How To Save Images in the iPad Safari and Mail Apps

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iPad Tips and Tricks

Here’s another basic but very handy tip for those of you who are new to the iPad.  You may often receive a photo in an email that you want to save and keep on your iPad – or spot an image in a web site that you’d like to save.

It’s very easy to do this on the iPad – hit the lovely little read more link to see how …

To Save an Image in an email, within the iPad’s Mail Application

— Tap and hold the image within the email. A dialog will pop up with two options – Save Image and Copy.  Save Image will save it to the Saved Photos album in the Photos app.  Copy will place it on the iPad’s clipboard, available to be pasted wherever you want (in a new mail or a word processing app for example).


To Save an Image on a Web Page in the iPad Safari Application

— Same as above really.  Tap and hold on the image.  You’ll get a popup dialog with four choices.  The first two – Open and Open in New Page – relate to the web page itself.  The next two choices though are the same as in the Mail app – Save Image and Copy, and will get you the same results.

save image in Safari on iPad

It’s as easy as that.  Again, a very basic and simple tip – but one that is hopefully handy for those of you just getting to know your new iPad.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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80 thoughts on “How To Save Images in the iPad Safari and Mail Apps”

      1. I get two different options. Select and select all. Clicking on either one doesn’t work

  1. How can you save to another folder besides the 'Saved pictures' folder? Can you create a new folder or rename an existing one?

  2. i just downloaded downloads HP and good reader. What can I use these for? I thought I needed them to save images. Can I also save files the way you explained?

    1. I don't know what the HP app is but Goodreader allows you to work with a wide variety of file formats – you should read its app description for a full listing of file types it supports. You do not need any 3rd party app to save images in the way described above.

    1. What sort of download? You likely will not be able to do it with Mobile Safari. You may need to look at apps like Dropbox or Google Docs to share common doc types from desktop to iPad.

  3. I open the email with and the picture is already opened, then it will only copy and not save. I have tried sending it through several different accounts with the same result. I want to use the picture in my lesson plans for school

        1. In any text area within any app, tap and hold within a block of text. This will bring up a popup with options to Select or Select All. Select All will do just what it sounds like. If you choose Select, you tap and drag to move the selection area as desired.

      1. I can’t save jpeg pictures either. It saves as a blank gray square with the jpeg logo on it. I’ve tried converting it to a PDF and that doesn’t work either

  4. How do i make additional Albums on my ipad2? and then how do i specify a particlar album into which i save photos received in an email?

    1. You cannot create albums on the iPad. You need to do that in iPhoto or a Windows equivalent and then sync to get them across to your iPad.

      You also cannot specify or change the folder that images are saved to by default. They will always go to the Camera Roll.

  5. When will Apple fix this issue? Why would we want all photos to go into camera roll? That is crazy. It would seem this would be an easy fix.

  6. I have an open picture in an email and the only option that comes up is Copy, so I did that. I assume it saved to the clipboard as you stated above. Where the heck is the clipboard? Is there a program I can use to improve the photo quality, then
    put it on a program cover for a memorial service?


    1. When you tap and hold an image in the Mail app you should definitely get an option to Save Image.

      There is no separate clipboard applet on iOS – once you have selected Copy you can go into another app, tap in an input field, and choose Paste.

      There are lots of good 3rd party apps for editing and improving your photos – a few I’d highly recommend include FX Photo Studio HD, Photogene, PhotoForge2, Photo Toaster, and 100 Cameras in 1 for iPad.

  7. I saved a photo (like you said) in an email but it will not show up in my camera roll, or photos app. What should I do?

  8. I am a teacher and new to the iPAD. My students will be using iPAD next year and are used to embedding the citation for photos in the pix they copy off the web. Can you do the same thing on iPad?

    1. Is that done by way of a watermark on the images? If so, then they should be able to do that via a 3rd party image editing app.

  9. When I try to save an image emailed to myself (taken with a new camera), it only appears as a grey rectangle with jpg in the middle. No such problem with my very old camera…help!!!

  10. I’m trying to save a graphics file that was emailed to me and shows up as part of the message. When I held my finger on the image I got two choices. I don’t remember what they were, but they were not either of the choices referenced above. I followed my gut, and the image is now saved in by iBooks library??!!

    I don’t know what good that does me, because I can’t seem to copy it from there either.


    1. If it’s a graphics file it should always and only offer to ‘Save Image’ and that goes to the Camera Roll. It sounds to me as if you were sent a different file type, perhaps a PDF. Can you confirm what file type the attachment was?

  11. Hi there!
    I know how to save, copy, paste, etc photos on my iPad. What I don’t know how to do is “save as”. I often find pictures to use later on my blog or tumblr or interest. When I go to my saved photos to retrieve them, there is no info that saved with it so I don’t know where the picture came from to give the source credit.
    I use photogene for editing.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Maybe make use of the Evernote app or a similar note-taking app. Open each image in Evernote (or other app) and tags or notes to the image to indicate the source. I’d start with Evernote for this task because it’s such a powerful, feature-rich app.

    1. In the Photos app you can tap on the Share button to send an individual photo, or you can select multiple photos and copy them into an email.

  12. I’m trying to save an image from an email (also have gotten one from a website)….no problems saving it to photos….however, I am trying to paste that image into my email SIGNATURE, and it will only paste the LINK….not the image. I have also downloaded the clipboard app….same result. Thanks for any help!!!!

    1. I can no longer save a photo from Facebook . The save option comes up but nothing happens when I press it. I used to be able to do this but since a lot of updates it no longer works

  13. I had a lot of pictures that were in the “saved photos” folder under the ” brightness & wallpaper” tag. Now they are gone. The tag that said “saved photos” is gone. I didn’t do anything but put images from the web on it. Help!

  14. HELP!

    Nothing happens when i click on the image. i do not get the pop up window to save image. It is very frustrating I can’t not figure how to save image. I am using OS 4.3.3. Could this be why???

    1. No, this feature works fine in with your version of the OS. Are you just tapping the image or doing a tap and hold? You need to tap on the image and hold in order for the popup to appear.

  15. when i attempt to SAVE a PDF the only options i get are:
    tap 2xs = copy
    tap+hold = Quick Look, Open in “iBooks”, Open in…(iBooks and Dropbox are the only options there).

    how can i get this PDF saved to my iPad so I can potentially crop/edit it?
    Thank you in advance!

    1. Open In offers the apps that support PDF handling – so it’s doing what it’s supposed to. Anyway, to answer your question – open it in Dropbox and from there you can choose to save it to the photo library where you can crop the image and do some very basic editing.

      If you need to more advanced image editing on the iPad, then you’ll want to get the image sent in a more standard image format.

      1. thank you. its for a work related function so i’m not always in control of the incoming format.
        I was able to work out a process utilizing an app converter which appears in the “Open IN…” list. So it worked perfectly.

        Thank you for the response though!

  16. I have tried repestily to save images to my iPad and I have held image down for 3 seconds and I do not get a drop down. I am really frustrated. I have really tried several times and cannot save images. Please help.

    1. I am having the same issues, it only gives me the option to copy, and I never see it again.

  17. Im new to the iPad thing and I follow the direction but when I tab and hold the image it won’t work for me nothing would came up ._…….

  18. I used the save feature on a website picture and when I try to retrieve the photo on my iPad in the Photos App, I can see the pictures are there but they are all blacked out.

  19. I too only have the copy selection appear when I want to save a pic from a web page onto my iPad. There is no save option, only copy, and then after I copy it, and go to the document I do not get a paste option. I am currently using the app called pages to create presentations in and I have not been able to copy, save or paste anything into it….please help!

  20. Sorry, forgot to write in English.. I am new to iPad and would love to know if there is an app to store photos on iPad in various folders. Am used to Picasa on PC… Someone told me that iPhoto is no good???

  21. Hi, I’ve been trying to find out how to a create a folder where images downloaded from the web are automatically saved – and I came across this page. I have the same concern as some of the above about all images being automatically saved in Camera Roll. According to the previous responses, there’s no way but that. Might a solution have been created since then on the iPad3?

  22. Looking for an app that allows me to attach photos to a to a file. I am a QC manager and log complaints. Would like to be able to attach picturs to a file with customer’s name..Any suggestions?

    1. Depends what kind of file you’re talking about but Pages (for Word type documents) and Keynote (for Powerpoint type docs) might be good starting points.

  23. Hi,
    Can you tell me hoe to attach photos to a Craigslist ad to t a facebook post?

  24. The only option I get is select and select all or copy. Whenever I do hold down this little circle that zooms in..

    1. If you are seeing the magnifying glass and Select and Select All options then you are tapping and holding in a text area. You need to tap and hold on an image.

  25. Anyone know how I can copy a picture from a email into my blog on an iPad3? I know how to save it, but copying doesn’t work for me…

  26. I tried to download or save from my gmail and what you explained in the top doesn’t happen. I am beside myself because I do rescues and adoptions and I ask all my fosters to send me pic’s of the animals so that I may begin the process of sharing to have them adopted. Please help.. Thank you


    1. Angelique – you just need to tap and hold on the image, then you will see a popup menu. One of the menu options will be to save image or save to Camera Roll.

  27. My mother in law and brother in law are both running ipads. When we send them a pic attahced to an email they say that when they save them they appear blurred. Recently I sent a picture at 3M instaed of the usual 12M resolution, they say the pictures have saved perfectly. The emails are sent using gmail. Is there a setting on the ipad to limit resolution? if not do you have any other ideas. The only common denominator is my brother in law who set up both ipads!!

  28. I know how to save an image but this function no longer works on my iPad, it just says unable to save image when ou try to do it. Can you help?
    Thank you

  29. I used to be able to capture pictures this way and used it A LOT. Now when I tap a picture I get one option… “Save Photo”. When I choose this it doesn’t save it to my photos. Any idea what happened or what I can do to change this back? It’s the same on my iPhone.

    1. CB, It does still work, it just goes to a different folder now. Photos that are saved go to Albums > Camera Roll (and that makes WAY more sense than putting into an obvious place like “Saved Photos” ;)

  30. I have the new ipad with i06 and cant save pictures from a website. i long press on the picture, two options pop up (save image/copy image) and when I select save – NOTHING. I look in my photos and see a few pics I saved from email but not one web saved image will show up. I even bought iPhoto and several other photo apps but the pictures just arent there. I see many people have this issue. Is there a solution? I’d hate to think I bought an $800 gadget that can’t do the thing that Apple was most reliable for – graphic manipulation…

  31. There seems to be an issue when it comes to saving a photo from mail on ipads. We have 6 ipads here but only one has the ability to save an image from email to the camera roll. You can get the copy option but not the save option. Seems Apple are aware of the issue but have so far not said they have a fix for it. Some colleges are now not using the Ipad as this issue and others like it are creating time issues for the teachers and I.T. As a device it lacks certain fundamental options we are used too, hence why people are getting stressed out with Ipads.

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