Re: How to delete previously uploaded attachments? (currently replaced by some others)

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6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator


Previously, I uploaded an attachment to Airtable (let’s say A), using API. Now, I have replaced it with some other (let’s say B).

Now, generally since A was replaced with B, there should be no trace left of A - right?
But actually, when I go to the URL of A, the image is still visible.

Should I assume it’s still there in my base, still holding 1mb (size of A) of my Attachment space? Since I have replaced it, why is it still viewable?

So, is it possible to make Airtable delete the image permanently, so it doesn’t occupy space in my attachments limit of 5GB? Or any workaround for this?
I don’t want to keep track of previous images, and if user replaces it, the previous one should be permanently deleted, and the new one would appear from then.

Any help would be great :smiley_cat:
Thanks! 🙂

15 Replies 15

I have a client who requested this through support and they are accommodating her desires.

That’s good to hear, thanks Bill :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve reached out to Airtable Support with this very question, what happens to an attachment after its been deleted? I suspect that if my Base or records are no longer referencing an attachment (that it’s been deleted, and my version history and “Trash” have been emptied) that I would expect an Airtable garbage collection task to remove my deleted files eventually.

Can anyone advise if this is the case, or are all files uploaded onto Airtable available for ever and ever and all eternity, even if the record, table and base have all been deleted? :thinking:

There are two issues here. (1) how long a file counts towards your attachment quota and (2) how long an attachment is available at a particular url.

It appears that a file counts toward your attachment quota as long as it is in your history so that it can be restored.

However, in November Airtable is switching to expiring urls, so you will no longer need to worry about attachments remaining accessible at a particular url for more than a few hours.

Thanks @kuovonne - that’s November 2022? Where did you read/hear about this, and do you have a link handy? Expired URL’s would work with my project, as I’m extracting and processing attached data but can then delete the attachment immediately afterwards - and with expiring URL’s, that would cover my concerns perfectly.

Keep in mind that you will no longer to able to extract urls using formula fields. (Urls in formula fields will be invalid.) You must use a different method to extract the urls, such as scripting or CSV export, depending on whether you want a viewer url or a url to the actual file.