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

A person holding an iPhone taking a picture of the beach

Olle Eriksson / Flickr

Apple has made it relatively simple to attach photos to email on the iPhone or iPad, but it is easy to miss this feature if you don't know where to look. You can attach photos both through the Photos app or the Mail app, and if you have an iPad, you can pull both up on your screen to attach several photos to your email message.

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

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Start in 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.
  2. Tap the Share button. It's the button that has an arrow coming out of a box.
  3. To attach several photos, tap each photo you want to attach to the email message. Scroll through the photos by swiping from left to right or from right to left.
  4. To attach the photo(s), tap the Mail button.
  5. When you tap the Mail button, a new mail message will appear from within the Photos app. There's no need to launch Mail. You can type your email message and send it from within the Photos app.

How to Attach Photos From the Mail App

screenshot of email


Attach a photo to a message you've already started in the Mail app by tapping once inside the body of the message to open a menu that includes the option to Insert Photo or Video. Tapping this button activates a window with your photos in it. Tap the Use button in the upper-right corner of the window after you've selected your photo.

Apple added a button to the on-screen keyboard that attaches a photo to the message. This button looks like a camera and is located on the upper-right side of the keyboard just above the backspace button.

You can't attach more than one photo simultaneously, but you can send more than one photo in an email. Each attachment must be individually selected.

How to Use the iPad's Multitasking to Attach Several Images

screenshot of selecting a photo to email


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 right ​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:

  • Slide your finger up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the dock. Remember, don't slide your finger more than an inch otherwise the iPad will transition into the task-switching screen.
  • If the Photos app was one of the last apps opened, the icon for it will be displayed on the right side of the dock. Tap-and-hold the icon with your finger until the icon expands slightly.
  • It should only take a second for the icon to expand, so it is easy to miss. After a second passes, slide your finger up without lifting it from the screen. You will see a rectangle appear around the icon. At this point, lift your finger.
  • The Photos app will launch on the right side of the screen. Use it as normal. 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. Next, just drag it to your email message and lift your finger to drop it.