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Avoid 'photo email' and send photos by email

Technical Level : Basic


Many users are facing a problem where Windows Live Mail's photo email feature doesn't work as intended. If sending the message fails with error 0x8007007A, this means that the Microsoft Account you're signed in with in Windows Live Mail has been upgraded to a new platform. This has the side effect of breaking the photo email feature.

While it may appear to work with a single picture and the message is sent, the picture is not uploaded to OneDrive and all the recipient receives is the thumbnail image in the message itself.

This article describes how to resize and send photos (or other image files with the extension .jpg, .png, .gif or .tif) by email and gives an alternative method using OneDrive for large files or large numbers of files.


If sending a message fails, the unsent message will stay in the outbox (below the account folders in the folder pane), where it might prevent later messages from being sent. Delete the failed message from the outbox to clear the blockage.

Once the Windows Live Mail sign-in account has been upgraded, the photo email feature cannot be used and has to be avoided. While viewing the message list in Windows Live Mail, press Ctrl-Shift-O for Options. On the Compose tab, ensure that Convert messages to photo emails when adding photos is not selected.

Here are some alternative methods for sharing pictures using Windows Live Mail.

Send embedded images by email

  1. Launch Windows Live Mail by clicking on the program shortcut on the desktop, the taskbar or on the start menu.
  2. When viewing the message list, press Ctrl-N to open a message compose window.
  3. Enter the intended recipients' email addresses in the appropriate fields, enter a subject for the message and then click inside the message body.
  4. On the Insert tab, select Single photo. This will open an Explorer Insert Picture window where you can navigate to and choose the photos you want to send. You can use Ctrl-click to select more than one picture, then click Open.
  5. Click on a photo. This will reveal the Format tab, where there are several options for manipulating the photo. Try them out to find ones that suit. Using the Size options to reduce the dimensions of the photo will reduce its file size as well, so you can send more pictures at once. Remember that any reduction in size will also reduce the image quality, so you have to strike a balance.
  6. If you happen upon a set of options that works well, click Set to default to apply them automatically to pictures you insert in the future. They won't be applied to photos already in the message, though.  
  7. Complete the message and click Send.

Share via OneDrive manually

This is useful if you have a lot of pictures to share, or particularly large ones. Many email services will not allow messages larger than about 3.5 MB.

  1. Go to OneDrive and sign in with a Microsoft Account. The the same one as you use here at this site will do fine.
  2. Click on New and select Folder. Give it a suitable name, e.g. Shared pictures
  3. Click on the new folder and use the upload options to copy the files you need to send. The options available may vary with browser, but the Upload button on the command bar should show you an Explorer window where you can select files to upload.
  4. Once the files are uploaded, click Share.

    1. If you use the Invite people option, OneDrive will automatically send an email to the addresses you enter. This will use the Microsoft Account name and address as the sender. Recipients will be able to view and download the files. If you need a record for yourself, include your own address in the list of recipients.
    2. If you use the Get a link option, the site will generate a URL that you can copy and paste into an email message. Recipients - and anyone else with the link - will be able to view and download the files.

Windows 10 users

On Windows 10, an easy way of sharing photos is to use the new OneDrive app, bypassing Windows Live Mail altogether:

Open a folder or create a new one to hold the photos to be shared.

  Add the photos to the folder.

  Select the ones to be shared.

  Share by inviting people. 
       This will send an email from the account that's active in the left-hand pane.

Use the Expand button  to add text to the email.  

Use the Add button on the Invite people page to find contacts.

These will be the contacts in People for the active account. Include yourself in the addressees list if you want a record in Windows Live Mail of what you shared with whom and what you wrote.

Two tips

If you use Send to > Mail recipient or similar function to send image files by email, Windows Live Mail will automatically invoke the broken photo email feature. When the new message window opens with the photo album in place, click on a photo and then on the Format tab that appears on the ribbon. If the paperclip button in the Album styles section is active, click it; this will attach the pictures to the message in the traditional way and avoid the 'Publishing photos' fault. The files will be attached at full size.

Photo email will only be invoked if the files selected to be sent are image files, i.e. with the extension .jpg, .png, .gif or .tif (or possibly one or two others). If you include a non-image file, e.g. an empty text file with the extension .txt, the files will be attached to the new message in the traditional way. You can remove the superfluous .txt file before sending.

  • To create an empty text file, open Notepad, then select Save as and call the file Dummy or similar. Save it in your pictures folder, or indeed save a copy in every folder containing photos you might want to share.

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