (next to the download icon).
There are some other services that you can use to send your attachments to Dropbox, but some aren’t free and most don’t work as well as IFTTT and Kloudless. If you don’t need too many bells and whistles, IFTTT and Kloudless should work well for you.