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How to Send a File Attachment with Gmail

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Senior man using laptop
Shan Shui/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
It's fun to do foolishly — say, to re-create a file you have on your computer in an email's body —, of course; but not every time.

It's fun to work efficiently, too — say, to attach that file from your computer and send it comfortably in Gmail. Sending multiple files is just as easy, and it works with documents you cannot easily re-create in an email (videos, images, spread sheets,...) as well.

Send a File Attachment with Gmail

To attach a file or more to an email you send from Gmail:

  • Click Attach a file while composing a message in Gmail. (If you do not see Attach a file, continue with clicking Browse or Choose File below.)
  • If a file selection dialog pups up:
    • Highlight all the files you want to send.
      • Use the Ctrl (Windows, Linux) or Command key to highlight multiple files.
      • Use the Shift key to highlight a range.
    • Click Select.
  • If you do not get an instant file selector:
    • Click Browse... or Choose File.
    • Locate the desired document and double-click it.
  • Click Attach another file or Attach More Files to add another document to your email.
    • Note that Gmail can send files up to 25 MB big. For larger files, or if the recipient's email service does not allow for files that big, you can use a file sending service instead.

To add a file to a Gmail email message as an attachment using dragging and dropping:

  • Start with a new message.
  • Locate the file or files you want to upload in your file browser (Windows Explorer, e.g., or Finder).
  • Click the file or files with the left mouse button and, keeping the button pressed, drag over the browser window with the email you are composing.
  • Drag the file or files to the area that lights up with the message Drop files here.
    • If you do not see such an area, your browser does not support drag-and-drop attachments. See above for attaching files in Gmail.
  • Release the mouse button.

Remove a File from a Message You Are Sending

To cancel an attachment you have added to a message:

  • Click remove next to the undesired file or
  • make sure the box preceding it is not checked (if the file has already been uploaded).

Have Gmail Remind You About Attaching Promised Files

With the right words, Gmail can remind you to attach promised files.

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