Gmail won’t download attachments

When it comes to emails, Gmail is the preferred client for most people thanks to its speed and reliability. However, that’s not to say Google’s webmail juggernaut is perfect by any means. It also has its fair share of problems right from slowing down occasionally to not receiving emails sometimes. Another common issue is when users are unable to download attachments in Gmail.

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Well, if you’re looking for a solution, we’ve compiled a list of effective workarounds that will help you overcome the issue. Let’s get right into it.

1. Update Browser

If you haven’t updated your browser in a while, it could well be the reason behind Gmail attachments not downloading. Thus, the first thing you should do is update your browser to the latest version available.

Google Chrome

To update Google Chrome, tap on the three-dot menu icon, go to Help, and select About Google Chrome. If there’s any updates available, Chrome will automatically start installing it.


Microsoft Edge

To update Microsoft Edge, tap on the three-dot menu icon, go to Help and feedback, and select About Microsoft Edge. Again, it’ll automatically start updating itself to the latest version available.


After updating your browser, restart it and see if you can download attachments in Gmail.

2. Disable Antivirus

Sometimes, firewalls and antivirus programs on your PC can restrict browsers and websites from downloading files. Therefore, you can try disabling them momentarily to see if you can download attachments afterward.

1. To turn off Windows Defender Firewall, open the Start menu, type in windows defender, and press Enter.


2. Now click on Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off in the left pane.


3. In the following window, select the radio button next to Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) option under both private and public network settings. Then tap on OK.


If you’re using a third-party antivirus program on your PC, go to the System Tray and right-click on the antivirus icon to choose the Disable option.

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3. Clear Browser Cache and Cookies

Although cache and cookies are meant to speed things up, they can also get corrupted over time. As a result, it can sometimes affect your browser or app’s performance, ultimately causing problems such as attachments not downloading in Gmail.

Thus, you can try clearing out cache data from your browser or the Gmail app on your phone.

On Chrome

1. Launch Google Chrome and press Ctrl+Shift+Delete keys to quickly open the Clear browsing data panel.

2. Select All time in the Time range menu and select Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files options. Finally, tap on the Clear data button at the bottom.


On Microsoft Edge

1. Launch Microsoft Edge. Click on the three-dot menu icon on the far-right and select Settings from the list.

2. Go to the Privacy, search, and services tab on your left and click on the Choose what to clear button on your right.

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3. Again, select All time in the Time range option, select Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files, and tap on the Clear now button.


On Android

1. Open Settings on your phone. Scroll down and tap on Apps and notifications to see the list of all the apps. Now use the search option at the top to find Gmail.


2. Go to Storage and cache and tap on the Clear cache button.


4. Check Lab (Advanced) Settings

Gmail carries a handful of experimental features under Gmail Lab (now, advanced) settings. Lately, if you have been trying out some of these features, chances are, one of those settings is hindering downloading attachments in Gmail. Read on to learn how to disable Gmail Lab settings.

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1. Open your browser and log in to Gmail. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner and click on See all settings.


2. Switch to the Advanced tab and Disable all of the settings here. Finally, click on the Save changes button.


5. Use Supported Browsers

If you’ve recently switched to a new browser, then it’s important to know that Gmail only lists Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer and Edge as its supported browsers. If you’re using some other browser such as Opera, Maxthon, Vivaldi, etc., you might face problems such as being unable to download Gmail attachments.

Additionally, for a seamless experience, Gmail also requires JavaScript and Cookies to be switched on in browsers. So, make sure that you haven’t disabled these options as well.

6. Allow Background Data Usage

If you’re using mobile data while trying to download attachments from an email and you’ve some sort of data saving mode enabled on your phone, then it may obstruct Gmail from using the mobile data in the background.

On Android

1. Open Setting on your phone. Scroll down and tap on Apps and notifications to see the list of all the apps. Now use the search option at the top to find Gmail.

2. Go to Mobile data and Wi-Fi. After that, toggle on the Background data and Unrestricted data usage options under Advanced Settings.


On iPhone

To allow background mobile data for Gmail on iPhone, open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on the Mobile Data option. In there, find the Gmail app and toggle on the switch next to it.


Now the Gmail app should have unrestricted access to Mobile Data. Go ahead and see if you can download attachments now.

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Wrap Up: Unable to Download Attachments in Gmail

So those were the best solutions for someone who is unable to download attachments in Gmail. Hopefully, applying one or more of these fixes did the trick and you’re back to using Gmail as before.

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If you’re looking to take your email game to the next level, check out these best Gmail add-ons that improve productivity.

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