Why can I not open attachments in GMail?
Question by Amina /

Why I cannot open attachments in GMail?

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Answers (8)
  • Mark O’Neill

    Here is what Gmail has to say on the matter :

    If after clicking Download nothing happens, the file doesn’t download completely, or the file can’t be opened, there may be a conflict with software on your computer, a browser cache that needs to be cleared, or a temporary problem on the Gmail server.

    Since this seems to be happening quite a lot to you, I think we can rule out the temporary glitch on the Gmail server. So out of the other two options, I would say to clear your browser cache and temporary internet files, and see if that has any effect. 

    If not, start looking at your browser plugins and see if any of them could potentially be messing with Gmail.  Disable them one at a time and see if anything changes.

    • Mike

      Before going through every single plugin you may want to run the browser without any of them:

      For Google Chrome open up an incognito window by clicking on the wrench symbol.

      For Internet Exploer click on Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Internet Explorer (no Add-ons).

      For Firefox click on Start > All Programs > Mozilla Firefox > Mozilla Firefox (Safe Mode).

      If you got an email with an safe attachment (trusted source) you should also try deactivating any anti virus program running in the background before attempting to download it. Just don’t forget to turn it back on afterwards.

  • Armineh

    Hi guys
    I have the same problem which drives me crazy. ANy file, either PDF, Excel or word does not opened. Once I click on it, it asks open, save and save as. If I click on open I get a white page, if I click on save or save as, it does not allow me to save it. So I have to send those mails to my yahoo account and openit there. So the problem is with the g-mail settings. Can someone help me please.
    Thank you

  • Bruce Epper

    And what type of attachment is it?  Is it a type of file that you have the software to support?  Have you tried to just save the attachment to your desktop and open it from there?  If so, what was the result?  Any error messages?

  • Tina


    in what browser do you read GMail? And what happens when you try to open an attachment? Is there an error message and if so, what does it say?

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