How can I send and receive pictures in e-mail?

EmailBelow is additional information on how to attach pictures or images in each of the popular e-mail programs and e-mail services. We've also included some general tips and recommendations for users when sending pictures through e-mail. Click one of the links below to go directly to the e-mail program you need help with, or scroll down and read through the entire document.

Tips for sending pictures through e-mail
Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express
Mozilla Thunderbird
Microsoft Hotmail
Gmail

Tips for sending pictures through e-mail

Below are some general tips to consider when sending any attachment through e-mail, including pictures.

  • It is common courtesy to only send 1-5 attachments or pictures in a single e-mail. If you have more than five pictures, we suggest you post your pictures on an online site and send the link to that site with all your pictures or compress all the files into one file.
  • Use an image editor to reduce the size of the images and keep the image size small. Many times when scanning an image or taking a picture of the image, it is a large file and often takes up lots of space. Not only does this cause longer downloads, but in some cases may even cause your e-mails to not be received because of the space taken by the pictures.
  • Convert the images into formats supported by multiple computers. For example, all computers are capable of opening JPEG (JPG) and GIF images. Make sure the images are in one of these formats and not a format only supported in Windows, e.g. a Windows bitmap (BMP) image.

Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express

Attaching pictures to a Microsoft Outlook e-mail

To attach pictures to a Microsoft Outlook, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Reply to an existing e-mail, or compose a new e-mail by clicking on the New icon in the top left portion of the window.
  3. In the e-mail, click on the 'Insert file' icon that looks like a small paperclip, or click on Insert at the top of the window and choose file.
  4. Browse to the location that contains your image and double-click the image to insert it.

If successfully attached you should see an icon of the attachment in your e-mail.

Below is an alternative method of attaching an image into an e-mail.

  1. Open My computer or Windows explorer and browse to the location of where your pictures are located.
  2. Highlight and copy the picture you want to send in an e-mail.
  3. Open a new e-mail or the e-mail you're replying to that you want to attach the images into, right-click in the message portion of the e-mail and click paste.

Tip: If it is easier you can also drag and drop the image files into the e-mail.
Tip:
You can also select and attach multiple images at once.

Viewing pictures in a Microsoft Outlook e-mail

Keep in mind that not all e-mails have attached pictures in them. You can determine if an e-mail has an attachment by looking for a paperclip icon in the listing of e-mails you have. However, some messages are also sent in HTML format, which means images can be included without being attachments.

To view the pictures in the e-mail, open the e-mail and double-click the attachment icon at the bottom of the window or click the yellow paperclip icon in the e-mail preview.

Mozilla Thunderbird

Attaching pictures to a Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail

To attach pictures to a Mozilla Thunderbird, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Mozilla Thunderbird.
  2. Reply to an existing e-mail, or compose a new e-mail by clicking on the Write icon in the top left portion of the window.
  3. In the e-mail, click on the 'Attach' icon that looks like a large paperclip, or click on Insert at the top of the window and choose image. Note: If you insert an image by clicking on Insert and clicking image, it is inserted as an image into an HTML formatted e-mail. This means some e-mail clients (text clients) may not be able to view the image properly.
  4. Click the Choose File button and browse to the location of the image or photo that you want to attach into the e-mail.
  5. Click Ok.

If attached successfully, you should see the image in the body of your e-mail message or if attached to the e-mail you should see it listed in the attachments.

Viewing pictures in a Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail

Keep in mind that not all e-mails have attached pictures in them. You can determine if an e-mail has an attachment by looking for a paperclip icon in the listing of e-mails you have. However, some messages are also sent in HTML format, which means images can be included without being attachments.

To view the pictures in the e-mail, open the e-mail and double-click the attachment name at the bottom of the window. Also, for many commonly known images, it may already be shown in the e-mail without having to open it.

Microsoft Hotmail

Attaching pictures to a Microsoft Hotmail e-mail

To attach pictures in Hotmail, follow the steps below.

  1. Open your Hotmail account on http://www.hotmail.com.
  2. Click the New Message link.
  3. Click the Attach and then File link.
  4. Click the Browse button and browse to the image you want to attach. Keep in mind that you cannot select multiple files at once. However, you can individually add each of the images or attachments you want to add.
  5. Click Ok or OK and Attach Another if you want to do more than one image.

If attached successfully, you should see a link with the attachment names in your e-mail. Once you're ready to send the message, click the Send button.

Viewing pictures in a Microsoft Hotmail e-mail

Keep in mind that not all e-mails have attached pictures in them. You can determine if an e-mail has an attachment by looking for a paperclip icon in the listing of e-mails you have. However, some messages are also sent in HTML format, which means images can be included without being attachments.

To view the pictures in the e-mail, open the e-mail and click the view or download link to view the image. Also, for many commonly known images, it may already be shown in the e-mail without having to open it.

Gmail

Attaching pictures to a Gmail e-mail

To attach pictures in Gmail follow the steps below.

  1. Open your Gmail account on http://www.gmail.com.
  2. Click the Compose link.
  3. Click the attach a file link or paperclip icon as shown in the picture below.
  4. Browse to the image or other file you want to attach. If you want to highlight multiple files at once hold down the Ctrl key and select each of the files you want to attach.
  5. Click Ok.

Gmail attach icon

If attached successfully, you should see a link with the attachment names in your e-mail. Once you're ready to send the message, click the Send button.

Viewing pictures in a Gmail e-mail

Keep in mind that not all e-mails have attached pictures in them. You can determine if an e-mail has an attachment by looking for a paperclip icon in the listing of e-mails you have. However, some messages are also sent in HTML format, which means images can be included without being attachments.

To view the pictures in the e-mail, open the e-mail and click the view or download link to view the image. Also, for many commonly known images it may already be shown in the e-mail without having to open it.

Additional information