Attach a Photo to a Mail Message on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
You’ve probably noticed there isn’t an attachment button floating around when composing a new email message in iOS Mail app, so how do you attach pictures to emails on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch? It’s easy, and there’s actually two simple ways to attach images to your emails though you may not find them to be obvious right away, but we’ll cover both ways on how to do it.
Inserting Photos Into Emails in iOS Mail
For newer iPhones and iPads, the simplest and fastest way to attach photos to an email is by using the tap-and-hold trick:
- Open the Mail app in iOS if you haven’t done so already
- Compose a new Mail message and tap in the Body area
- Tap and hold within the body, then tap the right arrow button and choose “Insert Photo or Video”
- Locate the photo(s) to attach within Camera Roll of Photos app and tap on “Choose” to include the picture in the email message
- Send the email as usual with the photo attachment by tapping on “Send”
The “Insert Photo” attach button in Mail app is around in all modern versions of iOS, it may look slightly different in prior versions but it’s the same in functionality.
This in-line image attachment ability was introduced in iOS 6 onward, but older versions of iOS and older iOS devices can still attach pictures easily by using the tried and true copy and paste method. Note the copy and paste method still works on the newest versions of iOS as well, it’s just not necessarily the fastest.
Attach Photos to eMails with Copy & Paste
You can also attach photos to emails by using Copy & Paste. For older iDevices, this is also the easiest way to send out a picture or two, here’s what you’ll want to do:
- Compose a new mail message as usual, then hit the Home button and launch the Photos app
- Locate the picture you want to attach to the email and tap to open it
- Tap and hold on the image until you see “Copy” and tap to copy it
- Use a four-fingered swipe up or double-tap the Home button to bring up the multitasking bar, and select the Mail app to switch back to your mail message
- Back in the mail composition window, tap in the mail body and hold until you see “Paste”, select that to insert the picture into the email as an attachment
- Compose the remainder of the email as usual and tap “Send”
You can add up to five photos as attachments, though if you plan on sending multiple pictures it’s better to start from Photos app instead of Mail app because you can compose a new message containing several photos directly from there.
The copy and paste trick is the source of some confusion for new iPad and iPhone users, and I have fielded this question several times in person to newcomers to the iOS platform. That confusion is likely why Apple introduced the new “Insert Photo” feature into the newer versions of Mail, making it a much more direct way of adding mail attachments and preventing some of the friction.