How to add an image to your Gmail signature

How to add an image to your Gmail signature

People insert all kinds of images in their email signatures. In organizations, the placed image is typically a logo, ad, or promotional image. Sometimes it’s a photo or a stylized image of the sender. The images in personal email signatures often signal something about the person or her interests.

If you use Gmail, you can upload an image or insert an image from the web or Google Drive into your signature. And if you’re using Gmail as part of Google Workspace, an administrator can set up a signature, including an image, to add to all outgoing emails as well. However, any image included by an admin must be available on a public web link, so the following steps describe how to bring the image to a Google site to get a public link.

But before I add any images to your signature, let me add a note of caution. In general, I recommend that people keep email signatures in text format only. Text is much more accessible to visually impaired or absent people than an image in a signature. Also, text uses much less bandwidth than an image. (Make sure you resize and / or compress your image to the appropriate size and quality.) That said, there are many times when an image in a Gmail signature can be well deserved.

How to add an image in the signature of a personal Gmail account

To add, edit, or manage signatures in a personal Gmail account:

  1. Go to Gmail in a desktop-class web browser.
  2. If necessary, log into your Gmail account.
  3. In the upper right area, select the pinion (settings) | See all settings | General (from the menu options listed above).
  4. Scroll down to the Signature section.
  5. Choose the “+ Create New” button or select an existing signature.
  6. In the signature area on the right, enter and format any text or link you want in your signature.
  7. Select the Insert Image option ( Figure A ), then go to the image you want.
  8. When finished, scroll to the bottom of the page and select the Save Changes button.

Figure A

Screenshot of the Gmail Signature section, with a sample signature selected and the add circled image icon (to the right of the link icon, in the signature edit area).

Google Workspace Admins: How to add an image in an added Gmail footer

A Google Workspace administrator can manage email footers that are added to each outgoing email for an organization. In the Admin console, the important settings are located in App | Google Workspace | Gmail | Compliance, select an organization (or organizational unit) from the left (if needed), then scroll to Add Footer and choose Configure ( Figure B ). To learn how outbound footers work in Google Workspace, read my article, How to Set Up a Gmail Signature for Your Organization.

Figures B

Screenshot from the Google Workspace Admin Console compliance section setting for outgoing email footers, with the Insert Photo icon selected and a box "Enter an image URL:" displayed, waiting for an http: // or https: // link to be added.

But if you try to insert an image stored on Google Drive in an outgoing footer, it won’t work. You can only add an image with a public link in the added footers managed by the administrator ( Figure B ). A publicly shared image stored on Google Drive will not work.

I suggest you create and maintain a Google site to add images to, as any image stored on a page of a Google site can be used in outbound footers, as long as the site is published and public. These last two criteria are important: inserting the image in the footer will not work on non-public or not yet published sites.

To create a new Google site dedicated to your outgoing images, you could:

    1. Type in a desktop-class browser.
    2. Edit your site title (eg promotional footer images).
    3. Then select Insert | Images to upload or select images on your site. Alternatively, you can select Insert | Drive and then choose the images stored in Google Drive to add to your site.
    4. Select Publish, then change your site’s web address (eg Footer).
    5. Under Who can view my site, select Manage. Then, under Links, select Edit.
    6. Next to the Published Site option, select the drop-down menu and choose Public ( Figure D ), then select Done.

Figure D

Link setup screen for a Google site, with the published site options menu displayed (eg Limited; PA311, or rather, your domain; Public or Remove link).

    1. Select Done again. The box should now show Anyone under Who can view my site. Select Publish.
    2. Then, select the drop-down menu to the right of Publish, then choose View Published Site. This should open the site in a new browser tab. Switch to that tab.
  1. On your site, right-click the image you want to insert in the outgoing footer, then select Copy Image Address ( Figure F ).

Figure F

Screenshot of the Google site (called Gmail Outbound Footers), with the title of Footer Logos.  Two images on the page: A red box with the words SALES!  in it, as well as a small Twitter bird logo.  The SALE image has been selected and the Copy Image address is about to be selected.

You now have the public link that you need to paste into the prompt after selecting the image icon in the Add Footer section of the Admin console. As the publisher of the site, you can always return to the site and copy the link to the published page. Share the link with others and they will be able to access the page.

Optionally, you can take steps to make the footer page a little less easy to find. To do this, make sure you have at least two pages on your Google site and that your images are not on the site’s Home page. Then, while editing your site, select Pages, then click the three vertical dots to the right of the footer page name. Choose Hide from navigation ( Figure G ), which will remove the page from the Google Site navigation menus. Since the page is omitted from the menu structure, it will not be available for a casual visitor to the site to access.

Figure G

Two-page screenshot listed on a Google site.  Page tab selected.  The footer image page is not the site's home page.  Three vertical dots menu selected, with the Hide from navigation option displayed (along with other options: Create Homepage, Duplicate Page, Properties, Add Subpage, and Delete).

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