How to add gif images in Outlook 2016 / 2019 email body or signature?

Applicable to: Outlook 2019, 2016, 365; Windows and macOS operating systems.

Here’s a question we received from one of our readers:

I would like to put an animated file into an Outlook message that i want to send to a friend having her 50th birthday. Not exactly sure about to go about adding the animated gif image into the message so it can appear on my outgoing email. Any help is appreciated!

Insert gifs into Outlook emails

One important note before we start: Only Outlook 365 versions, support inserting as well as loop-playing Gif files embedded into the message header. Office 2016 support for gif files is somewhat limited, so the recipient will need to view your email in a browser in order to be able to watch the animation (Done by From the message window, hit the the Actions button and then select the View in Browser command.)

If you use Outlook 365 , you are not only able to embed animations (being gif, swf files) into the content of the email you’ll be sending, but also to add those gifs into your Outlook custom signature.

Be aware that based on their computer security settings,  recipients of your email might not be able to see your animations when opening your emails in Outlook. Readers reported that animated gifs are supported and visible for the most in web email clients, such as GMail and

OK without further ado, let’s get started:

  1. Navigate to your Outlook message.
  2. From the Ribbon, hit Insert.
  3. If you have already your animated .gif file stored in your personal computer,hit Pictures.
  4. If you would like to search for a graphic on a web browser, Facebook, Twitter etc’, hit Online Pictures. Note that you might be prompted to provide your login credentials to access online resources. Note that in this case, the animation will be visible if the message recipient is connected to the web.
  5. Once your graphic file is found, select it and hit Insert again.
  6. Once the file is inserted, you are able to resize and format it as needed (using the Format menu).

Send Gif as an attachment

If you are using older Outlook versions, you might be able to easily attach your animated gif to your Outlook message.

Here you go:

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook
  2. Create new Message.
  3. Hit Insert.
  4. Select Attach File.
  5. Pick your animated file from your file system, shared folder or OneDrive.
  6. Last, go ahead and hit OK.
  7. That’s it 🙂

Embed your gif into Outlook (with VBA Macros)

The method HTMLBody of object MailItem allows you to add animated gifts into your HTML based email text bodies using Visual Basic for Applications. If you are looking for specific Macro help in this matter, contact us or leave a comment.

Additional Notes

  1. Note that in a pretty similar fashion you are able to insert animations into Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
  2. If you are a business user, note that there might be cases that Exchange servers of your email recipients might remove your animation from the email body, as they might see it as a potential non-secure content.

3 thoughts on “How to add gif images in Outlook 2016 / 2019 email body or signature?”

  1. You can add gifs but can not view them directly (moving) in outlook. It’s not supported.
    You need to view it in a browser. Pain ain’t it! and so behind the times. Security reasons I suppose.

  2. I tried to download your Outlook 2016 tips and Tricks.pdf but just got an error message please can you email it to me.

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