How to Attach a Photo to an Email Message on the iPhone or iPad

Send pictures on your iOS devices

Illustration of a person adding a photo to an email on an iPhone

Lifewire / Maddy Price

Just like on a desktop computer, you can include photo attachments in emails you send from your iPhone or iPad. You have a couple of options for how to do this; two of them are the Photos app and the Mail app. If you have an iPad, you can also pull both programs up on your screen to attach several photos to your email message.

These instructions apply to devices running iOS 9 or later.

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

This approach dedicates the entire screen to select 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 button. It's the button that has an arrow coming out of a box.

    A photo on iPad 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 by swiping from left to right or from right to left. A blue checkmark will appear next to the photos you select.

    Share menu on an iPad with the blue checkmark next to a selected photo highlighted
  4. To attach the photo(s), tap the Mail button.

    Share menu on an iPad with the Mail button highlighted
  5. When you tap the Mail button, a new mail message will appear. Type your email message and send it from within the Photos app.

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.

    An email on an iPad with the Insert Photo or Video menu option highlighted
  2. Tapping this button activates a window with your photos in it. Tap the one you want to send, and then tap the Use button in the upper-right corner of the window.

    You can't attach more than one photo simultaneously, but you can send more than one photo in an email. Repeat these steps to attach multiple images.

    A photo selection window open in an email on an iPad with the Use button highlighted
  3. To take a new photo to attach to an email, tap the Camera button on the keyboard.

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

How to Use the iPad's 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 you launch the Mail app. The dock displays the last few apps opened on the far right side.

Inside of a new mail message, do the following:

  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 in a rectangle
  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. Use it as usual. When you've located a photo you want 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 you're 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 then send it.