How to embed and send a .gif image into an Outlook 2016 / 2019 email body or signature?

Last update: February 2019

Applicable to: Outlook 2019, 2016, 365. Windows and MAC OS X.

Here’s a question we got from a reader:

I would like to add 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 putting the animated gif image into the message so it can appear on my outgoing email. Any help is appreciated!

Inserting an animation to Outlook

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.

  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 a Gif as an attachment on Outlook

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

Here you go:

  • Create new Message.
  • Hit Insert.
  • Select Attach File.
  • Pick your animated file.
  • That’s it :-)

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.

Recommended next steps

  • Microsoft Office 365 now includes the latest Office 2016 version. If you are running on outdated Office version, you might want to check out Office 365. Sign up to get access to your favorite Office programs and to 1 TB data for every registered user.
  • Got a related question? Look into our guide on how to get your questions answered or leave us a comment.

Leave a Comment:

Barbara Bartschat says September 27, 2016

I did as recommended, but the picture is static and it doesn´t move!

Brian Pattison says December 14, 2016

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.

Paul says July 26, 2017

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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