Create Attachments Using Drag and Drop in Outlook

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

Attaching files can be as easy as using a paperclip

 rnddave/Flickr [Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0]

Sending attachments along with your email messages is one way to share information, documents, and images. In Outlook, there are different ways to attach files to an email. One way is to use the Outlook menu. Another way is to open Windows Explorer and use drag and drop to send files as attachments.

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

Create Attachments Using Drag and Drop in Outlook

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 Windows Explorer and go to 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 Windows 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.

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 Windows Explorer and drop it on the Outlook Inbox, Microsoft Outlook automatically opens a new email message window with the file attached.

Screenshot of dragging a file into the Outlook inbox

Then, enter the recipient information, the content of your message, and send it.

Can I Attach Multiple Files With Drag and Drop?

The drag and drop method for attaching documents works with multiple files as well. Press and hold the Ctrl key to select multiple files, then drag the files to your Outlook Inbox or a new message.

How to Send Links to Documents on a File Sharing Service

The drag and drop method only works 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.