Is there a way to attach my images directly from my Google Drive inline when composing a message on Gmail?

When I try to attach an inline image from a shareable link on my Google Drive, it doesn't show inline when attached, but an image is visible on the preview of image when using the Add Photo > Web URL functionality of Gmail.

Getting Shareable Link from Google Drive

Getting Shareable Link from Google Drive

Using Insert Photo from Gmail

Using Insert Photo from Gmail

Photo is Not Properly Attached

Icon not inline image

The reason why we need to use the photo from Google Drive is that we need the versioning of the file, and when we update the image, all the emails that have been sent with the image should be updated as well. We use it for our company wide announcements and resending an updated image would just spam everyone.

Is there a way for this to be possible?

  • Definitely not. Email isn't designed for this. imagine all the shanigans this type of functionality would allow! @
    – sente
    Aug 10, 2017 at 11:32

3 Answers 3


Short answer

Use url in format



You cannot use url that Google Drive provides as "share link":

  • https://drive.google.com/open?id=DRIVE_FILE_ID
  • https://drive.google.com/file/d/DRIVE_FILE_ID/view?usp=sharing

as image src, because it's actually link to a web page (MIME type text/html).

Instead https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=DRIVE_FILE_ID will return document with needed MIME type image/* which you can use as image source.


  1. view Images that are uploaded to Google Drive - Stack Overflow
  2. MIME types

Definitely not. Email isn't designed for this, websites are though. imagine all the shanigans this type of functionality would allow.

  • 1
    This answer is just an opinion and not a technical fact. And a strange opinion at that... is it shaniganism sending an email with visual instructions to clients/alumns/family/friends?
    – brasofilo
    Dec 9, 2018 at 16:24

I just use https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=DRIVE_FILE_ID and that works perfectly.

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