How to send an attachment or photo through e-mail

Updated: 06/22/2018 by Computer Hope

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 e-mail program or service you use. To proceed, choose your program or service from the list below and follow the instructions.

Tips on sending attachments

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

  • 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 file.
  • 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 that as their limit. For more information, check out our page on how to send big attachments.
  • Consider using an image editor to reduce the size of images. Images often take up a considerable amount space. Not only does this cause longer download times, but it reduces the number of images you can send.
  • You may attach multiple pictures at the same time by holding down the Ctrl key, and then clicking each file individually.
  • You can drag-and-drop attachments into the body of an e-mail message.
Gmail logo

Gmail

  1. Log into your Gmail account.
  2. In the upper left-hand corner of the window, click the The compose button in Gmail. button to create a new e-mail message. You may also reply to a message you have received previously.
  3. When you're ready to insert an attachment into the body of your message, click the The icon which inserts an attachment in Gmail. icon at the bottom of the message window.

The bottom menu in a Gmail e-mail message.

  1. Navigate to the location of the file(s) you'd like to attach, make your selections (A), and then click Open (B).

How to attach files in a Gmail document.

  1. When you've successfully attached your items, you'll see them at the bottom of the body of your message.

Confirmation of an e-mail attachment in Gmail.

  1. When you've finished composing your message, click the The send button icon. button.
Outlook online logo

Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail)

  1. Log into your Microsoft Outlook.com e-mail account.
  2. Near the top of the window on the left-hand side, click the down arrow next to New and select Email message. You may also reply to a message you have received previously.

The button to click to create a new email.

  1. When you're ready to insert an attachment into the body of your message, click the The icon which inserts an attachment in Outlook.com. icon at the bottom of the message window.

The attach icon in the bottom menu of Outlook.com mail.

  1. Navigate to the location of the file(s) you'd like to attach, make your selections (A), and then click Open (B).

An image showing users how to attach files in an Outlook.com mail.

Note: If you use one of the online file options (OneDrive for example) you'll need to check the boxes next to the files you want to attach and then select the The next icon. icon at the bottom of the window.

  1. After you select the files you'd like to send, click Attach as copies on the next screen.
  2. When you've successfully attached your items, you'll see them at the top of the body of your message.

A successful attachment in Outlook.com mail.

  1. When you've finished composing your message, click the The send icon. button.
Yahoo mail logo

Yahoo!

  1. Log into your Yahoo! e-mail account.
  2. In the upper left-hand corner of the screen, click the The Compose button in Yahoo! mail. button. You may also reply to a message you have received previously.
  3. In the bottom of the body of your message, click the Yahoo! mail attachment icon. icon.

Yahoo! mail bottom icon tray.

  1. Navigate to the location of the file(s) you'd like to attach, make your selections (A), and then click Open (B).

How to attach files in a Yahoo! mail document.

  1. When you've successfully attached your items, you'll see them at the top of the body of your message.

A successfully attached e-mail.

  1. When you've finished composing your message, click the The send button. button.

Apple Mail

  1. Open the Apple Mail program on your desktop or laptop.
  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
  6. Click the send button.
Outlook logo

Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Reply to an existing e-mail, or compose a new e-mail by clicking on the Message tab the top left portion of the window.
  3. Click on the Attach File icon in the top middle portion of the screen (it looks like a paper clip). Alternatively, you may click on Insert at the top of the window and select Attach File.
  4. Select a recent file, or Browse This PC...
  5. Navigate to the location of the file(s) you'd like to attach, make your selections (A), and then click Open (B).

An image showing users how to attach files in an Outlook mail document.

  1. If the attachment is successfully added, you should see it just under the Subject line next to Attached.in your message.
  2. Once you're finished composing the message, click the Send button on the left-hand side of the address window.
Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird

  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 contains a paper clip.
  4. Navigate to the location of the file(s) you'd like to attach, make your selections (A), and then click Open (B).

An image showing users how to attach files in a Thunderbird mail document.

  1. If the attachment is successful, you'll see the file(s) in your message.
  2. Once you've finished typing your message, click the Send button that is located in the upper left-hand corner of the window.

Mail app on iPhone or iPad

  1. Access the Photos app to view the pictures on the iPhone or iPad.
  2. Find and tap the picture you want to attach to an e-mail.
  3. When viewing the picture, tap the Attach picture in iOS icon at the bottom left corner of the screen.
  4. On the "Photo Selected" screen, tap the Mail icon.
  5. A new e-mail message will be opened, with the picture attached and displayed in the body of the e-mail. Enter the e-mail address to send the e-mail to, the e-mail subject, and any text you want to include in the body of the e-mail.
  6. Tap the Send link at the upper right corner of the "New Message" screen to send the e-mail.