Attachments in emails in iOS have not always been easy to work with. You could attach photos and videos or, for other types of files, hope that the app in which the file was created provided an option for sharing the file via email.

Now, in iOS 9, it’s easier to attach any type of file to an email in the Mail app without relying on features in other apps.

In the Mail app, tap on the square icon with the pencil to create a new email message.

Start typing the address to which you want to send the file. Email addresses that match what you type display in a popup window. Tap on the address you want.

Enter your subject line and the body of your message. To insert an attachment, tap and hold your finger down in the body of the message. A popup displays with various options. Tap “Add Attachment”.


A dialog displays allowing you to choose a file. By default, it opens to iCloud Drive. However, you can select files from other storage providers registered on your device. To attach a file from a location other than iCloud Drive, tap “Locations” in the upper-left corner of the dialog box.

A list of storage providers registered on your device displays in a popup. These can be apps that have their own local storage or cloud storage apps, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Box. Tap on the storage provider where the file you want to attach is located.

You can control which storage providers display in this list. To do so, touch the “More” option at the bottom of the list.

On the “Manage Locations” dialog box, you can turn off any storage providers you don’t want to display in the “Locations” list. Simply tap the green slider button for each provider you want to hide. Tap “Done” when you are finished.

For our example, we’ll attach a file from our iCloud Drive. Navigate to where the file is located.

Tap on the icon for the file you want to attach. An icon for the attached file displays in the body of your email message, as shown in the image at the beginning of this article.


There is also a shortcut for adding attachments to emails in the Mail app, if you have the predictive text feature on. On the right side of the predictive text bar is a paperclip icon you can tap to access the dialog box for adding attachments.

NOTE: The shortcut on the predictive text bar for adding shortcuts is only available on iPads, not iPhones.

Profile Photo for Lori Kaufman Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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