Lifehack: this way you never forget to send the attachment


Whoops! Did you click send too soon? With these tips, you’ll make sure you never forget to attach files to your mail.

Perhaps it’s recognizable: you type an email, refer the recipient to the file you attached, and hit send. Then panic sets in: you forgot to send the attachment. If you arrive too late to collect your email, you have no choice but to send another email. “Sorry, now with attachment!”

Major email clients have ways to avoid this embarrassing scenario. You will then receive a warning if you threaten to send an email without an attachment, when your email program thinks there should be.


In Gmail, this feature is enabled by default, but you need to check a few things for it to work. For example, you must activate the correct language, otherwise the program will not recognize anything in your Dutch emails.

At the top right, click the cogwheel and navigate to “Show all settings”. Here you will immediately find the language settings.

Gmail has taught itself a few basic phrases that make it think it knows you forgot a file. If you write “see attachment”, “see attachment”, “attached file” or “I have attached” without sending anything, a warning will appear before the email is sent. You can then still choose to send the email.

Unfortunately, this won’t work if you just type the word “attachment” for example. You also cannot define word combinations in Gmail yourself in which you want to receive a warning.


Outlook has a similar tool, with which you will receive a notification to protect yourself from your error. Here too, it is important to configure the e-mail program in the correct language, via the gear wheel at the top right, then ‘Show all Outlook settings’. In ‘General’ you can now choose a language.

Then switch to the “Email” tab, where you will find the “Attachments” option. Here’s a slider that says “Notify me when I send a message that may have a missing attachment.”

As with Gmail, the words the tool detects are a bit unreliable. With “see attachment” you will not receive a warning, but the alarm bell will ring with “I have attached”. Plus, it counts every image in your email as an attachment, so even if you have a decorated signature.


If you prefer to organize it yourself, you can check out a browser extension, such as Mailbutler for Chrome. This is a program that you install in your browser that gives you more options when writing and sending emails. Mailbutler also has a version for Apple Mail in iOS.

With this program you can define your own words in which you want to receive a warning if you forgot the attachment. For example, you can also notify you if you have just written the word “document” in an email.

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