Attach a file or other item to an e-mail message

Attachments are files or items that can be sent as part of an e-mail message. This article explains how to send attachments.

For information about receiving attachments in e-mail, see View, open, change, and save attachments.

In this article

Attach a file to a message

Attach a message or other item to a message

Where do attachments appear in my message?

Attachment size limitations

Problems with .zip files

Attach a file to a message

  1. On the File menu, click New, and then click Mail Message.

  2. On the Message tab, in the Include group, click Attach File.

    Attach File

  3. In the Insert File dialog box, browse to and select the file that you want to attach, and then click Insert.

    If you don't see the file that you want in the appropriate folder, make sure that All files (*.*) is selected in the Files of type box, and that Windows Explorer is configured to show file name extensions.

Tip   You can also attach file from the new message's Insert tab.

Important   By default, Outlook blocks potentially unsafe attachments (including .bat, .exe, .vbs, and .js files) that might contain viruses. If you attach such a file to an e-mail message, you will be asked whether you want to send a potentially unsafe attachment. If you answer Yes, Outlook will send the attachment. If you answer No, you can then remove the potentially unsafe attachment.

Unsafe attachment warning

Tip   You can attach multiple files simultaneously by selecting the files and dragging them from a folder on your computer to an open message in Outlook.

Top of Page

Attach a message or other item to a message

You can attach items and other messages to a new message:

  1. On the File menu, click New, and then click Mail Message.

  2. On the Message tab, in the Include group, click Attach Item.


  3. In the Look in list, click the folder that contains the item that you want to attach.

  4. Click the item that you want, and then click OK.

Tip   You can also attach an item from the new message's Insert tab.

Top of Page

Where do attachments appear in my message?

Where attachments appear in your message depends on the format in which you compose the message:

  • If the message format is HTML or plain text, attachments appear in the attachment box below the Subject line.

    Attachment line

  • If the message format is Rich Text, attachments appear in the body of the message. Even though the file appears to be embedded in the message, it is actually still a separate attachment.

    Attachment in message body

The format in which a message is composed is indicated in the title bar at the top of the message.


Top of Page

Attachment size limitations

Outlook does not impose any size limit on attachments. However, most e-mail server administrators and Internet service providers (ISPs) do set limits on the overall message size, which is the sum of all attachments plus the content of the message itself. Typically, premium-level services provide more e-mail file storage space and allow larger messages than standard-level services. For more information on the maximum allowed message size, contact your ISP or the e-mail server administrator in your organization.

If you are attaching a very large file, you should first compress the file by using a zip program. Outlook files that are saved in the default Open XML Formats with the following file extensions are automatically zipped: .docx, .dotx, .xlsx, .xltx, .pptx, .potx, and .ppsx.

Top of Page

Problems with .zip files

If files that you attach are zipped when you do not expect them to be, check to see whether a .zip utility has been installed in Outlook as a COM add-in. You can disable this sort of add-in by doing the following:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Trust Center, and then click Add-ins.

  2. In the Manage list, click COM Add-Ins, and then click Go.

  3. In the COM Add-ins dialog box, clear the check box next to the add-in name, and then click OK.

Top of Page

Still need help?

Look for answers or ask a question in the Microsoft Office Community.

Applies To: Outlook 2007

Was this information helpful?

Yes No

How can we improve it?

255 characters remaining

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. Review our privacy policy.

Thank you for your feedback!

Change language