How to Add Attachments in Gmail for Android

If you don’t use email as part of your day to day life, it can easily be one of those things that seems more complicated than it is. But there’s no need to break out the computer if you simply need to email something—a picture, document, something—because you can easily do it directly from your phone.

Now, to those who do this often, it’s a simple task. But for someone who has never needed to attach something to an email from their phone, it can be a bit unintuitive. In fact, I’ve had to explain this very thing recently to a couple of people close to me.

First Things First: Save Your File

Honestly, attaching the file is only half the battle, especially if it’s something you need to save from another source first. For example, maybe it’s a bank statement, image, or similar file that you need to download from the internet, or another person’s message.

Thus, the first thing you’ll need to do is grab the file for download. Most of the time, this is as simple as tapping on a “download” button, but if it’s a picture you’re trying to save, you’ll need to long-press it and choose “Download image.”

Similarly, if you’re trying to save the file from some sort of cloud storage, like Dropbox or Google Drive, you’ll need to first save the file onto your device. This can usually be done by pressing the three-dot overflow menu button and choosing “Download” (or similar).

There are so many different scenarios for this situation, it’s hard to give exact details for each one, but the point remains the same: you’ll need to have the file stored on your phone.

Next: Pen the Email and Attach the File

With the file in hand, you’re ready to attach that bad boy. Go ahead and fire up Gmail and open a new email by tapping the pencil icon in the bottom corner. Unless, of course, you’re trying to add the attachment to a reply, in which case you’ll simply tap the “reply” button.

From there, go ahead and fill out all the important details: to, subject, and compose.

Once you’ve said all you need to say, tap the little paper clip icon in the top right corner. A new menu will open, offering a few options: Attach a file, Insert from Drive, Send money, and Request money. Tap the first option.

Once you find the file and tap on it, it’ll automatically be attached—that’s literally all there is to it.

Once you’ve confirmed that’s the correct file and all the details are good, send away!

Cameron Summerson is a die-hard Android fan, Chicago Bulls fanatic, metalhead, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at HTG, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, spinning legs on the bike, chugging away on the 6-string, or being disappointed in the Bulls.