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4 min read

How to automatically save Gmail attachments to a Google Drive folder

By Ellie Huizenga · March 30, 2022
The Gmail logo connected to the Google Drive logo by orange dotted lines on a light orange background.

Find it hard to track down email attachments? You're not alone. It can be challenging to find files attached to emails when you have a busy inbox. 

Simplify your file management process by automatically saving your email attachments to Google Drive. Whenever you get a new email in Gmail with an attachment, send it to a specific Google Drive folder for safekeeping.

Watch the video below to see how to set up this Zap—our word for our automated workflows. Or keep reading for step-by-step instructions.

Note: This workflow requires a multi-step Zap, which are available on a paid plan or during a free trial.

Save new Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

If you'd like to start with a template, click the button below, and you'll be taken to the Zapier 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.

To get started with a Zap template—what we call our pre-made workflows—just click on the button, and we'll guide you through customizing it. It only takes a few minutes. You can read more about setting up Zaps here.

Save new Gmail attachments to Google Drive

Save new Gmail attachments to Google Drive
  • Filter by Zapier logo
  • Gmail logo
  • Google Drive logo
Filter by Zapier + Gmail + Google Drive

Set up your Gmail trigger

First, confirm your trigger—the event that starts your Zap. Once you click into the Zap template, you'll see Gmail as the trigger app and New Attachment as the trigger event. Click Continue.

Image 1: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Next, connect your Gmail account. Click on Choose an account… and either select an account from the dropdown menu (if you've connected Gmail to Zapier before) or click + Connect a new account.

Image 2: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Once you've connected your account, click Continue

Next, select which label or mailbox you'd like your Zap to trigger on. Keep Inbox and All Labels selected if you want every email you receive to be checked for attachments. Under Search String, keep -in:sent selected—this ensures you're only saving the email attachments you receive (not the ones you send yourself).

Image 3: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Click Continue. 

Now you need to test your trigger. Zapier will find a recent email in your Gmail account that matches the label or inbox you selected earlier. This will be used to set up the rest of your Zap.

Click Test trigger. Once you see that your trigger is working correctly, click Continue.

Image 4: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Set up your filter step

Now it's time to set up your filter step. This is the step that lets you get specific about which attachments you want to send to your Google Drive. 

Since you're using a Zap template, Filter by Zapier will already be selected as your first action step. Click Continue.

Image 5: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Here is where you add the rules for when you want this Zap to run. Do you want to save attachments from a specific email address? Select From Name.

Image 6: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Do you want to save attachments with specific copy? Select (Text) Contains and then enter the copy you want the Zap to filter for.

Image 7: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

If you're just looking to save all the email attachments you receive, leave the Zap template as it is, with Attachment and Exists selected.

Image 8: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Once you're done finalizing your filters, click Continue.

Set up your Google Drive action

Now let's set up the action—the event your Zap will perform once it's triggered. Connect your Google Drive account if it hasn't already been connected. Press Continue.

Image 9: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Choose which Google Drive you want to use and which folder you want the Gmail attachments to save to.

Image 10: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Keep the file as Attachment. This ensures your attachment gets uploaded as a file (instead of a .txt document).

Image 11: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Choose if you want to also turn your attachment into an editable document. If you do, select True.

Image 12: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Now it's time to specify the Title your attachment should save as. You can insert data from your Gmail step—such as the from name from your email—or write in your own title. To add in data from your previous step, just click in the File Name field and select the data you'd like to use from the dropdown.

Image 13: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Click Continue. Then test your action step.

Image 14: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Check your Google Drive folder to confirm the Zap worked the way you want it to. If it did, be sure to click Turn on Zap. Otherwise, you can keep tweaking your Zap until it's just right before you switch it on.

Image 15: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Save attachments when you label an email

You can also set up a Zap that only saves attachments from emails with specific labels.

Before setting up your Zap, be sure that your Gmail labels are ready to go. If you're not sure how to create a new label (and want to), here's Gmail's help documentation to walk you through it. 

Once you've finalized your labels, jump into the Zap template. Follow the Gmail and Google Drive guidelines laid out above. You won't see a filter step in this Zap, and you'll select your mailbox label while setting up your trigger.

Image 16: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive manually

Did you know you can also save Gmail attachments to Google Drive manually? First, open the email with the attachment.

Image 17: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Hover your mouse over the attachment, and you'll see two icons: a down arrow (for downloading) and a Google Drive icon. Click the Google Drive icon.

Image 18: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

You'll see a pop-up indicating that your attachment was saved to your Google Drive.

Image 19: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

Click Organize to quickly choose a folder for your attachment, or head over to Google Drive, and you'll see your attachment there.

Image 20: Tutorial: How to save Gmail attachments to Google Drive automatically

This article was originally written by Justin Pot in February 2019. It was updated by Ellie Huizenga in March 2022.

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tags
mentioned apps
  • Gmail
  • Google Drive

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