Gmail's Save to Photos button lets you save images in a message with a single click

May 29, 2021

Google is adding a new feature to Gmail that allows users to save images to Google Photos in a more convenient manner. Up until now, there were just two ways to save images. You could download the pictures and upload them to Photos or any other service.

Gmail's Save to Photos button lets you save images in a message with a single click

The other way, which has been the easier one, is to use the Add to Drive button, which saves the image to your cloud storage. The new Save to Photos button kind of works similarly, and sends the media to Google Photos in a single click, thus reducing the manual effort. The option may seem to be trivial at first glance, but when you think about it, it could be a real timesaver when you have to save multiple images.

The Save to Photos button is not live for me or my friends in the US. According to Google's blog post the feature is being rolled out to users gradually, and will take up to 15 days (from May 26th) to be made available for all users. The option will also appear for all users including free, Workspace and G Suite accounts.

Here's how images appear in Gmail prior to the addition of the Photos button, there's the download and the add to drive buttons.

Gmail attachment options

The announcement article has a couple of screenshots that shows us how the new option can be used. Pictures received as attachments in Gmail will have the Save to Photos button appear, when you mouse over the image's thumbnail. The new button appears right next to the Drive symbol, and has the Photos logo with the + symbol on it. Click on it and Gmail will save a copy of the picture to your Photos gallery. That's handy, isn't it? You may access the saved images across platforms and devices. The save option can also be accessed from the info panel that pops up when you click the three-dot button, from Gmail's image preview screen.

Gmail Save to Google Photos

The screenshot from Google also confirms that the add to drive option will continue to exist, despite the introduction of saving the media to Photos. Some people may prefer to save the images to Drive for work purposes, while others may find Photos the better option for personal pictures, so it's nice to see that we get a choice between the two services.

The Save to Photos feature has one restriction, it will only support images that are in the JPEG format. As you may know, the JPEG/JPG container being a lossy format, uses significantly less amount of storage space than PNG and other higher quality containers. That may explain why Google has limited it to the space-saving one, at least for now.

The Save to Photos option seems like a no-brainer, it should have already been there, well it's better late than never I suppose. Google doesn't mention whether the Gmail mobile app for Android and iOS will be getting the new feature, but we expect it will be added like the Add to Drive option was.

Gmail's Save to Photos button lets you save images in a message with a single click
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Gmail's Save to Photos button lets you save images in a message with a single click
Google is adding a new feature to Gmail that allows users to save images to Google Photos in a more convenient manner.
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  1. JMGG said on January 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

    You said that Outlook isn’t your main email client, so which is your main one?

    1. BalaC said on January 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

      I think its thunderbird

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on January 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

      It is Mozilla Thunderbird.

  2. Salaam said on September 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Awesome! This actually solved my problem… what a stupid bug.

  3. Claud said on December 19, 2012 at 2:08 am

    If this is the same bug that I’ve encountered, there may be another fix: (1) hover over open Outlook item in Taskbar, cursor up to hover over Outlook window item, and right-click; (2) this should give you Restore / Move / Size / Minimize / Maximize — choose Move or Size; (3) use your cursor keys, going arbitrarily N/S/E/W, to try to move or size the Outlook window back into view. Basically, the app behaves as though it were open in a 0x0 window, or at a location that’s offscreen, and this will frequently work to resize and/or move the window. Don’t forget to close while resized/moved, so that Outlook remembers the size/position for next time.

    1. Lynda said on February 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      THANK YOU Claude!!! I could get the main window to launch but could not get any other message window to show on the desktop. You are my hero!!!!

    2. Chad said on November 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Solved my issue! 6 years later and this is still problem…

    3. Ivan X said on January 21, 2021 at 4:50 pm

      Fantastic. Thank you. Size did the trick.

  4. Andrew said on October 26, 2013 at 7:06 am

    This solved my Outlook problem, too. Thank you. :)

  5. Charles said on December 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you so much, this started happening to me today and was causing big problems. You are a life saver, I hope I can help you in some way some day.

  6. garth said on November 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    You are a god – thank you!

  7. Faisal said on February 9, 2015 at 10:09 am

    thanks a lot…. work like charm.. :-)

  8. Simon said on March 24, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Yah…thanks Claude. I’ve been having the same problem and tried all the suggestions…your solution was the answer. It had resized itself to a 0/0 box. Cheers

  9. Olu said on April 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Excellent post. This had me baffled even trying to accurately describe the problem. This fixed it for me.
    Thank you

  10. Coenig said on July 23, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Thanks a lot for the article. Don’t know why it happenend, don’t know how it got fixed, but it was really annoying and now it works :-)

  11. Fali said on January 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks a lot. I was facing this issue from past 3 week. I tried everything but no resolution. The issue was happening intermittently and mainly when I was changing the display of screen ( as i use 2 monitors). The only option i had was to do system restore. But thanks to you.

    1. MIki said on January 10, 2019 at 11:54 am

      I’ve been tried to sole this problem for 12hours. Your comment about changing the display of screen helped me a lot!! Thanks!!

  12. Christina said on January 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you…don’t know why this happened but your instructions helped me fix it. Running Windows 10 and office pro 2007

  13. Oz said on July 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Great tip! Thanks!

  14. Tracy said on September 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Worked for me, too – thank you!!!

  15. shawn said on September 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

    It’s Worked for me, too
    thank you very much!

  16. Jari said on October 31, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I had a similar issue with Outlook 2013 on Windows 10 and this helped me to fix it. Thank you very much!

  17. Michel H said on November 30, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you so much. Solved!
    Considering you published this in 2012, incredible not been debugged by Microsoft.
    Thank you again. M

  18. Ziad Bitar said on January 9, 2017 at 2:00 am

    This problem was faced by only one user logging to TS 2008 r2 using outlook 2010.The issue was resolved.


  19. Anonymous said on February 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Great tip. Thank you!!!! If it helps, I had to use the Control Key and the arrow keys at the same time to bring my window back into view. Worked like a charm.

  20. Rochelle said on March 6, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Thank you, this worked !!!!

  21. anom1234 said on May 20, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Man, you are a fucking god. Thanks a lot, what an annoying bug!!

  22. JC said on October 12, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Awesome, this post solved the issue. Many thanks!

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