How to Add an Attachment to an Email in Outlook Express and Thunderbird
The purpose of this guide is to demonstrate how to attach a file on your computer to an email using the Outlook Express or Thunderbird email clients. When you send an email with an attachment to the recipient, a copy of the file you attached goes with it. Examples of common attachments would be photos, documents, or music files but any kind of file can be attached. Note that many ISPs have a limit on the size of the email they will accept so in practice its no good trying to attach a copy of a DVD, for example.
- Open your email program.
- Create the new email to carry the attachment.
- Enter the recipient's email address in the 'To:' box.
- Type any explanatory message in the text field.
Here's what that looks like in Thunderbird:
- and in Outlook Express:
- Click the Attach icon on the mail toolbar.
A new 'Attach File(s)', or 'Insert Attachment', window will open where you can select the file to attach. In the example shown below we have attached an image called "glass apple.jpg" found in the 'My Pictures' folder. If the file to be attached is not in the current folder use the pull down folder explorer (arrowed) in the 'Look in:' box to navigate to the folder you want.
When at the correct folder, scroll to find the file you want and select it. The name of the file should appear in the 'File name:' box. Now your view will look like one of these:
- Click the Open button, or Attach button, to attach the file to the email.
The 'Attach File(s)' or 'Insert Attachment' window will close and you are returned to the email window where you will see the name of the attached file in a new box.
The email window now looks like this in Thunderbird:
- and like this in Outlook Express:
Note that Outlook Express displays the size of the attached file.
- Click the Send icon in the mail toolbar.
Although the recipient may receive the file, that does not necessarily mean they can open it. To open the file they need to have installed on their computer a compatible application. Almost everyone will have an application to open jpg photos, but not everyone has Microsoft Works, or Powerpoint for example. Problems are also experienced between different versions of software e.g. the MS Office package, so it's best to check if your recipient can open the type of file you intend to attach.