Mail App Photo Attachments

I think this is just a reminder, but it is important to pay attention to size when you send a photo as an attachment in the macOS Mail App. You may have a great Internet connection, but the person you are sending to may have a very slow one. Fortunately, Apple has included a way to control photo attachment sizes in the Mail App. Here is what that looks like.

Mail Photo Attachments

When sending a photo in an Email, I find it is easiest to just drag it into the Email window. When you do that in the Mail App, it can set the photo as “Small, Medium, Large and Actual Size”. Depending on what you intend with the photo, the size makes a difference. Here is the “Small” photo size.1

Small Photo

It kind of gets lost in the Email window. You might use the “Small” size just to give someone a taste of what something looked like.

Here is the “Medium” size photo.

Medium Photo

As you can see, it is a little larger. By the way, I have pointed out the listed size of each Email in the window as well. The “Medium” photo yields a size of 174 KB which is not too much of a drain on someone else’s network.

Here is the “Large” size photo.

Large Size

As you can see the “Large” photo is about 548 KB, fairly large. Not insurmountable to send to another person if they needed a larger size.

There is one other way to send a photo and that is “Actual Size”.

Actual Size Photo

It does not look much different in the Email window, but it yields a very large file size, in this case 15 MB. I would not recommend sending photos in this format unless you absolutely had to do so. If you did need to send files in “Actual Size”, you would probably end up using the “mail drop” feature in Apple Mail, Dropbox or a similar service.


Sending photos in the macOS Mail App is easy, but it is important to keep an eye on the actual size of the file.2

  1. I know these image windows are kind of large, but I needed to leave them that way so you get a perspective of the photo sizes[]
  2. This photo is of the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, a fabulous place to visit[]