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Ask Max: Emailed Images Auto Resizing

Asked on 10/14/2008:

After years of cajoling one of my PC-using friends to get a Mac, he finally did… so long as I would promise to be his ready-access tech support for a beginner’s dumb questions. I readily agreed, but have been immediately stumped.

He has had a continuing problem with Apple resizing images as he forwards them to others.

I receive sharp images and whenever I forward, the image changes for the worse. They were big photos and very sharp. When I attempted to forward them, they became small and blurry.


I believe that your friend’s issue is with the image attachment resize option in new versions of Apple Mail. Look at the bottom of the new message window. When an image is attached, the Message size is displayed on the left and a popup menu is on the right. This is the same for new and forwarded emails. From the popup menu you can select one of four options: Small, Medium, Large, and Actual Size. Selecting any of the first three options will change the image to an email-friendly size. Attachments over 2MB can be considered too large by some email applications.

I suspect that when your friend forwards these emails, that popup menu is set to “Small”. If he selects ™Actual Size™ from the menu, before he sends it, it will come through to the recipient just as he sees it on his computer.

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