Remove all binary attachments from email messages

This is a standard UNIX filter; it reads a message or mailbox from standard input, and outputs it again on standard output, with all binary attachments removed (with message/external-body).

Written by Frédéric Brière <>. Copy at will. Adapted from <>, originally written by Romain Dartigues.


Then rewritten a fair bit, Rudolf Cardinal, 9 Oct 2018

Original code copyright (C) 2009-2022 Rudolf Cardinal (

This file is part of cardinal_pythonlib.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License. email.message.Message, topmost: bool = False) → email.message.Message[source]

Clean a message of all its binary parts.

This guts all binary attachments, and returns the message itself for convenience. email.message.Message) → email.message.Message[source]

Remove body from a message, and wrap in a message/external-body. email.message.Message) → bool[source]

Determine if a non-multipart message is of binary type.