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Sending Files In Email

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help, I've Always Wanted To Know...

Tom asks,

You requested that I send you a photograph of the activation code for my software and I’d like to know how to take a file¬† and attach it to my email. My kids tell me to attach something to email, but never have the patience to show me how. Please help!

Hi Tom,

You are not alone in not knowing how to do this. We probably get this question most often when a customer has trouble activating one of our software programs and we need an actual image of the code in order to troubleshoot. So let’s start with a rundown of what you can do to get a picture of the activation code.

First, if you have a scanner, you can simply scan the activation code in and save it to your computer. I’d suggest saving to the desktop, or moving it there after you scan, so that you can easily find the file. I can’t give step by step directions on scanning, as each scanner does it differently, but hopefully you have instructions that came with the scanner.

You could also take a digital picture, using a digital camera or a cell phone. If you don’t have one, someone you know probably does! Once you take the picture, just hook your phone or camera into the computer, usually using a USB cord, and again, save the picture to the desktop. You can usually find your device listed under Computer, then Drives and Devices. Navigate to the image files, then drag the correct image to the desktop.

Once you have saved the file, you can then open up your email program. Basically, while they may look different, the idea is the same on attaching a file to any email. Once you hit compose, you see a toolbar on the screen, either at the top or bottom. One of the icons on the toolbar will look something like a paperclip.

This is a screenshot from a Yahoo account, but any email account will look similar. You can click the paperclip and it will likely open up a screen to allow you to navigate to and then attach the file.  On the left side of the screen, you can double click on Desktop, then find the file.

Double click on the file and allow it to attach to the email, and you are ready to send.

Another way to attach the file is to simply drag and drop the file into the email, especially if you do not see the toolbar. Simply find the file on your desktop and drag it into the email compose screen.

After attaching the file, you may want to save the activation code image in another file, so you don’t lose your product key.


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2 Responses to “Sending Files In Email”

  1. Daniel says:

    It seems you’ve missed the easiest way of all to send a file. Find the file on your desktop that you want to send, right click on it, go down to “Send To”, and in the drop down box, click on “Mail Recipient.” Than all you have to add is the recipient’s email address.

    Or, for those who can drag and drop, after you start the message, reduce its size so you can see the desktop, then click on the file you want to send, and drag it over and drop it in the Attachment Box in the email.

    • audra says:


      Great tip, but that will only work if you have a dedicated email client, such as Outlook Express. If you use a web-based email, like Gmail or Hotmail, using Send To will not work. And at the bottom, I do mention the drag and drop option.

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