Last Updated: 29-09-2018

N.B. Sharepoint sites created since the beginning of 2019 should all be modern SharePoint sites associated with Office 365 groups. Therefore you will be able to attach a file directly from SharePoint using these instruuctions: Attaching a File in Outlook from SharePoint

If you want to attach a file to an e-mail using Outlook in Office 365, and the file that you want to attach is stored in a classic SharePoint library (i.e. a SharePoint site that is not associated with an Office 365 group), then you may find that it is not possible to attach directly from within the Office 365 Outlook web client. As you can see from the screen shot, there is no option to select a classic SharePoint site. So how can you send a file to someone by e-mail? Below are some suggested solutions.

Attaching a file in Outlook Office 365

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Share the File Directly from SharePoint

You can share the file directly from within SharePoint, entering a message directly if you want, or copying a link, or opening Outlook to compose a longer e-mail. Please see How to Share a File or Folder Directly from SharePoint or OneDrive for step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

Sharing a file directly from SharePoint

Pros

  • No need to download any files or go to Outlook – share directly from SharePoint or OneDrive
  • Great from a revision standpoint. Even after you email the file and then make a change to it the recipient will still get the latest version, as the link will stay the same 
  • If you need to share multiple files you can share a whole folder and all of its contents in the same fashion 
  • When sharing, you can specify whether you want to grant the recipient just the ability to view or also the ability to edit a file. 
  • Security - You can share with specific people, so only they will have access. If they forward the link on it will not work for other people, as you never granted those other people access to the file.

Cons

  • Need to share multiple times if content being shared is not located in the same library
  • Some people like to originate their emails from within the Outlook client and not via Sharing screen

 

2. Download the File, and Add as an Attachment

This is the method that we are all used to. When writing an e-mail, choose to add an attachment and browse for file you want to attach on your local computer. The obvious disadvantage of this method when you are wanting to attach files that are stored in SharePoint is that you will have to download them on to your local computer first of all.

First of all select the file, or files, you want to attach and download them to your computer

Download a file from SharePoint

 

Create a new e-mail in outlook. Click Attach and choose Computer. Browse your computer to find the files you downloaded and attach them to your e-mail.

Attach a file from computer in Outlook

 

Pros

It is the same method that you are probably already familiar with

Cons

You have to download the file before you can attach it
It creates extra copies of the file

 

3. Use the Outlook Desktop Client

If you have the Office Desktop applications installed on your computer (e.g. Office 2016 or Office 365 Pro Plus), then you can use the Outlook Desktop Client to attach files from a classic SharePoint library to your e-mails. However this method does require you to have browsed to the SharePoint library beforehand in a different Office 365 connected application such as Word. 

In the Outlook Client click on Attach File Attach File in Outlook Client
From the drop down menu, move your mouse cursor over Browse Web Locations > Sites - Organisation Name attach file email classic sharepoint 06

Another menu will appear showing you recent folders you have accessed on your SharePoint site.

Click on the Document Library folder that contains the files you want to attach

Recent Folders

The document library will open in File Explorer and you can browse your files and folders in SharePoint to find the file that you want to attach.

Select the file you want to attach and click Insert

Browse Document Library in Outlook Client

Choose how you want to 'attach' the file. You can either Share Link or Attach as Copy.

Share Link will just send a link to the file so that the recipient can access it directly from your SharePoint. This has the advantage that the recipient will always see the latest copy of the file and you can revoke access if needs be. However, they may have to go through some kind of verification process to gain access. See How to Share a File or Folder Directly from SharePoint or OneDrive for more details.

Attach as Copy will mean that you are just sending each recipient an individual copy of the file. This is the classic method of attaching files to an e-mail. You may find this best when sharing finished documents to external partners or customers.

Select Type of Attachment

You can now finish typing your e-mail and send it.

Repeat the above steps if you need to add more attachments

Send e-mail in Oultook Client

Pros

You can attach files directly from SharePoint to an e-mail

You have the familiarity of using the Outlook client and attaching files in a traditional manner

Cons

You need to have already browsed to the SharePoint Library you want to access within another Office 365 connected application such as Word

 You need the Outlook Desktop client installed, either from Office 2016 or Office 365 Pro Plus

 


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