SharePoint: Easy way to download or copy list attachments to document library

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I didn’t find a complete solution when I googled this, so I am writing down the steps how to get SharePoint list attachments copied to a document library (or in general, just get the list attachments to a local folder).

Business problem: A SharePoint user (not a developer) wants to take attachments collected in a list and store them in a local folder or upload them to a document library:

  1. In Windows Explorer, go to My Network Places > Add Network Place
  2. In the “Add Network Place” Wizard, click next and select “Choose another network location”, click next
  3. Type in the url of the Sharepoint site that contains the list (I assume you have admin rights on that sharepoint site), e.g., http://intranetname/topics/projects/sitename
  4. Click on your newly created network location in Windows Explorer. This should give you a folder view of your SharePoint site.
  5. Select the folder “Lists” > and find your list name. Within your list folder there will be an attachments folder.
  6. You will notice that the attachments for each list item are stored in individual folders (we will remedy that in a second).
  7. Copy all folders to your local drive in an empty folder like attachtemp.
  8. To get the folders out of their subfolders, simply do a search for all the file types you have in them (in my case I was simply looking for *.doc*). The search will list all the found files in a flat view. Now you can copy them out of your search window to where you need them. Since I wanted to upload them to another SharePoint library, I simply copied them into the root of attachtemp.
  9. Go to your target  SharePoint library and upload all files (Note: If you have hundreds of documents, make sure to temporarily disable “require file check-out” so that you don’t have all files checked out to you after uploading. Once done, set the library back to require check-out if applicable.
  10. Done, yeah!

10 Comments. Leave new

This is absolutely fantastic! very excited to use the functionality.

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Oh my goodness! This is great!!! I even asked our company SharePoint expert how to do this and was told I was SOL because it was not a library. This is going to save me hours of work! THANK YOU!

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You have no idea how awesomely helpful this was for me today. You rock! Thanks for making this!!

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This is so helpful! Thank you for writing it so non-developers could troubleshoot!

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Great work! simple, yet soooo effective :)
now that I know this, it opens up a world of new possibilities!

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Thanks for sharing, this works a treat. :)

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Your instructions were very helpful. Thanks so much for detailed steps…much appreciated.

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Perfect. Just what I needed. Thank you so much

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Fantastic!! Just what I needed.

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PERFECT! You saved the day. Thanks.

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