Are you frustrated with the error Zimbra can’t add an attachment?

Zimbra is a free, open-source software web mail system.

Sometimes customers face the problem on unable to send mails with attachment. This is caused due to various reasons like attachment size limit, permission issues, configuration issue while new installation and so on.

At Bobcares, we often get requests from our customers to resolve the error  Zimbra can’t add an attachment as part of our Server Management Services.

Today, let’s get into the details on how our Support Engineers fix this problem.

Why Zimbra can’t add an attachment?

Commonly many of the customers receive the error of attachment failures in the email client Zimbra.

This occurs mainly because of the exceeded size limit, the problem with permissions of related files and folders, etc.

The default message attachment size allows a maximum of 10 MB per message. So while attaching a larger file cause this error.

The sample error looks as follows:

Sometimes we can also trace the reason for the failure of adding an attachment from the pop-up window.

Let’s see how our Support Engineers help the customers to resolve this error.


How we fix Zimbra can’t add an attachment?

At Bobcares, where we have more than a decade of expertise in managing servers, we see many customers face problems with Zimbra can’t add an attachment

Recently one of the customers having  Zimbra email client approaches us with the error that he was not able to attach the file in the mails.

The problem was recreated by our Support Engineers, and we could trace that the issue is due to the message limit set in the server. We then altered the attachment size limit and fixed the issue of exceeded size limit.

The message limit can be increased either via Zimbra Admin or via the command line. Let us discuss how we increase the attachment size.


Increase attachment limit via Zimbra Admin Panel

We helped the customer by increasing the message limit by altering two settings in Zimbra Admin according to the customer’s need.

1. Configure > Global Settings > General Information > Maximum size of a file uploaded from the desktop. Now we increase the value.

2. Also, we increase the message size as well.  Click on Configure > Global Settings > Configure > MTA > Messages > Maximum message size.

Here we edited and saved both the configurations. After that, we uploaded the attachment successfully.


Increase attachment limit via command line

We have logged in to the Zimbra server of the customer, who was facing a problem because of the attachment limit 10M. We helped the customer to increase the limit via the command line.

For example, the command we used to increase the message content to 44MB is:

zmprov ms ‘mail.domain_name’ zimbraMailContentMaxSize 44040192

To increase the file upload max size to 44MB we use the following command:

zmprov ms ‘mail.domain_name’ zimbraFileUploadMaxSize 44040192

Then we increased the MTA max message size to 44MB.

zmprov mcf zimbraMtaMaxMessageSize 44040192

After running all those commands, we reloaded the postfix.

postfix reload

Finally, we restart the Zimbra service and test the mail working.

zmcontrol restart


Incorrect permission

Similarly, wrong permissions also create the same error. Another customer was facing the problem while uploading any file more than 1MB and forwarding any received mail with attachments.

On further investigations, we could trace the issue was due to incorrect permission to corresponding folders. After correcting the permission as following, the problem got fixed.

We had root accessed into the server and run the following command.

cd /opt/zimbra/mailboxd

After entering the location, we corrected the file and folder permissions.

find webapps -type d -exec chmod 0755 {} ;
find webapps -type f -exec chmod 0644 {} ;

We have also corrected the permissions of tmp and upload folders

chmod -R 755 /opt/zimbra/data/tmp/
chmod -R 755 /opt/zimbra/data/tmp/upload/

Finally, the error has been resolved.


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In short, problems with message size limit and incorrect permissions cause Zimbra to upload attachments. Today, we saw how our Support Engineers assisted our customers to resolve the error Zimbra can’t add an attachment.


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