How-To Geek

Automatically Resize Picture Attachments in Outlook 2007

Those who are familiar with resizing picture attachments in Outlook 2003 might wonder where on earth they hid this feature in Outlook 2007 – at first glance, it seems like they removed it completely, when in reality they buried it in the Ribbon.

Resizing picture attachments before they go out is one way to be nice to the people you are sending files to… there’s really no reason to send emails with gigantic picture files when the other person just wants to see the picture. It’s also easier than resizing them before sending.

On the Ribbon select the Insert tab and click Attach File.


Windows Explorer opens up.  Select and double click the picture you want to send in your email.  *Note: You can also drag and drop the picture into your email message.


Now that you have the picture attached in your message click the Include Dialog Box Launcher (Yes really is the official name for this little icon).  Look where the mouse is in the following screenshot… yes, you have to click that tiny little icon.


Once you click that icon, the “Attachment Options” panel will pop up on the right hand side of your window. In the Picture Options section, you can resize the attached picture automatically to one of the pre-set sizes.


Notice especially the checkbox for “Show when attaching files”. If you check this, then the next time you attach a file, this side panel will show up the next time without having to do anything extra.

This comes in extremely useful when sending pictures that have not been resized, cropped, or scaled down from the original size. As picture files can get quite large this allows you to send them as a reasonable sized attachment.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 07/24/07

Comments (35)

  1. Peter Nydegger

    Dear Supergeek,
    congratulations for your service, you have helped me no ends with the picture attachment article. I wish Microsoft Help designers were as good as you.

    Regards Peter

  2. mysticgeek

    Thank you Peter! We hope that all of our posts help everyone! Stick around! We will go through the Microsoft headaches so you don’t have to!

  3. Nikko

    Thanks very much,
    Superb, Always great to find answers to those niggling office questions

  4. martin

    I’d been looking everywhere for the resize picture option on outlook 2007( for months!!) – just out of interest , do microsoft explain how this is done anywhere?

  5. Charley

    Is there a way to default the option to one of the choices other than “Don’t resize…”?

  6. Chris

    Any way to re-size pictures that are inserted directly into the email, using the Insert – Picture option? I added 3 pictures to the email & it’s 9mb!

    Thanks in advance,

  7. Adam

    I’ve just downloaded the latest version of Outlook 2007 and it has no ribbon like Word does. Other reviews have said that it has no ribbon system and yet your Outlook tips above show Outlook 2007 WITH the ribbon. Without the ribbon I have no way of effecting the tip (above).

  8. Choppens

    Thanks, helped me a lot! great job!

    greetz from Madrid.

  9. Eric

    Thank you, can’t stand when they changed simple things like this. Love it when someone like you figures it out and lets everybody know.

  10. Stevo

    Thanks V much. I reckon 98% of Office 2007 users don’t/did’nt know what you have described 10/10 :-)

  11. Cussy

    You are my hero. I was beginning to tear my hair out. It’s easy when you know how. Thanks

  12. Ian

    Many thanks Mr Geek – was beginning to despair…

  13. Stacks

    Thanks heaps Mysticgeek ! however mine opens up with the attachment options but not the picture options. Therefore I don’t seem to have the option to resize the pics. Argh!! I must be doing something wrong, please help. Thanks in Advance, Stacks

  14. Nir Toren

    Many Thanks…
    It was very helpfull

  15. Stephen Nelsen

    This is really helpful. Just what I wanted, straight away. I wish you guys worked for Microsoft!!

  16. Dick

    I try to click on the dialog box launcher, but it is not highlighted, and the “attachment options task pane” does not open. Any ideas?? Thanks.

  17. Steve K

    Any idea on how to do this in Office 2010 Outlook? The 2007 directions don’t fit.

  18. Rich

    Dick – Note that you have to attach the pictures as FILES. If you do “Insert Picture” instead of “Attach File” then you can’t click on the little dialog launcher, as you note.

  19. James

    Great advice thank you! Very handy for my users on 2007.
    I too am now trying to find the function in Office 2010…

  20. Christian

    Does anyone have an idea of how to get the office programs (word, outlook, etc.) to paste screen capture images at their actual size? They always paste in at a larger size and it drives me nuts. When I right click and go to the image size dialog it shows the image at 100% which it clearly is not. If I paste into another program (i.e. Fireworks or Photoshop it paste normally).

  21. Dennis

    Great work, thank you for saving me the headache

  22. Russell

    which size will actually make the photo’s attached smaller? Large or small? I heard small actually is bigger than Large. Is that true?

  23. J

    Thanks for answering this simple question that the microsoft website didn’t understand! And you showed pictures – VEry SMart . Guess you already know that ….

  24. Hans Lachance

    Ahhh ! Finally ! The answer I was looking for.

    I have another though: With Windows Vista, I was used to right-click on an image (or several images) and then send them via Outlook 7 (resizing them before creating the email), but now that I have Windows 7, it prepares an email with the attachments… but nothing happens afterwards (it doesn’t open any email) ! In fact, I can’t open Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 anymore (I have to restart the computer in order to open Outlook). Nothing is in emails waiting to be sent. I thought that Windows 7 was linked to Windows Mail, so I searched for it and then searched for some created emails with pictures in them but I found none !

  25. Angus Tin

    Here is how to do it in Outlook 2010:
    After you paste the photo attachment, click the File tab, the first thing open should be “Info” (if not, it is one of the few items listed on the left side panel, click on it), and the first group on the right side panel is “Image attachments”. There you can choose the radio button “Resize Large Images when I sent this message”.
    Unfortunately I couldn’t find out how to make the option automatically pops out everytime you paste an image.

  26. paras

    Thanks, it really works and really solved on big problem for me.

    Thank you,

  27. june

    Am I the only one having this problem???
    I did everything as instructed and it still did not shrink the photos. I chose “Small”.
    Then, since there is no option to click on “apply”, I hit enter and then just tried closing that window.
    I also checekd “show when attaching files”. It does pop up when I am attaching files but somehow STILL does not change the size of the photo.
    Nothing worked!
    What am I doing wrong??

    Thank you>

  28. GMan

    I am having the same problem as June. When I add pictures that are over 3 meg I can only add two of them because our network only lets us send up to an 8 meg email. I get an error message saying the attachment has exceeded the size limit when trying to attach more than two pictures. Then the two it accepted do not resize to allow room for more.

    Is there a way to automatically resize pictures when attaching them so I can send more than just two pics?


  29. Matt

    Many thanks! I have resized photos for years by right clicking and sending to mail recipient than cut and paste from email without sending it.For some reason a new message will not open up any longer. This is a great work around. Only downside is if I’m offline this won’t work but is the best work around I’ve been able to find.

  30. Wendy Watson-Ekstein

    I am gob-smacked that the solution was so simple and that googling microsoft sites was so useless. I gave up last time full of frustration. And this time I found you. A hundred kisses and big hugs. I can’t tell you how pleased I am.

  31. Danny

    When sending a picture i used to get prompted if i would like to resize them, now it doesnt come up anymore, any idea how to set that up?

  32. Marci

    Thanks for this post! I am struggling with all the differences in 2007.

    Danny – If you look at bottom of this article it will say: “Notice especially the checkbox for “Show when attaching files”. If you check this, then the next time you attach a file, this side panel will show up the next time without having to do anything extra.” You see the check box in the pic above? :)

  33. Scott

    Hi June & GMan,
    I had the same problem but tried sending the photos to myself as a test anyway. I noticed that it doesn’t resize it until you send the email. Therefore, the attachment shows as the full file (mine was 5 MB) but makes it significantly smaller (mine was 77 KB) once the email is sent. Hope that helps!

  34. Steph

    I don’t have the “Include Dialog Box Launcher” or “Attachment Options” – Any suggestions?

    Many thanks

  35. Steph

    Worked it out!

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