Gmail goes beyond basic email features to offer seamless integration with other Google services, a variety of productivity tools, and more. One of the basic features of any email service, including Gmail, is the ability to send file attachments in the email. This feature is very useful, especially when you want to send an important report to a colleague, share a presentation with clients, attach a PDF file to an email, and more.

gmail file attachment downloading problems

However, when an email app has problems sending and downloading files, it can be very frustrating, especially when you want to share or download an important file. These problems can be easily fixed if you follow simple troubleshooting steps. In this guide, we’ll look at how to fix the issue of file attachments not downloading in the Gmail app.

This guide is divided into two different sections, the first section provides troubleshooting techniques for the Gmail app, and the second section provides troubleshooting techniques for using Gmail on the web.

Fix Gmail Not Downloading Attachments (App)

Check Your Internet Connection

gmail app network settings

If you are having trouble downloading attachments from the Gmail app, check your internet connection. If you have a weak, slow, or unstable Internet connection, file download may be interrupted when you download an attachment from Gmail.

You can use a variety of tools to check the status of your Internet connection on your smartphone. The most popular and easiest method is to use Internet speed testing websites like

Fix the Internet not working on your smartphone

  • Turn off your mobile data: If your mobile data is on and you try to connect to a Wi-Fi network but still can not access the Internet, turn off your mobile data and check if the problem is fixed.
  • Check the time and date settings: Make sure your phone’s date and time settings are set to automatic. If they are set to manual, you may experience problems.
  • Reset Network Settings On Phone: if none of the above solutions work, try resetting your phone’s network settings.
  • Check the network permission for the Gmail app: make sure that the Gmail app has the required Internet access permissions. If you are on Android, long-press on the app, click the app info, data usage, and enable mobile data and Wi-Fi usage.
  • Restart your smartphone: Finally, restart your smartphone. Just reboot your smartphone using the traditional methods and check if the problem still persists.

Once the internet problem is fixed on your device, you can download the attachments from the Gmail app again without any problem. If the problem still persists, follow the other troubleshooting techniques listed below.

Check the Gmail Server Status

gmail app serve status

Before taking any further action, check the Gmail app server status. If there is an outage, the Gmail app may not be able to retrieve and download Gmail attachments for you. You can follow the steps below to check the Gmail app server outage. If the outage is confirmed as a user, there is nothing you can do to fix the issue. You can just wait for some time until Google fixes the Gmail outage.

gmail status

How to check the status of the Gmail server:

  • Go to the Google Workspace status dashboard.
  • Look at the “Current Status” column next to Gmail. A green button indicates no known issues; an orange button indicates a service interruption, and a red button indicates a service outage.
  • If the button is orange or red, Google is aware of the problem, and you can’t do anything until Google fixes the problem. If the button is red or orange, it usually gives you an indication of what is going on or when the problem might be fixed.
  • Alternatively, you can use other popular websites like Down-detector or Mail Meter to check the status of the Gmail app.

Check Your Storage

gmail and storage

If your storage is full, Gmail may stop receiving new emails, even those with attachments. There may be problems using the Gmail app or downloading file attachments from Gmail. To fix this, simply delete the old emails or update your Gmail account to increase the storage space. If you are running out of storage space on your device, you can download file cleanup apps to delete junk files and manage the storage space on your device.

  • Delete Unnecessary Emails: Check your emails and delete any that are no longer needed, especially those with large attachments. Deleting these emails will free up storage space in your Gmail account.
  • Empty Trash and Spam: Empty your trash and spam folders. They can accumulate over time and consume a significant amount of storage space. Go to the “Spam” folder and delete all emails.
  • Upgrade Storage: The free version of Gmail has 15 GB of free storage. If you frequently receive large attachments or have a high volume of emails, consider upgrading your storage plan. Google offers paid plans with larger storage capacities that allow you to store more data in your Gmail account.

How to clear storage on your Android and iPhone

  • The best way to clear storage on your Android device is to install the Files by Google app. After installing the app, open it and let the app analyze the storage. Now, from the home screen, delete the junk files, large files, and other files that are no longer needed.
  • On iPhone, you can download Cleaner for iPhone app to remove junk files and manage your files on iPhone.

Disable Antivirus on Your Smartphone

disable antivirus

Some antivirus apps prevent downloading external files from other apps to your smartphone. If you use an antivirus app on your smartphone, it may prevent Gmail from downloading attachments. To fix this, you can disable the antivirus apps or add the Gmail app as an exception (whitelist). Different antivirus apps require different processes to add the app as an exception.

How to disable antivirus on your smartphone:

  • Open an antivirus app on your smartphone
  • Now go to the additional settings and then to Threads and Exclusions.
  • Click on the Add button and now select the Gmail app
  • Now click on “Next” and select “Save” to complete the process.

Update the Gmail App

update gmail app

The version of the email app you are using on your smartphone may have problems downloading attachments. To fix this, you can try updating your Gmail app to the latest version. You can visit the Google Play Store for Android and the Apple App Store for iPhone. Here you can find detailed step-by-step instructions on how to update your Gmail app.

Clear Gmail Cache

clear cache

Cache is a short-term memory stored by apps to improve app speed and functionality. Apps store frequently accessed data or resources in the cache, which makes them load faster and reduces the time required to retrieve data.

Despite its general benefits, the cache can sometimes cause problems. If the app cache is corrupted or outdated, the app may stop working properly and sometimes even crash. To fix this, you can simply clear the app’s cache and fix the problem. Here’s how you can remove the Gmail cache on both Android and iPhone.

How to clear Gmail cache on Android

  • Open the settings on your Android smartphone. You can click the Settings gear icon or Settings in the Control Panel
    settings app on android
  • Scroll down and click on the Apps or Applications tab. The name of the tab may vary depending on the smartphone model and version you are using. If you can not find it, use the search bar.
    apps options in settings
  • Alternatively, if you are using the latest version of the Android smartphone, you can long press on the app, tap the info button and access the app details
    gmail info button
  • Search for Gmail in the list of apps. You can use the search bar and search for Gmail and tap on it.
    gmail app
  • In the Gmail app settings, you will see several options. Look for an option labeled “Storage” or “Storage and Cache“.
    storage usage in the gmail app info
  • In the storage settings, you will see “Clear Storage” and “Clear cache” options. Tap on “Clear Cache.” This will delete the temporary files that the app has stored on your device.
    gmail clear cache

How to clear app cache on iPhone

  • Open the settings app on your iPhone.
  • In the settings menu, scroll down until you find the “General” option and tap on it.
  • In the general settings, tap on “iPhone storage“. You will then see a list of all the applications installed on your device and the storage space they occupy.
  • Scroll through the list of apps until you find the Gmail app. Tap on it to open its specific settings.
  • Swipe the app to the left and tap on “Offload App.” This will free up the storage space used by the app while keeping the documents and data intact.
  • If you want to erase all data and restart the app from scratch completely, you can tap “Delete App” instead, but this will remove all data from the app, including credentials, settings, and saved files.

Check the Gmail App Permissions

storage permissions

In the latest version of Android and iPhones, you can grant or disable individual app permissions. This helps increase privacy and give you more control over the app. To download attachments to your device, the Gmail app requires storage permissions to save the files to your device. To check or grant storage permission for the Gmail app for your Android or iPhone.

How to check Gmail permissions on Android

  • Open the main settings on your smartphone
    settings app on android
  • In the settings menu, find the “Apps” or “Applications” option
    apps options in settings
  • In the list of apps, find the Gmail app and click on it
    gmail app
  • Now find the “Permissions” option in the app information section
    gmail app permissions
  • Now you can see the list of allowed and disallowed permissions for Gmail. If storage permission is not allowed, tap Storage and click Allow only when using the app or Ask every time (you need to give storage permission to Gmail every time you want to use the app).

How to enable Locations permissions on iPhone

  • Open the main settings on your iPhone
  • Now scroll down and select Privacy.
  • Now select Gmail from the list.
  • Now go to the location permission and click on the toggle to enable it.

This is the list of troubleshooting methods that you can follow to fix the “Gmail app will not download attachments” error on your Gmail app on Android and iPhone. If you are using Gmail in your browser, follow the troubleshooting methods to fix the issue in the browser as well.

Fix Gmail Not Downloading Attachments (Web)

Check Your Internet Connection on Your PC

404 error

Of course, you need an Internet connection to download file attachments from Gmail. If you have network problems such as a poor or unstable Internet connection, you may not be able to download the files through your browser. You can check the speed of your Internet connection with tools like If you cannot access the website and no internet connection is shown, try using the simple methods listed below to restore internet connection on your PC.

  • Check the Wi-Fi Settings: Make sure you are connected to the correct network. If you are connected to the right network and still having issues, Windows can help you diagnose the problem.
  • Check Your Internet Package: If your Internet is working but slower than expected, run a speed test. If the number on your bill matches the number on the speed test, you are getting the correct speed you are paying for. If your speed test is significantly slower than the speed you paid for, you are indeed having problems and should proceed with troubleshooting.
  • Restart your computer: If you still do not have Internet access, try restarting your device. If you are on Windows, press Alt+F4 and select Restart from the menu. If you are on Mac, click the app logo at the top right of the screen and tap Restart in the options.

Read Full Guide: How to Fix Android Connected to WiFi but No Internet Error

Disable Antivirus

disable antivirus

Most computers are equipped with antivirus software to protect the device from viruses. This antivirus software prevents downloading of external files to protect your computer from unknown sources. If you have problems downloading attachments from Gmail in the browser, it may be that your antivirus software prevents you from downloading files in the browser. To fix this problem, you can disable the antivirus program on your computer or add your browser to the whitelist (if possible, add only the Gmail website to the whitelist to avoid problems in the future).

How to disable antivirus on your PC:

  • Open the Windows Start menu.
  • Type “Windows Security” and press the Enter key.
  • Click on “Virus & threat protection” on the left action bar.
  • Now scroll to “Virus and threat protection settings” and click “Manage settings“.
  • Click the Shift key under “Real-time protection” to temporarily disable Windows Defender Antivirus.
  • Click “Yes” to confirm the change. When prompted, enter the device password and click “Save” to apply the changes.

Update Your Browser to the Latest Version

update browser to the latest version

If you are having trouble downloading files with your browser, try updating your browser to the latest version. Sometimes the version of the browser you are using may have some bugs and glitches that prevent you from downloading files. To fix this, you can simply update your browser. The latest version of the browser may contain the solution to the bugs you are currently facing, as well as new features and improvements.

Clear Browser Cache and Cookies

clear browser cache

Cache and cookies are temporary files stored in your browser to speed up website loading time. Over time, they accumulate a lot of data that can slow down the browser and cause problems like these or even crash it. The best way to fix this problem is to clear the browser and website cache.

When you clear your browser’s cache and cookies, it’s like giving your browser new data. However, there are some things you should keep in mind when doing this: All saved browsing history will be deleted, and you will also be logged out of the websites you are logged into since cookies often store login information. But this can be a good compromise to solve the problem of downloading Gmail attachments.

How to clear the cache on the Google Chrome Browser

  • Open the Google Chrome browser on your PC.
  • Click the three-dot menu icon in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  • Hover over “More tools” and then select “Clear browsing data“.
  • A “Clear browsing data” window will open. Here, select the time period for which you want to delete the cookies and cache. Now select the “All times” option
  • Check the boxes next to “Cookies and other website data” and “Cached images and files“.
  • Click on the “Clear data” button.
  • Wait for some time until the process is completed.

How to clear the cache on Microsoft Edge Browser

  • Open the Edge browser and click the menu in the upper right corner. Then select “Settings” from the drop-down menu.
  • Select “Privacy, Search, and Services” from the left menu.
  • Scroll down to “Delete browser data” and click “Select data to delete“.
  • In the pop-up window, select a “Time Range” to clear cached items from a specific time period. To clear the entire cache, select the “All times” option.
  • Select the checkbox for “Cached images and files“. Then click “Clear Now” to clear your cache in Edge.

How to clear the cache on Mozilla Firefox

  • Open the Firefox browser and click on the menu in the upper right corner. Then select “Settings” from the drop-down menu.
  • Select “Privacy & Security” from the left menu.
  • Scroll down to “Cookies and site data” and click “Clear data“.
  • In the pop-up window, select the checkboxes for “Cookies and Site Data” and “Cached web content“. Then click “Clear
  • A warning message will be displayed. Click “Clear Now” to delete your cookies and cache.

How to clear the cache on Brave Browser

  • Open Brave Browser on your PC.
  • Select “Settings” to access the browser settings.
  • Under the “Features” section, tap the “Brave Shields & Privacy” tab.
  • Scroll down and select the “Clear browsing data” tab.
  • Select “All time” as the “Time range” option and select the checkbox for “Cookies, website data, and cached images and files“.
  • Tap on “Clear Data” to delete the data.

Disable Gmail Labs

disable gmail labs

Gmail Labs is a feature in Gmail that allows users to try out experimental features that can improve their Gmail functions. Some of the most popular Gmail Labs add-ons include the Google Calendar widget, the unread message icon, custom keyboard shortcuts, reply templates, the Mark as Read button, and more. These features can be a nice addition to Gmail, but they can also cause glitches when you download attachments from Gmail. To fix this, you can temporarily disable Gmail add-ons. Follow the steps below to disable the Gmail Labs feature in your Gmail.

How to disable Gmail labs:

  • Go to Gmail on your desktop.
  • Click on the Gmail gear icon at the top right of your inbox.
  • Select the “Settings” option from the drop-down menu.
  • At the top of the “Settings” page, select the “Labs” option.
  • Uncheck all Labs features.
  • Click the “Save Changes” button.

Disable Browser Extensions

disable browser extensions

Extensions can be a great way to improve the browser’s capabilities, but sometimes these browser extensions can interfere with downloading files from Gmail attachments. To fix this issue, you can try disabling all extensions that might interfere with file downloads in Gmail. Here you can find simple instructions on how to disable extensions in popular browsers.

How to disable Google Chrome Extensions

  • Open Google Chrome on your PC
  • Click the three-dot menu icon in the upper right corner.
  • Click on ‘More tools‘ and then on ‘Extensions‘.
  • You’ll see a list of all Chrome extensions installed on your device.
  • Click the toggle button of the extension you want to disable.

How to disable Extension on Microsoft Edge Edge

  • Open Microsoft Edge on your PC
  • Click on the three dots in any window.
  • Select “Extensions” from the menu that opens
  • A list of all installed Edge extensions will be displayed.
  • To temporarily disable the extension, flip the switch next to it to turn it off. You can enable it again later by sliding the switch to the “On” position.
  • To permanently remove the extension, click the “Remove” button below the description of the extension.

How to disable extensions on the Firefox browser

  • Open Firefox on your PC
  • Click on the hamburger menu in the top right corner.
  • Click on “Add-ons and Themes.”
  • In the Add-ons Manager, choose “Extensions.”
  • Find the extension you want to disable.
  • Click the toggle switch to the left of the extension to disable it.

Common Causes and Solutions for Gmail Attachment Download Issues

In today’s digital world, email remains an indispensable means of communication, both for personal and professional use. When it comes to choosing an email service, Gmail proves to be the best option available. I hope you find this list of troubleshooting techniques helpful. We have presented comprehensive methods to fix undownloaded file attachments in the Gmail app. If you still face issues, you can use Gmail alternatives to send and receive emails.

FAQs on Gmail File Attachments Not Downloading Issue

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There can be several reasons why you cannot download attachments from Gmail. The most common reasons include network issues, file size limitations, antivirus programs blocking downloads, browser or extension issues, browser cache issues, and attachment limitations. We have addressed all the issues and listed solutions for each problem in this guide.

The size limit for attachments in Gmail is 25 MB. If you try to send an attachment larger than 25 MB, Gmail automatically creates a Google Drive link in the email instead of inserting the attachment directly. Therefore, if the download size is more than 25 MB, you can download the file directly from Google Drive.

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