How to View Video Received via Email on the iPhone?

Shreyas Patil
Shreyas PatilUpdated :
How to View Video Received via Email on the iPhone?


Videos received via email on an iPhone can sometimes be difficult to view properly. The default iPhone mail app does not always fully support video playback within the app. However, there are a few simple tricks you can use to easily view those video emails right on your iPhone.

Check if the Video Plays in the Default Mail App

The first step is to simply open the email and see if the video will play directly within the mail app.

  • Tap to open the email with the video attachment.
  • Look for a play button on the video thumbnail in the email body.
  • Tap the play button to see if the video will play within the app.

If the video plays properly, then great! You don't need to do anything else to view the video.

However, sometimes you may get an error that the video format is not supported. Or the video may download instead of playing directly. If that's the case, you will need to take a couple extra steps, outlined below.

Save the Video to Your Photos App

If the video does not play properly in the mail app, the next step is to save it to your photos app.

  • Tap and hold on the video thumbnail in the email.
  • Choose "Save Video" from the pop-up menu.
  • This will save the video file to your Camera Roll in the Photos app.

Once it's saved there, you can easily view it using the Photos app video player.

Transfer the Video to Your Computer

You also have the option to transfer the video to your computer if you prefer viewing it on a larger screen.

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer using the charging cable.
  • Open the Photos app on your computer.
  • Find the video in your Camera Roll and transfer it to your computer.

Then you can view the video on your computer without any playback issues.

Use a Third-Party Video Player App

Another option is to use a third-party video player app on your iPhone. Apps like VLC Media Player and Infuse Pro offer robust video playback support for many formats.

To use one of these apps:

  • Install VLC or Infuse Pro from the App Store on your iPhone.
  • Open the video email and tap the Share button.
  • Choose "Copy to VLC" or "Copy to Infuse."
  • This will copy the video file to the third-party app for playback.

These apps provide full streaming and download capabilities right on your iPhone for premium video playback. The playback controls and speed adjustment features are also better than the native apps.

Convert the Video to a Supported Format

For unsupported video formats, you may need to convert the video to a format readable by iOS before viewing on your iPhone.

You can use online video converter tools to change the file format. Or use video conversion software on your computer prior to transferring the video to your iPhone.

Some supported formats include:

  • MOV
  • MP4
  • M4V
  • AVI
  • MPV
  • MPEG4
  • 3GPP

Converting to one of these formats will ensure maximum compatibility for playback on your iPhone.

Use AirDrop to Transfer the Video

If you have access to a Mac, you can also use AirDrop to wirelessly transfer the video from your Mac to your iPhone.

To do this:

  • Open the video email on your Mac.
  • Click the Share button and choose AirDrop.
  • Select your iPhone from the list of nearby devices.
  • Accept the AirDrop transfer request on your iPhone.

AirDrop will transfer the video quickly without using any wires. Then you can view the video using iOS native apps.

View the Video in Your iCloud Account

You can also view an email video by saving it to your iCloud account.

  • Open the video email on any device and tap the Share button.
  • Choose "Add to iCloud Drive."
  • This will save the video to your iCloud storage online.

Then on your iPhone:

  • Open the Files app.
  • Navigate to iCloud Drive and find the video file.
  • Tap to play it right within the Files app.

iCloud syncing lets you access video emails from any device.

Download and View the Video on a Computer First

Before viewing on your iPhone, you can also fully download the video by opening the email on a computer first.

  • Use the mail app on a Mac or PC to open the video email.
  • Click to download the full video attachment to your Downloads folder.
  • Once downloaded, the video file will be accessible on your computer for playback in any video app.

You can then transfer the downloaded video to your iPhone and have better success viewing it with iOS apps.

Quick Tip to ensure your videos never go missing

Videos are precious memories and all of us never want to ever lose them to hard disk crashes or missing drives. PicBackMan is the easiest and simplest way to keep your videos safely backed up in one or more online accounts. 

Download PicBackMan

Simply Download PicBackMan (it's free!), register your account, connect to your online store and tell PicBackMan where your videos are - PicBackMan does the rest, automatically. It bulk uploads all videos and keeps looking for new ones and uploads those too. You don't have to ever touch it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I download the video from my email to my photos?

To download the video, open the email and tap and hold on the video thumbnail. Choose "Save Video" from the menu. This will save it to your Camera Roll in the Photos app for easy viewing.

What apps can play video files from email?

The default iOS Mail app has limited support. Better options are the Photos app, VLC, Infuse Pro, QuickTime Player, AVPlayerHD, CineXPlayer, or other third party iOS video player apps. They offer much better video format support and playback tools.

Is there a way to view the videos without using cellular data?

Yes, you can connect your iPhone to a WiFi network and view the downloaded videos over WiFi to avoid using up cellular data. You can also download the videos while on WiFi first before attempting to view them.

Can I view email videos on my iPad too?

Yes, the same principles and apps outlined here for the iPhone will also work on an iPad for viewing videos received in email messages. The larger screen of an iPad makes watching the videos easier as well.

How can I save an email video to the Files app?

Open the video email, tap the Share button, and choose "Save to Files". Select a location like On My iPhone to save the video file locally so you can access it in the Files app for playback.

What settings do I need to change to allow videos in email?

Typically no settings need adjustment. But you can check that Load Remote Images is enabled under Mail Settings > Accounts > Load Remote Images to allow video attachments to download. Disabling this may prevent some videos from appearing.


Viewing videos sent via email on an iPhone is straightforward once you know the proper steps. The default Mail app has limited playback support, so your best options are saving the video to the Photos app, using a third-party player like VLC, transferring it to a computer first, or converting the file to a format iOS can read. With the right apps and tools, you'll be able to watch those email videos seamlessly right on your iPhone.

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