I have tons of photos that were emailed me to me over the years from friends and family and I’ve never done anything constructive with them. Yes, I looked at them when they were first sent to me and ooohed and aaahed accordingly but I inevitably forgot about them and they’ve remained in the picture purgatory that is my email inbox. Going through the thousands of emails in my personal inbox to find them would take forever and it’s not even on any of my ever-expanding to do lists. Thankfully, Space Inch has an easy solution with Lost Photos for Mac, a utility that will hunt down all the pictures in your email accounts and extract them for your viewing and organizing pleasure.
Lost Photos logs into your email account (it works with the major email services like Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, AOL, and others and Space Inch promises your log-in information is not saved anywhere and is transmitted securely) and combs through your emails one by one to pull out pictures. The pictures found are shown in a slider view within Lost Photos and you can choose to post any on Facebook, Twitter, or send them via email. Once the search is complete, which took about 20 minutes for the 3,000+ emails in my iCloud account inbox, you can also elect to import all of the photos into iPhoto. If you’d rather not do that, all of these extracted pictures are placed in a new folder in your Photos folder so you can browse through them in one place at your leisure.
Lost Photos is free to download and will extract the first 100 photos for free. To get unlimited photo extraction functionality, you’ll need to pay $2.99 via in-app purchase.
Looking through the extracted pictures found by Lost Photos was like taking a short trip down memory lane. I found pictures that I’d completely forgotten about from past trips and events that I really should have made an effort to save when I first received them and it was really nice to get them all in one place.
Lost Photos was a bit too thorough in at least one respect, though. It pulls every single image from your emails, including those in email signatures. These email signature images, which are usually company logos, are pretty much useless to me and I wish there was a setting to ignore them (there is a setting to skip pictures smaller than 8 KB but some still sneak through). At any rate, if you can deal with the chaff that comes with the wheat, it’s still worth getting all of those long lost pictures that have accumulated in your inbox in one place.