How to Attach Files to an Email From the iPhone

By Steve Gregory

Use the Mail app's Insert Photo or Video option to attach videos and photos or the Share feature in other apps to attach other file types.

Unlike many email client apps and programs, your iPhone’s native Mail app does not have the familiar Attachment icon to attach files. Instead, use Mail’s Insert Photo or Video option to attach pictures or videos to an outgoing email message. To attach other file types, such as Word documents, PDFs and contact information, use the Share feature from within the app that has the file. The feature automatically attaches the file to the body of a new message in the Mail app.

Use the Mail App

Step 1

Open the Mail app, select the email account you want to use and then click the Compose button.

Step 2

Double-tap an empty area of the Message box and then tap the arrow to the right of the pop-up menu.


If the iPhone is in Landscape mode, the arrow does not appear because the full list of items in the pop-up menu is displayed.

You can also tap and hold an empty area of the Message box to display the pop-up menu.

Step 3

Tap Insert Photo or Video to display the list of your saved photos and videos.

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Step 4

Select the album that has the photo or video you want to add to the message.

Except for Moments, each album displays the number of items it contains.

Step 5

Tap the item you want to use. If there are a large number of items, scroll down the screen until you find the item you want.

Only one item at a time can be selected.

Step 6

Tap Choose to attach the item to the new message. The item is automatically inserted in the new email's Message box.

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Step 7

Compose the email message. Add your recipient, enter a subject and add a message in the appropriate fields. Tap Send to email the message with the attachment.


If you use more than one email account with the Mail app, tap the From field and then choose the email account you want to use.

Tap the Subject field's Notification icon to be notified when someone replies to the email message.

Step 8

Select an image size if you attached a photo to the message. If you attached a video, you are not prompted to select a size before sending the message.


Many email account providers have a message size limit, which includes the message's text and any attachments. Three of the major email providers -- Yahoo, AOL and Google -- have a message size limit of 25MB. If the attachment exceeds your service provider's message size limit, the Mail app cannot send the message.


If you are adding a photo as an attachment, consider selecting a smaller image size when prompted to stay under your email service provider's message size limit.

You cannot send a photo as an attachment unless you choose an image size.


It is possible to copy a video or photo and paste it directly into the body of a new message. Tap and hold the video or photo and select Copy from the pop-up menu. Double-tap an empty area in the body of a new message and then select Paste from the pop-up menu to add the photo or video.

To attach multiple photos from the Photos app to an email message, open the Photos app and select the album that has the photos you want to attach. Tap Select and then choose up to five photos to attach. Tap Mail to attach the photos to the body of a new email message.

Use the Share Feature

Step 1

Open the app that has the item you want to send as an attachment, such as the Notes app. Browse to the item and then tap the Share icon.

The Share icon resembles an arrow exiting a box.

Step 2

Tap the Mail icon to open a New Message screen. The item appears in the body of the new email.

The pop-up box also displays the other apps that support the sharing feature.

Step 3

Enter the recipient, select the email account you want to use to send the message and then enter the subject to complete the message. When you are ready to send the message, tap Send.

Tap the To field's Plus button to access your list of contacts.


To send multiple attachments, download a non-native file-sharing app from the App Store -- such as GoodReader, Multiple Attachments and Multi-Attach Mail. In addition to their multiple attachment feature, many file-sharing apps also connect to the files in your cloud-based account, such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox.

Not all apps that use the Share feature display a Share icon. For example, to send a contact's information as a vCard attachment from the native Contacts app, browse to the contact you want to send and then tap Share Contact.

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