Microsoft Outlook for iOS is a fantastic email client with killer productivity features, and vastly superior to the native Mail app on the iPhone and iPad. Yet surprisingly, it lacked any direct means to attach files hosted on iCloud. Ridiculous, right? Thankfully, a recent update appears to have fixed that issue.
Outlook for iOS now features full Files app integration. So you can attach files stored in iCloud, and also the ones on other cloud storage services as well — including local storage.
Let’s take a look at all possible ways as to attach iCloud Drive files (and even folders) in Outlook for iOS.
Note: You must have Outlook for iOS version 3.33.0 or higher for the instructions below to work. Open the Outlook menu, tap Settings, and then tap Help & Feedback to check your Outlook version.
Attach a File to a New Email
Attaching an iCloud file in Outlook for iOS requires using the integrated Files app functionality. The steps below will show you how to go about doing that.
Step 1: Start by composing or replying to an email. Just above the onscreen keyboard, tap the Attach icon, and then select the Attach File option on the context menu.
Step 2: On the Attach a File screen that shows up, tap iCloud Drive & Device under the Other Locations section. You will then come across the integrated Files app picker — tap Browse, and then tap iCloud Drive to proceed.
Tip: You can also go about attaching files from any other locations listed within the Files app, including the On My iPhone/iPad location.
Step 3: Browse to the location of the file. Next, tap the file, and you should find it attached to your email immediately.
If you want to attach multiple files, you need to repeatedly tap the Attach icon and go about the entire procedure all over again. For a much easier method, scroll down below.
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Attach Multiple Items via Files App
Admittedly, it’s a chore when you have to attach multiple iCloud files to an email in Outlook for iOS using the method above. However, there's an easier way — you can instead use the Files app directly to share multiple files to Outlook for iOS, which will then automatically attach them to a new email. Of course, this isn't feasible when replying to an email.
Step 1: Open the Files app and then select iCloud Drive.
Step 2: Navigate to the location of the files that you want to attach. Tap the Select option location to the upper right corner of the screen, and then tap on the files that you want to attach. Follow that up by tapping on the Share icon to the bottom of the screen.
Warning: Refrain from adding items with a combined file size of 20MB. Outlook for iOS will fail to send out your attachment if you exceed that threshold.
Step 3: Select Outlook from within the Share Sheet. You should then see the selected files attached to Outlook for iOS automatically.
At times, you may not see the Outlook icon listed within the Share Sheet. To enable it, scroll to the right of the icon row, and then tap More.
Tip: If the files that you want to attach aren’t listed in the same folder, you need to tag them first using a similar tag. Afterward, select the tag via the Locations pane of the Files app so that they appear on the screen, after which you can select them all easily. Check our Files app guide for more information on using the app effectively.
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Compress and Attach Folders
You can’t attach folders in iCloud to Outlook for iOS, either directly or via the Files app. Perhaps that will happen in a future app update. However, you can easily archive the folder using the Files app’s native compression capabilities. After that, you can attach it to an email just like any other file.
Note: The Files app's compression capabilities are only available in iOS 13 and iPadOS, and higher.
Step 1: Open the Files app, and then navigate to the folder within iCloud Drive (or any other location within the app) that you want to share.
Long-press the folder, and then tap the Compress option on the context menu. You should see an archive of the folder created within the same location. Next, long-press the ZIP archive, and then tap Share.
Step 2: On the Share Sheet that shows up, tap Outlook. You should see the ZIP archive attached to a new email.
Tip: Alternatively, you can share an iCloud Drive folder via Outlook (or any other app) in the form of a link. After long-pressing the item, tap Share, and then tap Add People to add the contacts that you want to share it with. Finally, select Outlook to add the link to a new email.
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Keeps Getting Better
Outlook for iOS is one of the best email clients for the iPhone and iPad, and the ability to easily attach files stored in iCloud Drive makes it even better than ever before. If this was what stopped you from fully migrating to Microsoft's flagship email client, then you now have no reason not to.
Next up: Outlook for iOS can be even better. Here are 7 terrific add-ons that you need to get to use Outlook like a pro.