• Home

  • Automation with Zapier

  • Zapier tutorials

Zapier tutorials

3 min read

How to automatically save email attachments in Dropbox

By Grace Montgomery · December 12, 2023
A hero image of the Email by Zapier app logo connected to the Dropbox app logo on a light blue background.

Want an easy way to send files to Dropbox? How about just sending an email to Dropbox with the file attached?

With Email by Zapier—Zapier's built-in email tool—and a Zap, Zapier's automated workflows, you can easily save only the attachments you want so you can quickly find them later. Don't get bogged down in your inbox trying to search for that one PDF with the filename you can't remember. Instead, simply forward an email to a custom email address to automatically tuck away your attachments in Dropbox. Here's how.

New to Zapier? It's workflow automation software that lets you focus on what matters. Combine user interfaces, data tables, and logic with 6,000+ apps to build and automate anything you can imagine. Sign up for free.

Automatically save email attachments in Dropbox

Zapier lets you create automated workflows called Zaps, which send your information from one app to another. You can create your own Zap from scratch without any coding knowledge, but we also offer quick templates to get you started. 

If you'd like to start with a template, click on it below, and you'll be taken to the Zap editor. You'll need to create a Zapier account if you don't already have one. Then, follow the directions below to set up your Zap.

Save new email attachments to Dropbox

Save new email attachments to Dropbox
  • Email by Zapier logo
  • Dropbox logo
Email by Zapier + Dropbox

Set up your Email by Zapier trigger

First, set up your trigger—the event that starts your Zap. If you're using the Zap template, this will already be selected for you. Otherwise, search for and select Email by Zapier as the trigger app and New Inbound Email as the trigger event. Click Continue.

A trigger step in the Zap editor with Email by Zapier selected as the trigger app and New Inbound Email selected for the trigger event.

Zapier will then make a new email address where you can email your files. Customize the email address by adding in whatever name or characters you'd like. We've used dropbox here so it's easy to remember, but you can change that if you'd like. Zapier will then add a custom, random ending like .3bmkwz@zapiermail.com to the end of the address.

An email address field with orange boxes around "dropbox" and the final part of an email address.

Click Copy and save the email address to your email address book. Then send a new email to that address from your main email account with an attached file you'd like to save to Dropbox. 

Back in Zapier, click Continue, then click Test trigger to test your trigger step.

Zapier should find the email you just forwarded to your Email by Zapier account. Click Continue with selected record.

Test results that show an email with an attachment.

Set up your Dropbox action

Now, it's time to set up the action—the event your Zap will perform once it's triggered. If you're using the Zap template, these will already be selected for you. Otherwise, search for and select Dropbox as your action app and Upload File as your action event. Click Continue.

An action step in the Zap editor with Dropbox selected for the action app and Upload File selected for the action event.

Connect your Dropbox account, if you haven't already. Then click Continue.

Now it's time to customize your action. Select the Space where you'd like to store your attachments (by default it will use your Personal space if you don't select another one). Then choose the right folder. 

The File field is where you'll add your attachment from your email. This will be selected for you if you're using the Zap template. If not, click in the File field and select Attachment from the Insert Data dropdown.

Dropbox fields in an action step in the Zap editor.

Note: Most email apps will only let you send files up to 25MB, and Zapier can only add files up to 100MB to Dropbox.

Once you're done customizing your action step, click Continue

Now it's time to test your Zap. Click Test step and Zapier will add the email attachment you selected in your trigger step to your Dropbox account. Here's what ours looked like:

An attachment of a picture of Winston the wonder pup in a Dropbox folder called Attachments.

If everything looks right, you're ready to use your Zap. Now every time you get an attachment you want to save in your Dropbox folder, just forward it to your custom Zapier email address for instant filing.

Looking for more ways to connect your email to Dropbox? Check out these Zaps:

Save new attachments in Gmail to Dropbox

Save new attachments in Gmail to Dropbox
  • Gmail logo
  • Dropbox logo
Gmail + Dropbox

Upload new Microsoft Outlook emails as files in Dropbox

Upload new Microsoft Outlook emails as files in Dropbox
  • Microsoft Outlook logo
  • Dropbox logo
Microsoft Outlook + Dropbox

Related reading:

  • Save Gmail attachments to a Google Drive folder

  • How to email to Google Drive to save attached files

  • How to keep your Dropbox organized—automatically

This article was originally published in September 2018, written by Matt Guay. It was most recently updated in December 2023.

Get productivity tips delivered straight to your inbox

We’ll email you 1-3 times per week—and never share your information.


Related articles

Improve your productivity automatically. Use Zapier to get your apps working together.

Sign up
A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'