Create Attachments Using Drag and Drop in Outlook

To use drag and drop, the file must reside on your computer

Outlook offers different ways to attach files to an email. One easy way is to drag and drop the file into an email.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; and Outlook for Microsoft 365.

To attach a file swiftly using drag and drop in Outlook:

  1. Open Outlook and go to the Inbox.

    Screenshot of Outlook inbox
  2. Go to the Home tab and select New Email.

    Screenshot of creating a new message in Outlook
  3. Open File Explorer and then the folder that contains the file you want to attach to an Outlook email.

    Screenshot of opening Windows Explorer with attachment file
  4. Drag the file you want to attach from File Explorer to the new message window.

    Screenshot of dragging file into Outlook email
  5. The attachment appears at the top of the email message in the Attached section.

  6. To do this on a Mac, follow the same steps using Finder to locate the file.

Automatically Open a Message

An even faster way to create attachments using drag and drop in Outlook is to simply drag the file straight into your Inbox. When you drag a file from File Explorer (or Finder on a Mac) and drop it on the Outlook Inbox, Microsoft Outlook automatically opens a new email message window with the file attached. Then, enter the address, subject line, and content, and send the email.

Screenshot of dragging a file into the Outlook inbox

Can I Attach Multiple Files With Drag and Drop?

The drag-and-drop method for attaching documents works with multiple files. Press and hold the Ctrl key (or Command on a Mac) to select multiple files, then drag the files to your Outlook Inbox or a new message.

Sending Links to Documents on a File-Sharing Service

The drag-and-drop method works only with files on your computer, not with files that reside on a file-sharing service. You can send a link to those files, but Outlook doesn't download the document and send it as an attachment. When you copy the share link and paste it into your email, the email recipient clicks the link to view the attachment.