How to Add a Background Image to a Message in Outlook

Put a Picture Wallpaper Behind Your Outlook Emails

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Changing the background image in Outlook lets you spice up your emails and make them look completely different than the standard white background.

Not only can you make the background of your emails a solid color, gradient, texture, or pattern, you can even choose a custom picture for the background so that your recipients will see a large image behind the email text.

Note: In all of these instructions below, you must have HTML formatting enabled.

How to Add a Background Image to an Outlook Email

  1. Position the cursor in the message body.
  2. From the Options menu, select Page Color from the "Themes" section.
  3. Choose Fill Effects... in the menu that appears.
  4. Go to the Picture tab of the "Fill Effects" window.
  5. Click or tap the Select Picture... button.
  6. Find the image you want to use as the background for the Outlook message. In some versions of Outlook, you can choose a picture from not only your computer but also a Bing search or your OneDrive account.
  7. Select the picture and then click/tap Insert.
  8. Press OK on the "Fill Effects" window.

Tip: To remove the image, just return to Step 3 and choose No Color from that pop-out menu.

Older versions of MS Outlook require slightly different steps. If the above doesn't work for your edition of Outlook, try this:

  1. Click or tap somewhere in the body of the message.
  2. Select Format > Background > Picture... from the menu.
  3. Use the file selection dialog box to pick an image from your computer.
  4. Click OK.

If you do not want the background image to scroll, you can prevent that, too.

Note: You must re-apply these settings for each email that you want to have a background picture.

How to Insert an Outlook Background Image in macOS

  1. Click somewhere in the body of the email to focus there.
  2. From the Options menu, click Background Picture.
  3. Select the image you want to use as the background picture and then click Open.