How Do I Browse All SharePoint Sites to Attach a File in the Outlook Desktop App?

Attaching files to emails using Outlook on the web is super simple to do. You can easily get to a list of all the teams you are a member of from the Attach File button. This allows you to browse through the files that live in each team’s SharePoint site.

If you are not going to make the switch to Outlook on the web (which is what I always recommend when people switch over to using the Microsoft 365 cloud and Office 365)

Attaching files that live in SharePoint sites into an email from the Outlook desktop app is near impossible unless you’ve worked on the file recently or you have a third-party add-in.

Here is a workaround for accessing files that live in SharePoint Team sites from the Outlook desktop app:

When you are creating an email and want to attach a file that lives in SharePoint or Microsoft Teams, you are going to have a really hard time.

This is actually something that a lot of people are frustrated with and there is a paid add-on from a company called OnePlaceMail that allows you to insert files into emails to send off to external people with one click, but there is a fee for that.

Disclaimer: I do not have a partnership with OnePlaceMail and I am not being paid to mention their company in this blog post.

So what I have done is come up with a solution, it’s more of a workaround, where you can use the Attach File button.

And when you’re looking for files that live somewhere that you have not been recently, you can go to Browse Web Locations, and again , all of these options here (Sites – Company Name, Other Web Locations, etc.) are showing you places you have been recently (i.e. folders), so that is not fixing the problem.

But what this will allow you to do is see the names of the teams that you are a member of using the Group Files option.

Disclaimer: Now this only works for Team Sites so it won’t work for Communication sites.

I have to make that clear, but for most of us, this may work, so let’s give it a try.

So how do we make the names of the teams that we are a member of show up here?

  1. Open the Outlook desktop app.
  2. In the Home ribbon tab, bring cursor across to the middle area to locate the Groups group, then click on Browse Groups.
  3. This is going to give you a list of suggested groups that you may want to join. Click on the All button. You should see a group for every one of the teams that has been setup for you.
  4. Click the Join button.
  5. As long as it is not a private group where I need someone to let us in, you will see the group automatically added to the Folder Pane.
  6. Tip: Collapse the Groups folder to hide all the groups as you do not need to use these. Ignore them and move on.
  7. Create a New Email.
  8. In the Message ribbon tab click on the Attach File button.
  9. Click on Browse Web Locations.
  10. Click on Group Files.
  11. You will see the new location where files live is available. Click on it.
  12. An Insert Files dialog box will pop open. Use that to navigate through files and folders to file the files you want.
  13. Tip: Hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard to select a group of files to insert.

And as a reminder, when you insert a file you have to remember to select “Attach a copy” if you are sending it to external people who do not have access to the site/team.

If it is internal with a co-worker, then you can use Share Link, and as long as they are a member of that site/team, they can use it, and that (i.e. sharing links) is always the way we want to go if at all possible.

Disclaimer: The groups associated to the teams you are a member of may not show up here if your organization locked down groups to make them not visible to staff.

Why would they do this? To reduce confusion and discourage staff from joining groups in Outlook, as joining a group gives users a completely different space to communicate when they should be using Microsoft Teams.

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