How to Attach a Photo to an Email on iPhone and iPad

Send pictures on your iOS devices

What to Know

  • Photos app: Locate photo > Share icon > Mail > enter email message and send.
  • Mail app: Inside an email select Insert Photo or Video > select photo > Use > send email.
  • iPad multitasking: Open message and show dock. Tap and hold Photos. Drag icon to side for Split View > Photos.

This article explains three ways to attach a photo to an email message on an iPhone or iPad. Instructions apply to devices running iOS 9 through iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.

Illustration of a person adding a photo to an email on an iPhone
Lifewire / Maddy Price 

How to Attach a Photo to an Email Using the Photos App

This approach dedicates the entire screen to selecting the photo, making it easier to pick the right one. 

  1. Open the Photos app and locate the photo you want to email.

    The Photos app on iPad
  2. Tap the Share icon (an arrow pointing out of a box).

    An iPad photos with the Share button highlighted
  3. To share several photos, tap each one you want to attach to the email message. Scroll through the images using iPad gestures, swiping from left to right or from right to left. A blue check mark appears next to the photos you select.

    Share menu on an iPad with the blue check mark next to a selected photo highlighted
  4. Tap the Mail icon to open a new email message containing the photos.

    Share menu on an iPad with the Mail button highlighted
  5. Type your email message and send it.

How to Attach Photos From the Mail App

If you're already writing an email in the Mail app and want to attach a photo, follow these steps:

  1. Tap inside the body of the message to open a menu that includes the option to Insert Photo or Video. (You might have to tap the right arrow first.)

    An email on an iPad with the Insert Photo or Video menu option highlighted
  2. Tapping this icon activates a window with your photos in it. Tap the one you want to send and then tap Use in the window's upper-right corner on iOS 12 through iOS 9. In iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 or later, tap x when you're done.

    A photo selection window open in an email on an iPad with the Use button highlighted

    You can attach only one photo at a time in iOS 9 through iOS 12, but you can send more than one photo in an email. Repeat these steps to attach additional images. On an iPhone or iPad running iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 or later, you can select multiple images.

  3. To take a new photo to attach to your email (iPad-only), tap the Camera icon on the keyboard and take a photo. If you are satisfied with the image, select Use Photo to add it to the email.

    A mail message open on an iPad with the camera button highlighted
  4. After you've attached the photos, send the email as usual.

Use iPad Multitasking to Attach Several Images

Attach several photos using the iPad's drag-and-drop feature and its multitasking abilities to move photos into your email message.

The iPad's multitasking feature works by interacting with the dock, so you'll need access to the Photos app from the dock. However, you do not need to drag the Photos icon to the dock; you simply need to launch Photos before launching the Mail app. The dock displays the last few apps opened on the far right side.

Inside a new email message, do the following:

Using Split View to Attached Photos in iPadOS 14 and Earlier

  1. Start a new message in the Mail app and then slide your finger up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the dock.

    Don't slide your finger more than an inch, or the iPad will transition into the task-switching screen.

    The Mail app on an iPad with the dock highlighted.
  2. Tap and hold the Photos icon until it expands slightly.

  3. Drag the icon to one side of the screen. It's compatible with Split View, so it'll have a rectangle around it.

    An email open on an iPad with Photos highlighted
  4. When you reach one side of the screen, a black area will open that you can drop the icon into.

  5. When you lift your finger, the Photos app will launch on that side of the screen. Locate a photo to add to the mail message, tap and hold it, again waiting a second for it to expand. Drag it to your email message and lift your finger to drop it.

    While dragging one image, you can tap more to add them to the "stack" of photos. Drop them all at once to add multiple images to your email.

    Mail and Photos open in Split View on an iPad with a stack of images moving to a new email
  6. Finish your email and send it.

Using Split View to Attach Photos in iPadOS 15

In iPadOS 15, the process is even more straightforward.

  1. Open the Mail app. Tap the three dots at the top of the screen.

    Mail app showing the three dots menu
  2. Tap the split view icon to send the Mail app to one side of the screen.

    Split View option selected in the Mail window
  3. Tap the Photos app icon to open Photos on the other side of the screen.

    iPad screen showing the Photos app icon
  4. Locate the photos you want to attach in the Photos app. Tap Select and tap each image you want to include in an email.

    iPad Photos app with Select highlighted
  5. Tap the Share icon.

    The iPad Share button highlighted on the Photos app
  6. Select Mail to open a new email with the images included.

    iPad split view showing the Share menu
  7. Finish your email and send it.

    New mail screen open over split view of iPad
  • How do I send my Google Photos through an email on my Chromebook?

    You may not be able to attach your Google Photos by using the regular email attachment (paperclip) button. Use the Insert Photo button (it looks like a photo landscape) instead, which should give you a choice of choosing a photo either from your Chromebook or from Photos.

  • How do I send photos through Gmail?

    The process of attaching and sending photos through Gmail is fairly straightforward, and is the same whether you're using the Gmail app or website.

  • How do I send large photos through email?

    Most email services have a file size limit for attachments. The simplest way to circumvent those limits is to share your large photos through Google Drive.

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