Microsoft Outlook for iOS is a fantastic email client with impressive productivity features and far superior to the native messaging application on iPhone and iPad. Yet surprisingly, no direct way to attach files hosted on iCloud was available. Ridiculous, no? Fortunately, a recent update seems to have solved this problem.
Outlook for iOS now offers full integration of the Files application. So you can attach files stored in iCloud, as well as those of other cloud storage services, including local storage.
Let's take a look at all possible ways to attach iCloud Drive files (and even folders) in Outlook for iOS.
Note: You must have Outlook for iOS version 3.33.0 or later for the instructions below to work. Open the Outlook menu, tap Settings, and then tap Help and Feedback to check your version of Outlook.
Attach a file to a new email
Linking an iCloud file in Outlook for iOS requires the use of the built-in feature of the Files application. The steps below will show you how to do it.
Step 1: Start by dialing or replying to an email. Just above the on-screen keyboard, tap the Join icon, and then select the Attach a file option from the pop-up menu.
S2nd step: On the Attach a file that appears screen, press iCloud Drive & Device in the Other Locations section. Next, you'll see the Files app's built-in selector – click Browse, and then click iCloud Drive to continue.
Tip: You can also attach files from any other location listed in the Files application, including the location on my iPhone / iPad.
Step 3: Navigate to the location of the file. Then, tap the file and you should find it immediately attached to your email.
If you want to attach multiple files, you must press the Join icon repeatedly and repeat the entire procedure. For a much simpler method, scroll down.
Join multiple items via the Files app
Surely, this is a chore when you have to attach multiple iCloud files to an email in Outlook for iOS using the above method. However, there is a simpler way: you can use the Files application directly to share multiple files with Outlook for iOS, which will automatically attach them to a new email. Of course, this is not feasible when you answer an email.
Step 1: Open the Files application, and then select iCloud Drive.
S2nd step: Navigate to the location of the files you want to attach. Tap the Select option location in the upper right corner of the screen, and then tap the files you want to attach. Follow this step by tapping the Share icon at the bottom of the screen.
Warning: Refrain from adding items with a combined file size of 20 MB. Outlook for iOS will not be able to send your attachment if you exceed this threshold.
Step 3: Select Outlook in the share sheet. You should then see the selected files attached to Outlook for iOS automatically.
It is sometimes possible that the Outlook icon is not listed in the share sheet. To turn it on, scroll to the right of the row of icons, then press More.
Compress and attach folders
You can not attach folders in iCloud to Outlook for iOS, directly or through the Files app. Maybe this will happen in a future update of the application. However, you can easily archive the folder using the native compression capabilities of the Files application. Then you can attach it to an email, just like any other file.
Note: The compression capabilities of the Files application are only available on iOS 13 and iPadOS, and later versions.
Step 1: Open the Files application, and then navigate to the folder you want to share in iCloud Drive (or any other location in the application).
Long-press the folder, then press the Compress option in the context menu. You should see an archive of the folder created in the same place. Then press and hold the ZIP archive, then tap Share.
S2nd step: On the sharing sheet that appears, tap Outlook. You should see the ZIP archive attached to a new email.
Tip: You can also share an iCloud Drive folder via Outlook (or any other application) in the form of a link. After long pressing the item, tap Add People to add the contacts you want to share it with. Finally, select Outlook to add the link to a new email.
Continue to improve
Outlook for iOS is one of the best email clients for iPhone and iPad, and the ability to easily attach files stored in iCloud Drive makes it even better than ever. If that's what prevented you from migrating completely to Microsoft's flagship email client, you no longer have any reason not to do it.
Then: Outlook for iOS can be even better. Here are 7 great add-ons you need to use Outlook as a pro.