How to send large email attachments on iPhone and iPad

You're writing an email and need to attach a file to it, perhaps an office or iWork document, or maybe a PDF or text file. For security reasons, you can't go wandering through the file system, but you can attach any file to any email from any storage provider app, including the Files app, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and more.

How to attach files from the Files app to an email on iPhone and iPad

The Files app gives you access to all of your documents, videos, photos, and more that are saved onto your iCloud Drive, all from the convenience of your iPhone.

  1. Launch Mail from your Home screen
  2. Tap Compose to start a new email.
  3. Touch-and-hold to bring up the editing menu on iPhone. (Or use the shortcut key on iPad)
  4. Tap the arrow button to get more options.
  5. Tap Add Document.

  6. Tap on the folder that contains the file you want to attach, if it's not at the top level.

  7. Tap on the file you want to attach.

Add a recipient, a message, and you're good to go.

How to attach Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive or enterprise files to email on iPhone and iPad

Thanks to document provider extensions you can also attach files from other popular online storage services, and from an enterprise storage system if you have one.

How to use Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and other could storage services with the Files app on iPhone and iPad

For the document provider extension to be available, you first have to download the host app from the App Store.

Once you've downloaded the app, launch it and log into your account. Then you can start attaching away.

  1. Launch Mail from your Home screen
  2. Tap Compose to start a new email.
  3. Touch-and-hold to bring up the editing menu on iPhone. (Or use the shortcut key on iPad)
  4. Tap the arrow button to get more options.
  5. Tap Add Document.

  6. Tap Browse at the bottom of the screen

  7. Tap the app you would like to attach files from.
  8. Tap the files you would like to attach to your email.


Add a recipient, a message, and you're done.

How to use the attachment shortcut on iPad

The iPad has shortcut keys to either side of the predictive keyboard. In Mail, one of those keys is for attachments. Instead of having to use the edit menu, as detailed below for iPhone, simply use the attachment button to save yourself some time. Everything else remains the same.

How to save Mail attachments

Want to save email attachments as well? Check here!

How to save email attachments in Mail for iPhone and iPad

Any questions on attachments?

If you have any questions on adding attachments, or about Mail in general, drop them in the comments!

Updated August 2019: Updated for iOS 13.

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