Email Photos from iPhoto Using Mail Rather Than Built-in Emailer

Feb 28, 2013 - 4 Comments

iPhoto in OS X works pretty well as a photo manager, photo stream recipient, and for making minor adjustments to images, but it’s not a mail client. That’s pretty obvious right? But iPhoto 11 thinks otherwise, at least in regards to sharing pictures from iPhoto using the “Email” option, which (slowly) launches a very stylish built-in email functionality that gives you the option to stuff the picture into stationary and whatever else.

iPhoto built-in email

If you’d rather email photos out of iPhoto using the traditional Mail app of Mac OS X, you’ll just need to make a quick preference change:

  • From iPhoto, pull down the “iPhoto” menu and choose “Preferences”
  • Under the “General” tab, pull down the “Email photos using:” menu and select “Mail”

Email photos from iPhoto with Mail app

Close out of Preferences and use the “Share” feature to send off an email with a photo or two, instead of seeing the spinner and eventually the iPhoto Mail client, you’ll see a quick pop-up asking about file-size and resolution of the image:

Mail image size

Select your desired image quickly jumps to the normal OS X Mail app just like it did before iPhoto 11 came along and changed to the bundled iOS-styled version:

iPhoto emailing from Mail app

My personal preference would be to use Gmail, but I haven’t yet found a way to force iPhoto to send pictures through webmail, even if Gmail and Chrome is set as the default mail client.

This tip is a simpler version of a command line driven defaults write approach offered recently by MacWorld, using defaults can be faster for scripting but when something is readably accessible in Preferences it’s often easier for most users to just use the traditional methods of adjusting preferences. And no, the aforementioned defaults method didn’t work to force Gmail to handle the email either, but let us know if you happen to find a way!


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. William says:

    Thank you for this invaluable tip! This tip was published in 2013 but I still managed to use it in 2022 to rescue me from a predicament where I could not persuade iphoto to email images from my mac. I tried everything else – disabling 2 factor authentication for my google account, setting up a new email account outside gmail, setting up an app specific password – nothing worked until this.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I tried doing this, but even though I chose full quality, the photo got reduced from 3,1Mb to 40Kb…
    Could you please help me?

  3. Tim says:

    I have used this in the past, but it is old now. Not sure if it works still.

  4. MasterHowl says:


Leave a Reply


Shop on and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



Shop on Amazon to help support this site