Software & Apps MS Office How to Add a Background Image to a Message in Outlook Put a photo behind your Outlook email messages by Heinz Tschabitscher Writer A former freelance contributor who has reviewed hundreds of email programs and services since 1997. our editorial process Heinz Tschabitscher Updated on January 31, 2020 reviewed by Jessica Kormos Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Jessica Kormos is a writer and editor with 15 years' experience writing articles, copy, and UX content for Tecca.com, Rosenfeld Media, and many others. our review board Article reviewed on Jul 17, 2020 Jessica Kormos MS Office Outlook Word Excel Powerpoint Tweet Share Email Add a background image to Outlook to spice up your emails and make them look different than those with a white background. Not only can you make the background of your emails a solid color, gradient, texture, or pattern, but you can choose a custom picture so that recipients see a large image behind the email text. Lifewire / Derek Abella Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, and Outlook for Microsoft 365. How to Add a Background Image to a Message in Outlook Before you can add an image to the background of email messages, enable HTML formatting. A background image can only be added to individual email messages. Reapply these settings for each email you want to have a background picture. One way to get around having to recreate this message every time you want to send it is to create an Outlook template that you can use as a starting point each time you want to send an email that has an image in the background. Open the Microsoft Outlook desktop app. Go to the Home tab and select New Email. Or, press Ctrl+N. In the new message window, place the cursor in the message body. Go to the Options tab. In the Themes group, select the Page Color dropdown arrow. Choose Fill Effects. In the Fill Effects dialog box, go to the Picture tab. Choose Select Picture. Choose where to find an image to use as the background for the Outlook message: Select From a File to insert an image from your computer.Select Bing Image Search and enter a word or phrase to find an online image.Select OneDrive to insert an image from your OneDrive account. Choose the picture, then select Insert. In the Fill Effects dialog box, select OK. If you don't like the background image, remove the image from the new message. Go to the Options tab, select the Page Color dropdown arrow, and choose No Color. Or, prevent the background image from scrolling. How to Insert an Outlook Background Image in macOS Click in the body of the email. Choose Options > Background Picture. Select the image you want to use as the background picture, then click Open.