How do I send pictures by attaching to email rather than using Photo Email?

Windows Live Photo Gallery together with Windows Live Mail provides “Photo Email” for sharing pictures in an efficient and pleasant way. I described the feature a while back (links below). But sometimes you might want to send pictures as attachments to an email.

Steps for sending photos as attachments

In Windows Live Photo Gallery, select the photos. imageClick the text part (or the down arrow) of the Photo email command. On the little drop-down menu click “Send photos as attachments”. See the illustration here.

Next you will be offered to specify the image size to be sent. The default size is 1024 by 768 pixels (the maximum dimensions, if an actual dimension is smaller that will be retained). You can select Original size or several other sizes.image

After you have clicked the size you want click Attach.

Your default mail client “new message” window will open with the photos already shown as attachments.

If Windows Live Mail is your default client, it will come up with the Photo Album Tools tab active and showing that the photos are attached. You have the option of changing to a photo email instead of sending them as attachments.

imageThe Live Mail “New message” window permits you to change from photo email to the attach method even if you started out specifying the photo email option.

The “paper clip” icon in the “Album style” group specifies “attach”. Clicking on any of the other styles makes the email a photo email.

The illustrations here show the options in the Photo Album Tools tab. image

To make the tab visible click on the photo layout in the message area of your email.


When sending pictures as a photo email or by attachment, the Windows Live Photo Gallery “publish” options are not applied. Any metadata in the image files will be retained in the photos and sent to the recipient.

If you do not wish to share such data remove it from the file before sending it.

Also see: Set Photo Gallery to remove sensitive data from photos prior to uploading.


On the recipients side

The recipient of the email with photos attached gets the message and all theimage attachments. That is the time-consuming and often annoying aspect of attachments, since they are downloaded to the recipients computer before the recipient can see the email.

In Windows Live Mail, attached photos are shown by small thumbnails (except for very large files). To save the attached photos the recipient can right-click and select the appropriate action.


When using Hotmail in a browser, similar thumbnails are displayed. imageThere is a download option shown on each, or all the photos can be downloaded as a zip file.

There is a nice viewing feature called “Hotmail active view” which permits viewing the individual photo, or a slide show of all attached photos. This allows the recipient to see and enjoy the pictures without having to download them.


You may wish to also see my post Photo Email–from Photo Gallery to Friend’s Inbox or my article at Microsoft based on that post: Explore Windows – Photo Email.




17 thoughts on “How do I send pictures by attaching to email rather than using Photo Email?

  1. Pingback: Dazed » Blog Archive » Attaching pictures

  2. How can I download photos from the gallary to facebook?
    [How do I download from Windows photogallary to facebook and how do I attach photos to my gmail emails]

    • For uploading pictures to Facebook, in Live Photo Gallery select the photos and click on the Facebook icon in the Share group on the Home ribbon. If you have not used this before there will be a series of dialogs to assist you in connecting to Facebook. You can add your pictures to any of your Facebook albums or create a new one.
      For posting a link in Facebook for a SkyDrive photo or album, see me post How do I share a SkyDrive photo on Facebook?

  3. Can I send a photo email from a different email program besides Live Mail? Can I make Photo Gallery “Create a photo email with Microsoft Outlook” instead of with “Live Mail”? Is there a way to change the setting of which email program is opened to send the photo email or does this feature only work with Live Mail?

    • Thank you Josh for your comments. The photo email feature is only available in the Live Mail desktop email client. You can send similar photo emails, but without the neat arrangement options, from your SkyDrive (which uses your Hotmail or now Outlook online mail). Photo Gallery uses whichever mail client is set up as the default on your PC. If Outlook (the one that comes in Microsoft Office and is installed on your PC), or some other mail client, is the default mail client, then the photos will just be attached, not sent as photo emails with the photos stored on your SkyDrive. If this still leaves you with questions, please use the “send message” option to get in touch with me – I will try to help.

  4. That is helpful, thank you. My solution will be to keep Windows Live mail for sending the photo emails, but still use Outlook for other things.

  5. Is there any way to ALWAYS “send photos as attachments”? Or set the default for “Photo email” to be “send as attachments” rather than “send photo email”? It seems the “send photo email” requires you to use a hotmail email account. My mother-in-law always selects the “send photo email” option under “Photo email” and it clogs up her Windows Live Mail outbox. Help, please!

    • With Windows Live Mail as your default mail client, Photo Gallery will use “Photo email” as the default. Photo email uploads the photos to SkyDrive (using the default Microsoft account) and only thumbnails are included in the email, so there is no clogging of the outbox or the recipients inbox. Maybe I do not understand the problem. Can you provide more information?

      • Thanks for the reply. I don’t want to use SkyDrive or a Microsoft account. I want Photo Gallery to always use “send as attachments” as the default. But I’m not sure how to set that as the default. My mother-in-law has a hard time clicking on the little triangle in the bottom right of the button.

      • Afraid I don’t know of a way to change the default. There is a process in Windows Live Mail to change to “attach” from “photo email”: Click the thumbnail area, click the “Photo Albums Tools” tab, click the now fairly large paperclip icon. The photos are now attached.

        The only other way to avoid photo email that I am aware of is to replace Windows Live Mail with Outlook (or another) as the default mail client – then Photo Gallery does not offer Photo email at all – photos will be attached.

  6. Hello, I confess I’m confused! I now have all my pix in the computer as well as Windows Live Gallery but….how to send pictures so that:

    1. Recipient sees them displayed on his email. Actually I don’t remember whether they come displayed on the emails or instead showing only the attachment with the Gallery icon in the Subject Line…

    2. It also says under the pictures: “View Slide Show” so he can increase/decrease size, etc.

    3. Could I have the step by step instructions please?

    I tried and tried and all I get is the Album displayed which is not clickable at all.

    Thanks ever so much for any help!!! Adela

    • You and the rest of us are all confused. Microsoft is clearly out of control. Maybe it all will settle down. Keep your fingers crossed. Right now just don’t try using photo emails.

    • Hurray! The photo email that was hanging in the outmail folder has cleared after updating to Windows 10 Build 10166. Sending a new one went through without any problem. I have not checked to see if normal operation has been restored everywhere.

      • Thanks very much but….this is the 2nd time you answer my post, except no help at all. Why? If you don’t have an answer to the problem you don’t have to feel obligated to answer. :o) Rosedala

      • Sorry, Rosedala,
        With the flurry of rapid changes and problems I did not feel that a step by step set of instructions would be useful, indeed may not even work, by the time they are published. There will, no doubt, be additional changes before Windows and their tools settle down. I will then review various instructions and publish new articles. In the meantime the instructions in this post for sending photos as attachments work as described. On the recipients end there are some differences, but none that could not be readability understood.
        Please send me a private message (upper right corner) and I will help you through these difficult times.

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