Email is a convenient way to quickly share with other people your photos, documents, spreadsheets, and other types of files.
In order to send files via email, you can attach one or more files to an email along with your message.
You can also insert or “embed” images in the body of your email (see Anatomy of an Email Message for more info) instead of attaching them. However, there are usually stricter limits on the size of embedded images. If you have several images to share, or if your images are very large, it’s better to attach them to your email.
*Note: Click the images to view the interactive tutorials.
How to attach files with Microsoft Outlook
Here's how to attach documents, spreadsheets, photos or any other type of file to your emails. The example below uses Microsoft Outlook, but most email programs, even web-based email like Gmail and Hotmail, work the same way. (Here are instructions for Yahoo! Mail.)
Open your email program, launch a new message window and compose your message.
Click the attachment icon (the paper clip) or insert the file by selecting from the drop-down menu.
Browse your hard drive or removable disks to locate the file you want to attach. Click it to highlight the name, then click the Insert button.
An icon or message should now appear indicating that the file has been attached.
Finally, click the Send button and off it goes!
How to attach files with Yahoo! Mail.
Access your email account, and then launch a new message window by clicking the Compose button. Now enter the address and compose your message.
Click the paperclip icon at the bottom of the screen (next to the blue Send button). A new screen will appear.
Browse your hard drive or removable disks to locate the file you want to attach. Click it to highlight the name, then click the Open button (or, double-click the file name).
A thumbnail (mini) image of your photo or file will now appear at the bottom of your email message, right above the Send button. You can now add more files using the same procedure.
Finish your message, click the Send button, and off it goes!
How to attach files with Gmail
Open your Gmail account and compose a new message.
Click the attachment icon (the paper clip) to insert your file.
Browse the appropriate folder within your Hard Drive or Removable disk to find your file. Click it to highlight the name, then click the Insert button.
The icon or message should appear indicating that the file has been successfully attached.
At last, click the Send button and you're done!
Tips for Sending Files via Email
- Most email providers have limits on the size of attachments. You may not be able to send very large files via email. Instead, consider using a file sharing service like Dropbox.
- Make sure the recipient will be able to open the file you’re sending. For more information on file types, see Opening Attachments.
- While you can send emails with no message and just an attachment, it’s good email etiquette to type a short message to let the recipient know what the attachment is and why you’re sending it.
- As a security precaution to prevent potential viruses, some services don’t allow the attachment of certain file types, such as .exe (executable) files.
- Because attachments can be used to spread viruses, it’s a good idea to ask permission before sending any attachments. If the recipient is not expecting an attachment, they may not open them for security reasons.
Learn more: Sending an Email Message