How to send an attachment or photo through e-mail

EmailThere are far too many e-mail programs for us to cover them all. This page contains information on how to attach photos, pictures, documents, and other files in each of the more popular programs and services. You may have to adapt the following steps to fit the specific application you use.

Click one of the links below to go directly to the application you need help with, or scroll down to read through the entire document.

Tips for sending attachments in e-mail
Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express
Mozilla Thunderbird
Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail)
Gmail
Yahoo!
AOL Software
Apple Mail

Tips for sending pictures through e-mail

The following are important points to consider when sending any attachment through e-mail.

  • All e-mail programs represent the option to attach with a paper clip icon.
  • It is common courtesy to send only one to five attachments in a single e-mail. If you have more than five pictures, we suggest you post them online and send a link to that site, or compress all the files into one.
  • If you want to send a video through e-mail, it's a better idea to send a link to the video instead.
  • If the file you want to send is larger than 25 MB, we suggest you post it using one of the services mentioned above because most Internet e-mail services have 25 MB as their limit.

Outlook logoMicrosoft Outlook and Outlook Express

Attaching pictures to a Microsoft Outlook e-mail

  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 Attach File option that looks like a small paper clip, or click on Insert at the top of the window and select Attach File.
  4. In the Insert File window that opens, locate the file you want to attach and double-click the file to attach it.

If the attachment is successful, you should see a link and usually an icon with the file name(s) in your message. Once you're ready to send the message, click the Send button.

Alternative method using Outlook:

  1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer and move to the location of where your files are located.
  2. Highlight and copy the picture you want to send.
  3. Open a new e-mail or reply message, and then right-click in the body portion of the e-mail and select paste.

Tip: How do I select or highlight multiple files?

Mozilla ThunderbirdMozilla Thunderbird

Attaching files to a Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail

  1. Open Mozilla Thunderbird.
  2. Reply to an existing e-mail, or compose a new one by clicking on the Write icon in the top left portion of the window.
  3. In the e-mail, click on the Attach icon; it looks like a large paper clip and is located at the top of the window.
  4. Browse to the location of the file you want to insert, highlight it, and click Open.

If the attachment is successful, you should see a link and usually an icon with the file name(s) in your message. Once you're ready to send the message, click the Send button.

Outlook online logoOutlook.com (formerly Hotmail)

In 2013, MSN Hotmail was replaced by a new service called Outlook.com. However, you can still log in with a Hotmail e-mail address if you have one.

Attaching files to an Outlook.com e-mail

  1. Log into your Hotmail or Outlook account at Outlook.com.
  2. In the upper left-hand corner, click the New link with the plus sign next to it.
  3. Select the Attach button with a paper clip next to it.
  4. Navigate to the file you'd like to attach, and then click the check box next to that file(s).
  5. Select Next, and then choose whether you'd like to attach as a copy or a OneDrive file.
  6. The file is now attached and ready to send.

If the attachment is successful, you should see a link and usually an icon with the file name(s) in your message. Once you're ready to send the message, click the Send button.

Gmail logoGmail

Tip: You may attach multiple pictures at the same time by holding down the Ctrl key, and then clicking each file individually.

Attaching files to a Gmail e-mail

  1. Log into your Gmail account at Gmail.com.
  2. Select the red Compose button in the left Navigation pane.
  3. In the bottom of the window that appears, select the paperclip icon as shown in the image below.

Gmail attach icon

  1. Locate the file(s) you want to attach, select it, and then click Open.

If the attachment is successful, you should see a link and usually an icon with the file name(s) in your message. Once you're ready to send the message, click the Send button.

Yahoo mail logoYahoo!

Attaching files to Yahoo! e-mail

  1. Log into your Yahoo! account at Yahoo.com.
  2. Click Compose in the top left-hand corner.
  3. Either drag and drop the files you're sending into the message body or click the Paper clip icon at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Select the file you'd like to attach, and the click Open.
  5. Repeat for additional files.

If the attachment is successful, you should see a link and usually an icon with the file name(s) in your message. Once you're ready to send the message, click the Send button.

AoL logoAmerica Online (AOL) Software

Attaching files to an e-mail via AOL software

  1. Click Write on the AOL toolbar.
  2. Select Attach File.
  3. Navigate to the folder containing the file(s) you want to attach.
  4. Select the file you'd like to attach.

Note: To attach more than one file at once, hold down the Ctrl key, and then click each item you want to attach.

  1. After you've selected your files, click Open.
  2. Make sure that the file being sent is not open, write in the destination address and body, and then click Send Now or Send Later.

Note: To remove an attached file, select Detach File, then the file you want to detach, and then Detach.

Apple Mail

  1. Open the Apple Mail program on your desktop computer, laptop computer, or mobile device.
  2. In the top right-hand side of the screen, click the Compose new message button.
  3. When the new message appears, click the Attach a document to this message button (paper clip).
  4. Locate the image you'd like to send and select Choose File.
  5. Input the address of the user to which you'd like to send the message, then hit send.

Additional information