How to Save Images from Safari or Mail Onto the iPad & iPhone

May 14, 2012 - 22 Comments

Saved pictures stored in iPad camera roll

Saving pictures from websites or emails on to the iPad or iPhone is very easy once you learn how. This may be a bit of a beginners tip, but after fielding the question multiple times from relatives and even seeing it popup in comments on wallpaper posts, there are clearly a fair amount of people who aren’t aware of how simple the process is. We’ll show you how to save pictures that are either included in an email from the Mail app, or how to download and save an image from the web through the Safari app. Both are extremely simple and rely on the tap-and-hold method that is frequently used in iOS.

Save Images from the Web with Safari

Let’s start off with downloading images from the web browser:

  1. From Safari, navigate to the website with an image you want to save
  2. Tap and hold on the image until the pop-up selection menu appears, then tap “Save Image”
  3. Find the saved image within Photos app

Save an image from the web with Safari for iPad

An image saved from the web will turn up in “Camera Roll” just like any other picture stored on the device or photo taken with the camera. Thus, you just need to launch the Photos app and look at the most recent additions to find your saved pictures.

Saving photos from Mail is basically the same, but has the added bonus of allowing you to save a group of pictures that were sent via email as attachments.

Save Images from Mail Attachments on the iPad or iPhone

Downloading images from email to local storage is simple too:

  1. From Mail app, open the email containing the images
  2. Tap and hold on an image and select “Save Image” from the pop-up menu, or if there are multiple images and you want to save them all, tap “Save # Images”
  3. Exit out of Mail and launch Photos app to find the saved images

Save an image or images from Mail app in Safari on iPad

The “Save All Images” button is by far the quickest method if there are many pictures attached to a single email, though if you’re on a cellular plan without unlimited data you may want to consider whether or not to load them all now or when connected to a wi-fi network since photos can end up being quite large.

Once the pictures have been saved to Photos you can perform basic photo editing on them using the built-in tools, which allow for things like rotate, red eye reduction, and cropping. They can also be modified with third party apps at this point, whether it’s something like the excellent Snapseed tool or iPhoto.

Be aware that having pictures stored locally will count against the free iCloud backup capacity and will be listed under “Camera Roll”, unless specified otherwise in iCloud backup settings. Photos can also take up quite a bit of storage capacity, so it’s a good idea to regularly back them up to a computer or hard drive if you’re looking to conserve space on an iOS device.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Jimmy says:

    Thanks for this tip. This is a beginner level tip I hadn’t figured out yet.

    • Jimmy says:

      I have 1 question though. Once the picture is saved to the roll I put it in another roll so it wasn’t in with everything else. But when I tried to delete it from the main roll it said it can’t be done without deleting it in the other folder as well. Am I understanding correctly that you can’t move the pic, only paste the link in another folder?

      • Harmoden says:

        Yes, unfortunately iOS has basically no file management, if you’d even call it that. This may change come iOS 6 though, we will see.

  2. Mart117 says:

    Do the pics lose resolution by saving it this way through email (click and save image)?

  3. […] though it can easily lead to endless Wikipedia wandering, and it’s also great if you’re downloading images and wallpapers to iOS. You may notice the background option isn’t available on iPad, that’s because Safari […]

  4. Surachai says:

    Hello! I can’t save any picture when I use pop up “save image”. I can’t find image anywhere. But is work for two weeks ago. Please help.

  5. Surachai says:

    I had figure it out now. :)

  6. Akilah says:

    I saved a picture but its not in the photos app. What do I do? How do I find the picture?

  7. Elaine Harmon says:

    I have the iPad too… When I want to save pictures I have no problem I understand tap twice and save image… However email pictures when I tap it highlights and only the word copy pops up… Needless to says that doesn’t save the image. Any suggestions ?

    • Matt says:

      Tap and hold on the image, then choose “Save”

      • Elaine Harmon says:

        Don’t think you read my question Matt… I am aware of how to… My question is why in emails that doesn’t work. If it is a picture in an email that was sent without a download, no place to download said picture… When I tap I only get the word copy … Save isn’t a choice.

        • Paul says:

          Hi Elaine, it is possible that your version of iOS is dated and does not include the feature? What is your iPad or iPhone? And are you using the Mail app or a different mail client?

          • Elaine Harmon says:

            Thanks for the help… I finally figured out what I was doing wrong. I hadn’t added google app… I was using my gmail through safari… Once I downloaded the app for Google, everything started working just fine… Thanks again for the help I received. New to iPad had windows for many years.

  8. Reece says:

    I know how to do this but whenever i do, the picture is always very pixelated, im on the iPad mini. Do you know why? Or have any tips?


  9. […] almost feel them. Click through each image to get to the full size version, then a tap and hold and choose “Save Image” to save it locally to the iPad in your Photos app where you’ll be able to set them as your […]

  10. […] looking to save the images locally, you will need to download them first that way before the tap-and-save trick works. You’ll find an additional bonus here too, where you’ll now being able to see the file […]

  11. […] iPod touch? You can, but as many users notice, saving video to iOS device is a bit different than saving photos locally. With video, you can’t just tap and hold to save a movie the same way you would for a […]

  12. […] the preview shots on an iPhone or iPod touch. For the most accurate results, you’ll want to save the images after loading them full screen with a tap and hold, then find the image in Photos app and open […]

  13. Marla says:

    Can anyone help me find a website from a saved image?

    • int says:

      What does that even mean? You want to find out where the original website was that a picture was saved from? You may be able to do that on a Mac, but very difficult on an iPhone or iPad unless you can find it in Safari history.

  14. vamp says:

    i would like to know how to save pictures from website or email but keep them in smaller size rather than its original automatically.
    i dont want to manually set each picture to smaller size.
    even now i dont see in setting to save pictures in 640 or 800 or 1280 or even smaller size.

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