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How to Attach a File in Gmail

January 1st, 2011

Attaching files in an email makes it easy to send photos, documents and more to friends, family, and others. Say mom just took some really great pictures of the kids and she’s uploaded them to her computer. If she wants to share them with a family member or friend, and they have an email account, she can make it easy by sending photos through email.

Attaching files is similar in most email services, but for the purposes of this article we’ll discuss attaching a file specifically in Gmail. Use this lesson and video to teach your parents how to attach files in email.

  1. Open your web browser

    Open your Firefox web browser. On a PC, find this in the “Start” menu. On a Mac, it may be located in the row of icons at the bottom of your display. Type into your address bar. Click on Gmail at the top of the page.

  2. Sign into Gmail

    Log in to your Gmail account (see How to Set Up a Free Gmail Account).

  3. Create an email

    Select “Compose Mail” to begin a new message and fill out the email like you normally would.

  4. Use the attachment option to send a photo or document

    Once you’re finished with your message, before you hit send, click on “Attach a file” next to the paperclip icon.

  5. Find the file or files you want to attach to your email

    This brings up a new window with every file you’ve saved to your computer. Find your documents or photos in the folder you saved them in.

  6. Select the file(s) you want to send

    Once you’ve found the item you want to attach to your email, click on it once and then click “Open.”

  7. Attach the file(s) to your message

    Give the file a moment to download. You’ll see a status bar that shows the progress of your attachment. When you see the file name with a check mark, it means your file has successfully been attached.

  8. Send your message

    When you’re ready, click “send.” Now other family members and friends can enjoy your photos or documents by simply opening your attachment.

Now that you know how to attach a file, learn how to recognize a safe attachment and how to spot phishing scams.


  1. dave leggett says:

    I did every thing cited but computer said that I if I have an email account (which I do ) Then I would have to go to the default program to create an association. Do you have an example for that.

  2. How do you send an email with a flashing animation and
    it continues to flash? Thank you…

  3. sunny says:

    very helpfull wonderfull thank you

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