How to Attach Files to iPhone Emails

The context menu in iOS Mail helps you add attachments and photos

Attaching photo or video in iPhone email

Attaching and sending files is one of the most common things people do with their desktop and web-based email programs. There's no button for attaching files in the iPhone's built-in Mail app, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to attach files. You just have to use some different techniques.  

The procedures we outline below have been tested using iOS 12. The procedure is similar for iOS 11 and iOS 10.

Attaching Photos or Videos in Mail

While there's no obvious button for it, you can attach photos and videos to emails from within the Mail app. This procedure only works for photos and videos; to attach other file types, check out the next set of instructions. But if attaching a photo or video is all you need to do, follow these steps: 

  1. Begin by opening the email you want to attach the photo or video to — an email you're replying to or forwarding, or a new email. In the body of the message, tap and hold on the screen in the place where you want to attach the file, to open the copy/paste pop-up menu.

  2. Tap the arrow at the right side of the copy/paste menu to reveal the insert photo or video option. Tap it.

  3. The Photos app appears. Select the photo you you wish to insert, then tap it to preview it. Tap choose to select it.

  4. The photo inserts into the message as an inline image. It's not an attachment.

    Insert Photo of Video, Choose, and final email message with inline photo

If you're having trouble sending and receiving email on your iPhone, find out how to solve that problem (and others) by reading what to do when your iPhone email is not working.

Attaching Other Kinds of Files or From Other Apps

Use the Add Attachment pop-up option to add other kinds of files:

  1. In the body of your email, long-press and select Add Attachment from the pop-up menu bar. It's immediately to the right of the Add Photo/Video option referenced in the previous section.

  2. Select the document to attach. By default, you're dropped into the recent view of your iCloud drive.

    Add Attachment, Files in iOS Mail


  3. When you select the attachment, it's added to the message. Repeat the procedure to add additional attachments.

Use the Sharing Menu

Most apps include a sharing option that bypasses the need to create a new email and add an attachment to it. For example, if you're working on a Microsoft Word document, just share the document as an attachment. That procedure (which differs by app) will bundle the open document into the body of an iOS Mail message.

Each app treats sharing differently.