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How to Reduce the Size of my Pictures before emailing.

This document was originally published on June 20, 2005 by Katherine Murray.
¬©Microsoft.com  - Partially modified by eMyPeople.

Digital cameras and e-mail have radically changed the way we share the moments of our lives. It's so easy to share with your friends and family photos of your great vacation adventure, the newborn puppies, your new car, or your child's first step.
    The only problem is that image files can be large, and sending these large image files through e-mail can make sending and receiving slower, and waste storage space on the recipient's computer. With Windows XP, you can easily reduce the size of image files and send them on their way.
    By e-mailing photos directly from your My Pictures folder, Windows XP gives you the option of reducing the file size of the images, making for a better viewing experience for the person on the receiving end of your e-mail. Reducing the file size of your images is particularly helpful when you, your recipient, or both of you are using a slower dial-up connection.

Use Windows XP to shrink and e-mail pictures
Note: Windows Vista follows the same principle. However, screenshots are taken from XP.


In your My Pictures folder, open a folder containing the pictures that you want to send.


Select one or more photos. If you hold down the Ctrl key, you can click to select additional photos in any order.

Screenshot of My Documents/ My Pictures folder with Museum of Flight photos


In the File and Folder Tasks pane, click E-mail this file (or E-mail this folder's files, or E-mail the selected items if you chose more than one image).

File and Folder Tasks pane with E-mail this folder's files highlighted in red


Next the Send Pictures via E-Mail dialog box appears. By default, the Make all my pictures smaller option is selected.

Send Pictures via E-Mail dialog box

If you want to be more specific about how much smaller your pictures will be, click Show more options to view your choices. Make your selection from the list.

Show more options area in Send Pictures via E-mail dialog box

Click OK to continue.


Windows XP switches to your default e-mail program, creates a new message window, and attaches your pictures to the e-mail message. Add the recipient's e-mail address, type your message and then send the mail. Using this quick technique to send your photos to family and friends soon after the event is a sure way to keep everyone up-to-date on your life without filling their e-mail inbox with large image files.

NOTE: If Microsoft Office Outlook is your default e-mail program, the Send Pictures via E-Mail dialogue box as shown above may not appear. Instead, Outlook may immediately open a new e-mail message with your images inserted as attachments. You can still modify the size of your pictures before sending your mail by following these instructions.

Share Photos

Use Outlook to Shrink and E-mail Pictures.


In an Outlook e-mail message with your images attached, click the Attachment Options... button located next to the Attach... field of the e-mail message.

Outlook 2003 e-mail message with attachment options highlighted in red


At the bottom of the Attachment Options task pane, select Picture Options to view the sizing options for your pictures. By default, Don't resize, send originals is selected. By clicking the down arrow you can view additional choices.

Select your choice, type in the recipient's e-mail address, type your message and then send the mail.

Picture Options in the Outlook 2003 Attachment Option task pane