A few months ago, Lifehacker ran an article that outlined how you can “Retrieve Any File on Your Home Computer by Email”. I thought the concept was nice, but let it go because it was for Macs. More recently, there was an article “Retrieve Any File on Your Home Computer via Email, Windows Edition” which I paid scant attention to, until I realized that I could use it to retrieve my project notes off my work computer.
I don’t always remember to sync my work computer with my thumb drive before leaving, and with spotty VPN access, I can’t always get my files. I installed the macro, found at My Technophilic Musings, and immediately set out to make it do more.
Please note, this was programmed for, and the instructions that follow, are for Outlook 2003 for Windows. I do not guarantee that it will work on any other version of Outlook, nor do I make any warranties or guarantees about the code. Use at your own risk.
I took the code process behind the original script, and made it so that the script will only process requests from emails in the script itself (rather than relying on Outlook rules), and an option to log any attempts to retrieve files in an Outlook note. You can download the script file here.
Installing The Script
To install it, copy the text in the script file. Go to Outlook, then open up Tools/Macro/Visual Basic Editor, and choose Module from the Insert menu. Paste in the code. You can change the Make sure to save and exit, and exit Outlook to save the script.
Set Up The Rule
From the Tools menu, choose Rules and Alerts. Click on New Rule, and follow the Rules Wizard. You need to apply to messages after they arrive, checking the subject for SMFile (or whatever key phrase you wish to put in to trigger the rule), and run the script SendMyFiles.
Set Up A Certificate
Our corporate Outlook would not automatically run the script because it was not signed. At the same time, it also wouldn’t let me change the security settings in Outlook. To get around this, I created a certificate and attached it to the macro. Here is how to do that:
From the Microsoft Office Tools folder, choose Digital Certificate for VBA Projects. Enter your certificate’s name (I called mine SMF) and click OK.
Go back to Outlook, and choose Tools/Macro/Visual Basic Editor. Click on the module you pasted the code into before, then from the Tools menu, choose Digital Signature. Use the Choose button to select the certificate you just created.
Now exit Outlook (saving changes) and restart. Don’t forget to test your rule! And don’t forget that unless Outlook is running on the machine you are trying to get files from, this won’t work.
Photo by mafleen