Can’t Open Email Attachment in Gmail? Fix Issue with Tech Prompts

Hello Friends, are you stuck on the Email attachment file? Or you are facing the downloading error with your attachments? In both cases, a user can be irritated due to downloading attachment error. Sometimes we are unable to view or open the attached file in the mail. But do not be panic so much.

In this article, I will show you the same issue which occurs while accessing the email attachment file. And I have also mentioned the possibilities of attachment error. There can be few reasons for such an issue-

Note: If you have not installed an application like PDF viewer, MS Office, Zip then you cannot see the attachment file who you want to see the downloading attachment file. First, you should an application on your computer for every file extension then you can see whatever you want.

File Format Unknown

One of the reasons for this may be that the required application is not present on the computer. To resolve the problem, download the required program.

File ending extensions, tell us about the application it needs and those can be downloaded. Below are few examples:

File ExtensionFile Type
.doc or .docxMicrosoft Word Document
.xls or .xlsxMicrosoft Excel Spreadsheet
.ppt or .pptx  or .ppsMicrosoft PowerPoint
.pdfAdobe Acrobat
.zip or .rar or .zCompressed file
.gif or .jpg or .jpeg or .pngPhoto Image
.bmpMicrosoft Paint for Bitmap Image
.avi or .mov or .wmv or .mp4 or .mpegCompatible Movie Player
.exe or .comExecutable file
.mp3Audio File
.html or .htmHTML File

Incorrect file association or problem with program

If the error comes up while opening the file with a known program then the file type might have got associated with the wrong program while working earlier with such a file. To prevent such a situation to arise, never check the box “Always use this app to open” and select the program you want to use and click ok.

Note: .ink is a broken file association, it is not easy to download.

File Compressed

When a number of files or a large file have to be sent in the mail, files are compressed with the help of compressor programs. Such compressed files have to be uncompressed or unzipped before these can be opened from the attachment.

Compressed file

Note: Windows Operating System provides to compress the file for email attachments and vice-versa.

Antivirus program

Many times antivirus protection installed on the computer also prevents opening of the attachment, for this, make sure to temporarily disable the antivirus.

email antivirus

Note: This type of file can be harmful to your system. Because if your antivirus software cannot be identified then you should avoid such type of file.

you can disable antivirus program for sometime and restart the system.

Mail from Apple computer to a PC

In case the sender of the e-mail is a Mac computer user, and the attached files are not saved in a Windows-compatible format, attachment won’t open. Make sure that the e-mail sender knows about the Windows used by the recipient if sending an attachment.

Note: It means, you can access the attachment in the same behavior.

Disable Outlook Add-ins

If Microsoft Outlook user is unable to open attachments, Add-in might be the root cause of the problem. Follow the below-given steps to disable all Add-ins in Outlook.

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Click File, Options, and then Add-ins
  3. Under Manage click COM Add-ins.
  4. Click on GO button next to Manage and then uncheck all of the add-ins.
  5. Once everything has been disabled, click Ok.
  6. Close Microsoft Outlook and then re-open Outlook to see if the attachment issue has been resolved.

Also, Check it: GoDaddy Email Configuration In Microsoft Outlook 2007

Corrupt file

If none of the above suggestions worked out in determining or fixing the problem, then possibly attachment received is corrupt. Ask the e-mail sender to check if the attachment works on their computer and resend the email with attachment again.

attachment file

Note: Occasionally, when we get the corrupted email file. Because that file is not correctly attached by the sender.


I hope that you would be understood about email attachments. Why cannot we download the email attachment? First, you have needed to install applications for docs, pdf,  and XML files. If you have an installed PDF viewer software on the computer then you are able to see the PDF file.


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