How to Paste a Picture Into Outlook

By Contributor

Updated May 05, 2020

Whether it's a holiday snap or a shot of a new house, pictures add interest and context to an email. With this in mind, Outlook offers a number of ways to insert images into your messages – you can add them as attachments kept separate from the main body of text or paste them directly into the message. While Outlook is designed to be as compatible as possible with other platforms and clients, bear in mind that your recipients may not see the picture exactly as you intend, depending on the software or mobile app they are using.

Launch Outlook and click the "New Email" button to begin composing a message. Type the text of your email and move the cursor to the point where you want to paste the picture.

Composing new email in Outlook Email.

Copy an image to the Windows clipboard from another program, such as Paint or Adobe Photoshop. In most cases, this involves selecting the entire image and pressing "Ctrl+C" to copy it. Note that images pasted from File Explorer will be added as attachments rather than embedded in the text.

Selecting picture to copy and paste.

Switch back to the new message window in Outlook and press "Ctrl+V" to paste the image from the clipboard. Pasted images are treated as characters -- they move with the text and can be erased with one press of the "Backspace" key.

Pasting picture into Outlook email.

Right-click on the pasted image and choose "Format Object" to make changes to it. From the next dialog box, you can adjust the picture's brightness, contrast and text-wrapping options.

Right-clicking to adjust pasted picture in Outlook email.

Open the "Size" tab in the Format Object dialog box to modify the image's size within the email message. Choose from Small (25%), Medium (50%) or Large (100%).

Size adjustment options for pasted images in Outlook email.

Click "OK" to confirm your changes and return to the compose window. You can then make further adjustments to your email and the position of the pasted image within it before sending the message.


Pasting an image into an email does limit you in terms of the modifications you can make to the picture – you cannot resize it using the handles at the edges, for example.

Use the "Pictures" option from the Insert tab on the ribbon menu as an alternative way of loading in images and you'll be given more flexibility in terms of picture effects and borders. You can also resize and rotate images that have been loaded in this way using the handles around the edges.

The steps above have been tested using Outlook 2019, the latest version of the email client at the time of publication. If you are using a different edition of Outlook, some steps in the process may vary.