How to Attach a Document to an Email in Outlook

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Email is more than just sending text. You can also send files of any type easily in Outlook.

Attach a File to an Email in Outlook

To add a document attachment to an email from your computer or a web service such as OneDrive:

  1. Start with any message or reply you are composing in Outlook.
  2. Make sure the Insert tab is active and expanded on the ribbon.
    1. Tips: Click the top of the application if you cannot see the ribbon.
    2. Click Insert if the ribbon is collapsed.
    3. Note: You can also press Alt-N on the keyboard to go to the Insert ribbon.
  3. Click Attach File.

Now, you get to pick your document.

To attach a file you recently used, pick the desired document from the list that has appeared.

To pick from all the files on your computer:

  1. Select Browse This PC… from the menu.
  2. Find and highlight the document you want to attach.
    1. Tip: You can highlight more than one file and attach them all at once.
  3. Click Open or Insert.

To send a link to a document on a file sharing service easily:

  1. Select Browse Web Locations.
  2. Choose the desired service.
  3. Find and highlight the document you want to share.
  4. Click Insert.
    1. Note: Outlook will not download the document from the service and send it as a classic attachment; it will insert a link in the message instead, and the recipient can open, edit and download the file from there.

Outlook Says the Attachment Size Exceeds the Allowable Limit; What Can I Do?

If Outlook complains about a file exceeding the size limit, you can use a file sharing service or, if the file does not exceed some 25 MB or so in size, try adapting Outlook's attachment size limit.

Can I Delete an Attachment from an Email before Sending in Outlook?

To remove an attachment from a message you are composing in Outlook so it is not sent with it:

  1. Click the downward-pointed triangle () next to the attached document you want to remove.
  2. Select Remove Attachment from the menu that has appeared.
    1. Tip: You can also highlight the attachment and press Del.

(You can also delete attachments from emails you have received in Outlook, by the way.)

How to Attach a Document to an Email in Outlook 2000–2010

To send a file as an attachment in Outlook:

  1. Start with a new message in Outlook.
  2. In Outlook 2007/10:
    1. Go to the Insert tab of the message's toolbar.
    2. Click Attach File.
  3. In Outlook 2000-2003:
    1. Select Insert > File from the menu.
  4. Use the file selection dialog to locate the file you want to attach.
  5. Click on the down arrow on the Insert button.
  6. Select Insert as Attachment.
  7. Compose the rest of the message as usual and eventually send it.

Note: You can also use dragging and dropping to attach files.

How to Attach a Document to an Email in Outlook for Mac

To add a document as a file attachment to an email in Outlook for Mac:

  1. Start with the new message, reply or forward in Outlook for Mac.
  2. Make sure the email's Message ribbon is selected.
    1. Note: Click Message near the email's title bar to expand if you do not see the full Message ribbon.
  3. Click Attach File.​
    1. Tip: You can also press Command-E or select Draft > Attachments > Add… from the menu. (You need not expand the Message ribbon to do that, of course.)
  4. Find and highlight the desired document.
    1. Tip: You can highlight more than one file and add them to the email all at the same time.
  5. Click Choose.

How to Remove an Attachment before Sending in Outlook for Mac

To delete an attached file from a message before you send it in Outlook for Mac:

  1. Click the file you want to remove to highlight it in the attachments (📎) section.
  2. Press Backspace or Del.

(Tested with Outlook 2000, 20003, 2010 and Outlook 2016 as well as Outlook for Mac 2016)