Attaching a Sharepoint File in Outlook

Sharing cloud files through Outlook is a cinch with Sharepoint. No need to go to the browser with these simple instructions on sending attachments from SharePoint and OneDrive.

    Using Sharepoint to maintain your files in the cloud has a ton of benefits for collaboration, remote work, and accessibility. However, there may be instances where you still want to attach a file to an email instead of sending a shared link. For example, you may have a client that you want to send a copy of a document to instead of sending the living document. There are a few ways to go about this that are all fairly simple. 

    Prerequisite: Sync SharePoint

    The simplest ways to attach a file to an Outlook email requires your Sharepoint site to be synced to your computer. If this is not already synced, go to the Sharepoint document folder you want to be synced Then click the sync button at the top. For more details on this process, check out our article on Syncing Sharepoint to Your Computer.

    Attach File Button

    No need to reinvent the wheel with this option. In the past, you could attach a local file by clicking the attach button at the top of your email composition. This also works with files stored in Sharepoint and OneDrive.

    Unless the file you want to attach is already in your recent files, I recommend using the “browse this PC” option at the bottom of the attachment list. From here you can navigate to your synced folders and select a file to attach. This will seem very familiar even to those who haven’t used SharePoint much yet.

    Once you click insert, the file will be attached to your email as a copy of the document. If the recipient edits this document, it will not update the Sharepoint file and will remain as its own version.

    Attach from Recent Files

    If the document you want is in recent files, you can attach it from that section of the attach files function in Outlook. However, recent files will contain anything you opened with the local application which includes locally stored files and files located online. You can tell the difference because there will be a cloud symbol over the application symbol if it is a Sharepoint or OneDrive file. See the example below.

    One file has a cloud on it to indicate it is located online in Sharepoint or Onedrive.

    Attach as a Copy From Web Locations

    If you have not synced SharePoint to your computer you can choose “Browse Web Locations” when attaching a file. You will have to navigate to the file you want to share from your One Drive and Sharepoint. Once selected, you will be prompted to either send as a link or attach as a copy.

    How do you want to attach this file? It depends on the recipient and your permissions settings.

    If you send a link, you are sending the user the living document. They will be able to see changes you make, and depending on your share permission settings, may be able to make changes themselves. Your permission settings may require the recipient to log in to view, so this is often not the best use for sharing outside of your organization.

    Change from Link to Attachment

    If you chose “share link”, the attachment will have the cloud symbol on it. When the recipient opens this file they will be brought to the file in the browser application. If you change your mind and would like to attach a copy instead, you can click the drop-down arrow on the file and select Attach as Copy.

    The drop-down menu has a lot of options including attach as a copy, change permissions, and removing the attachment.

    Drag and Drop from File Explorer

    Another trick that users may be familiar with is dragging and dropping from file explorer. With the folder open in file explorer, you can click the file you want to attach. Then drag it over to your email composition and let go. This will automatically attach a copy of that file. This trick will not work for sending a living document or a link to the Sharepoint file.

    Since SharePoint is already synced to your computer, this method works just like a local file. Just drag and drop! To attach multiple files, hold down the ctrl button when clicking additional files. Dragging will take all the files at the same time. Just keep in mind the limitations on file size in emails.

    SharePoint Outside of Outlook

    Using Outlook to share files from SharePoint is a great way to integrate your cloud files with your everyday workflow. Of course, there are many other ways to access and share your files from Sharepoint. Also, don’t forget to download the SharePoint and OneDrive Apps on your smartphone for file access on the go.

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