How to Send a File Attachment With Outlook.com

Attach a file or a cloud link attachment to an email in Outlook.com

Image of an email coming out of a computer

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When you want to share files such as documents, spreadsheets, and images, attach those files to Outlook.com email messages and send the message to friends and colleagues. Share a copy of a file that is stored on your computer or share a link to a file stored on a cloud sharing service such as OneDrive.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook.com and Outlook Online.

Send a File Attachment With Outlook.com

The size limit for attached files in Outlook.com is 20 MB. However, you can bypass that limit by sharing files as a OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive attachment. Files from these cloud sharing services appear as a link in the message. Sharing files from a cloud service doesn't use up your email storage and doesn't take time to download.

  1. Select New message and compose your email message.

    Screenshot of composing a new message on Outlook.com
  2. Select Attach.

    To find Attach, look for the paperclip icon in the toolbars above and below the message. Both activate the same option.

    Screenshot of attaching file in Outlook
  3. To attach a file stored on your computer, select Browse this computer to display the Open dialog box, choose the file, and select Open to attach the file to the email message. Then, go to step 6.

    Screenshot of attaching a file to an Outlook.com email
  4. To attach a file from a cloud storage service, select Browse cloud locations. Then, choose the file in your OneDrive account (or other connected cloud account) and select Next.

    Screenshot of sharing OneDrive file in Outlook online

    If you use Google Drive or Dropbox, select Add an account to connect to the service to your Outlook.com account. These accounts must be added before you can attach files stored in these cloud locations.

  5. When sharing a file from OneDrive (or another cloud account), choose to either Share as a OneDrive link or Attach as a copy. If you share the file as a link, the recipient views the file online.

    Screenshot of attaching a OneDrive file in Outlook online

    If the file is over the size limit, you are prompted to upload it to OneDrive and attach it as a OneDrive file. You can't attach the file and send a copy.

  6. Wait for the file to completely upload. When the upload is complete, the attachment appears as an icon in the message composition window.

    Screenshot of a file attached to an Outlook online email
  7. Finish composing your message, then select Send to deliver the message with its attachment.

Identify Yourself and Alert Your Recipient About the File Attachment

Let your recipient know that you're sending an email with an attachment so they don't assume that it is a spam email. If you send the attachment to someone you don't know well, give them enough information to verify your identity and tell them what is contained in the file.

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