How to Send a File Attachment With Outlook.com

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Start Composing a New Email Message

Outlook Mail New Message
Outlook Mail New Message. Screen Capture Wendy Bumgardner

Outlook.com allows you to attach files to your email messages. You can send friends and colleagues files of many types, such as documents, spreadsheets, images, and more. If you have the file saved on your computer, it is easy to send a copy.

There is a size limit of 34 MB for attached files. However, you can also choose to upload files as a OneDrive attachment. In this case, it is uploaded to your cloud storage on OneDrive and your recipient has access to it there. That is a useful option if you want to work on the same file without constantly emailing copies back and forth. It also won't clog up their email storage or take a long time to download your message as it would with a large attached file.

You'll also be able to add files from various other online storage services, including Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Facebook.

How to Attach a File to an Email Message in Outlook.com

  • Start composing a new email message in Outlook.com
  • Click Attach in the upper toolbar or the paperclip icon in the lower toolbar. Both activate the same option.

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Find and Highlight a File on Your Computer or Online Storage

Outlook.com File Attachments
Outlook.com File Attachments. Screen Capture by Wendy Bumgardner

You can choose to attach files from your computer, OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive or Facebook. You will have to add accounts for the options other than your computer, so be prepared to know your login information.

  • Click on the option you prefer and navigate to the file you want to attach.
  • Click Open or Choose, depending on your browser.

Now you are asked how you want to attach the file. You can upload and attach it as a OneDrive file, which allows the recipient to work on it as it is stored online Or, you can attach it as a copy and they will receive a copy in their email.

If your chosen file is over the size limit of 34 MB, you will be given the choice of uploading it to OneDrive and attaching it as a OneDrive file, but you can't attach and send a copy.

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Wait for the File to Upload Completely

Outlook.com File Attachment Added
Outlook.com File Attachment Added. Screen Capture by Wendy Bumgardner

  • Wait for the file to be completely uploaded.
  • It will now appear attached to your message in the message composition window.
  • Continue editing the message.
  • When you are ready, click Send to deliver the message together with its attachments.

Identify Yourself and Alert Your Recipient About the File Attachment

It is wise to tell your recipient information about the file you are sending so they don't assume that it is a spoofer trying to infect them with a virus or worm. Be sure to spell out in the email enough information to verify your identity and tell them what they can expect in the file.

With some email systems, it is also easy to overlook attached files. This is another reason to be clear in your message that there is a file attached, its name, size, and what it contains. That way your recipient knows to look for the attachment and that it is safe to open it.