Sending photos by email using Outlook? Find out below how to compress images in Outlook and optimize your email for size and deliverability.

First, St. Augustine Talks about Sweat

In the 24th chapter of the second book of his seminal City of God, Augustine of Hippo gets a chance to incorporate what he himself has seen man do into a theological argument. To wit:

I myself have known a man who was accustomed to sweat whenever he wished.

Let me set aside the theological intricacies of a human body after Eve and Adam for now. Squeezing saltful water out of forehead and armpits at will! What can be better?

Squeezing wasteful size out of images at will right in Outlook perhaps?

How to Compress Images in Outlook

To compress an image in Outlook and optimize it for sending through email (to some extent):

  1. While composing an email in Outlook, highlight an image to be compressed in the email’s content.
  2. Go to the Picture Tools | Format tab on the ribbon.
  3. Click Compress Pictures in the Adjust section of the Format ribbon.
  4. Typically, make sure E-mail (96 ppi) is selected under Resolution:.
    • This option will reduce the size of the image (or images) in the email while compromising quality to some degree.
  5. To compress all images in the message in one go, make sure Apply only to this picture is not checked under Compression options:.
    • You can compress select images individually, of course.
  6. Click OK.

How to Compress Images in Outlook Signatures

To compress an image that you have added to an Outlook email signature:

  1. Open the Outlook signature editor via File | Options… | Mail | Signatures….
  2. Make sure the signature that contains the image you want to compress is highlighted under Select signature to edit.
  3. Click the image to be optimized with the right mouse button.
  4. Select Picture… from the context menu that has shown.
  5. Make sure you are on the Format Picture window’s Picture tab.
  6. Click Compress….
  7. Make sure Web/Screen is selected under Change resolution.
  8. Now make sure Compress pictures is checked as well.
  9. Click OK.

How to Compress Images in Outlook: FAQ

How much compression can I expect?

Do to expect much compression from Outlook’s image optimization tool.

For a typical photo taken with a smartphone, you can see images compressed by around 75% through the reduction in resolution. For images that are already optimized for display on the web or email, expect much less or no compression.

Still, compressing images in Outlook can serve as a quick way to avoid the most egregious excesses of modern digital images in email.

(How to compress images in Outlook tested with Outlook 2016; updated March 2018; title image: StockUnlimited)