How to save email attachments in Mail for iPhone and iPad

You can save your email attachments to iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and more!

You receive an email with a file attached to it, maybe a spreadsheet or presentation, a PDF or plain text. You don't just want to open it in an app, though. You want to save it somewhere you can remember and get to whenever you need to, and from any of your devices. That's where attachment saving comes in. With it, you can save any attachment you receive to any online storage service you use, including iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. Then, you can access whenever you want, from wherever you want.

How to save email attachments to iCloud on iPhone and iPad

Saving email attachments to iCloud Drive is easy because iCloud built right into iOS.

  1. Launch Mail from your Home screen.
  2. Open the email that contains the attachment.
  3. Long press on the attachment to bring up the Share sheet.
  4. Tap on Save Attachment.

    How to open email attachments

Note: In iOS 10, tap on Add to iCloud Drive.

  1. Tap on the folder you want to save the file into.
  2. Tap on Move to this location at the bottom to save the file.

    How to attach file email

Yeah, the language is precise given the mechanics of what it's doing, but it's not intuitive. Just know that, once you're done, the file will be saved in that location and accessible from all your iCloud devices.

How to save email attachments to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or enterprise storage on iPhone or iPad

Thanks to document provider extensions, though, you can also save to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and other storage services.

To save attachments to you storage provider, 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 saving away. How you do it can vary by provider, however.

  1. Launch Mail from your Home screen.
  2. Open the email that contains the attachment.
  3. Long press on the attachment to bring up the Share sheet.
  4. Tap on your storage provider, if they have a custom saving extension. For example, tap Save to Dropbox.
    1. Tap Save to save the file to the top level.
    2. Or, tap Choose a Different Folder to select a a sub-directory for the file, and then tap Save.


  5. Tap Save Attachment if your storage provider doesn't have their own saving extension. For example, Google Docs.
    1. Tap Locations,
    2. Tap on your storage provider, For example, Google Drive.
    3. Choose your account, if prompted.
    4. Tap on the folder you want to save the file into, if it's not at the top level.
    5. Tap Save Here or whatever language your storage provider uses.


Yeah, it's messier. Dropbox is using a custom extension to provide a faster, better experience, while Google Drive and others are simply letting iOS link in.

Either way, once you get used to how your storage provider works, it's relatively simple and fast to do.

Not sure how to add attachments? Find out here!