Sending photos via email

A reader has a few photos to send and she wants to know the best way:

“Cyn, I need to send numerous photos to a friend in another state. What would be the best way to do this without causing chaos on her computer. Approximately how many photos can be sent in one mailing, etc. I know she has Gmail. I need to know what is the best format insofar as size of the actual photos that are stored on my computer; some are 4×6, 5×7, and 8×10. Do you have step by step instructions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.”

Sure. The best way to send photos is to upload them to the cloud. Fortunately, since you and your friend are both using Gmail, it couldn’t be easier. Gmail will allow you to attach up to 25MB per Gmail message. an 8 x 10 high res photo would be about 7 MB.  If the files are larger than that, Gmail will automatically upload to Google Drive and share a link to the images in the message instead.

When you attach photos or other documents to a Gmail message, those files are automatically uploaded to your Google Drive. If you have a Gmail account, you have Google Drive space whether you know it or not.   Let’s look at how it works.

For this, we’re going to open your Gmail inbox in a browser and not using an email client like the Windows Mail App, Outlook, or Thunderbird. So go to, open your inbox, and compose a new message. Click on the paperclip icon to attach the images.


Select the photos you wish to share.


If the size exceeds 25 MB, you’ll see this message. Just click OK.


It will take some time for all of the images to upload.


Once the images are ready, your message will look like this. Send the message.



As long as you are both accessing Gmail online with a browser, the photos will not be downloaded onto the recipient’s computer until they choose to download. Here’s what the message will look like when it’s received.


Just hover over the preview image of the attachment to get a download option.


A more convenient way to share multiple photos would be to share a file full of them. I’ll show you how to do that tomorrow.

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