How to rename the Attachments column in SharePoint lists

photo of purple paper clip on green background

Lists in Microsoft Lists (your own or those in SharePoint) offer a great way to store and manage data. One useful feature is the ability to add attachments to list items – think photos in maintenance requests, or screenshots in IT Support requests. The Attachments column is built into every list automatically (though it can be disabled if you’d like). However, you might want to rename this column to something more descriptive or relevant to a particular business process such as Supporting Documentation or Content for Review. Or maybe you’d just like to match the naming conventions or style guide recommendations already used in your organization.

Unlike other columns, the attachments column cannot be deleted or renamed using the list settings page, or by using the column header menu when viewing the list. However, you can rename the attachments column by modifying the URL of the generic column settings page, as described in the following section.

How to rename the attachments column in SharePoint lists

  1. Go to the SharePoint list for which you’d like to rename the Attachments column.
  2. Click on the settings (gear) icon and select List settings.
  3. Scroll down to the Columns section on the List settings page and click on any column name listed.
  4. In your browser’s address bar, replace the selected column’s name in the URL with Attachments after &Field= and press Enter to navigate to the column settings for the attachments column. Here, you’ll rename the column in the Column name box.

Demonstration of step 4 | Click to enlarge
  1. Click OK to save your changes.

Please note that some of the new list templates (Employee onboarding, Issue tracker, Content scheduler, etc.) come with the Attachment column already renamed to something else, but you can still get to its settings page by using Attachments for its field name in Step 4’s URL.

See a video demonstration of this process here:

In this blog post, I have shown you how to rename the attachments column in SharePoint lists. I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.

How to remove the attachments field from a SharePoint list’s new item form

If you’ve ever tried to create a new item on a SharePoint list, you may have noticed that the form always includes an Attachments field that can’t be hidden like other columns. If your process doesn’t require attachments or you’d like to prevent users from uploading documents to the list, you’re likely wondering how to get past this obstacle.

End of a SharePoint form with the Attachments field | Click to enlarge

Be aware that if users previously utilized the Attachments field, this action would delete all attachments they’ve already uploaded on all list items.

In this post, I’ll highlight the 5 simple steps involved in removing the attachments field for a list’s new item form.

How to remove the attachments field from a list’s new item form

  1. Click Settings | List Settings
Location of List settings | Click to enlarge
  1. Select Advanced settings
Location of Advanced settings in List Settings | Click to enlarge
  1. Set the Attachments radio button to Disabled
Advanced list settings showing the Attachments setting as Disabled | Click to enlarge
  1. Click OK
  1. You’ll receive a warning making sure you’re aware that this action deletes all attachments (if there are any). Click OK.
Warning when saving Attachments setting as Disabled | Click to enlarge

And that’s it! Now your forms will only show fields you’ve created and configured.

End of a SharePoint form without the Attachments field | Click to enlarge

If you’re not able to access or modify List settings, you may not have high enough permissions to modify the list. Check with your site owner to see if they can assist.

Here’s a video demonstration of the steps in this post:

When should I use attachments in lists?

Attachments are secondary to the list/form data itself and should be used for specific business processes, such as attaching receipts for reimbursement requests or perhaps photos or screenshots for facility or issue trackers. If the document is independently important, it should be stored in a document library.

Also keep in mind that attachments don’t have version history, cannot be renamed or reorganized without downloading/re-uploading, and they are not searchable in Microsoft 365. If you need to search for attachments, you should store them in a document library instead of a list – and you can always use a lookup column or hyperlink column to connect the list and library.

References and further reading