How to fix failed to download email attachments error

fix failed to download email ttachments error

Some people prefer managing emails on their computers using Gmail. But they have been found reporting an issue, that they are unable to fix failed to download email attachments error. Whether Gmail is preventing you from attaching multimedia to your emails or you can not download files attached to the email on Windows 10. We have come up with multiple solutions, which will assist you in fixing your query. Moreover, if you are unable to download Gmail attachments in Opera, Chrome, Firefox, or any different web browser, then the given solution will work for all browsers in general.

The problem can either be with the browser or the Gmail web app. When this happens, neither can you drag and drop files to Gmail, nor does the attachment button responds. Generally, a popup error message that reads: “There was an error attaching your file” or “Attachment failed, pops up. Sometimes because your computer is attempting to protect you from suspicious data, or because your browser is glitching out. Gmail tool also has its set of flaws.

Why I can’t download attachments from Gmail?

Here are some reasons why Gmail attachments are not received or downloaded. As it may be possible that you don’t receive the sender’s attachment. 

Confidential Mode on Gmail

If the sender sends the message after enabling Confidential Mode. Then, you will not be able to complete the action of print, download, save the attachments of any email from that sender. The only solution to this predicament is to ask the sender to remove this mode to Download Email Attachments.

File size too large

Gmail doesn\’t allow sending and receiving emails with large attachments. To send or receive a file larger than 25 MB, we recommend using the Google Drive service to store the file and share the location in the e-mail.

Run out of storage space

If your mailbox is pilled up with clutter, spam and additional email messages, this ultimately restricts your storage space to only a few emails. Thus, the attachment cannot be received. Gmail service providers automatically deny incoming emails if there is not enough space available.

Threat of malware or virus

Sometimes, if the file is infected with a virus, trojan, or other malware, many times Gmail automatically rejects it to prevent its users from becoming infected. Always beware of such malware before you are trying to receive or send any attachment via email.

Other common reasons

Other common reasons for this error message can be:

  • A firewall or a proxy server
  • Due to security reasons, Gmail blocks the executable files and other attachments it thinks can be infected from being sent or received
  • Could be a result of some browser extension limiting Gmail’s functionality.
  • Using an unsupported browser. To avoid such problems using Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari are best.

Now that we have disclosed the causes for failure to download attachments in Gmail. And you have faced this situation or you are currently in this pinch, let us try these fixes to curb the problem.

How to fix failed to Download Email Attachments error

Firstly, make sure that you have received the attachment and then you can go for these solutions:

1. Clear Browser Cache

A cache stores the data of every site that you have visited and your downloaded files. However, if your browser fails to automatically clear the cache, it can fill up rapidly. You need to clear the browsing history, cache, junk files from web browsers and try again to download the attachments. Each browser follows a somewhat different path to clear the cache. Here\’s how you can clear it:

1. Go to the Menu option or vertical three dots at the top right of your browser.

2. Select ‘Clear Browsing Data’.

3. Choose ‘All Time’ from the Time Range bar.

4. Hit ‘Clear Data’.

This way you will empty the cache and free up space for new download records. If the problem resolves, there is a solid chance that your cache was full.

2. Turn Off Antivirus

Sometimes your computer’s antivirus software may be restraining the files from downloading to your system. This happens to protect your device from falling prey to potentially harmful data. But if you are sure about the source of the email, turn off the antivirus settings tentatively from Antivirus software Settings.

In the case of a laptop or a desktop, most antivirus software have an extension for the web browser.

1. Go to the extension on the top right of the browser screen.

2. Then, modify the settings to disable email blocking or pop-up blocking.

3.  Alternatively antivirus icon is also on the right side of your taskbar. Right-click the icon and select “Disable”.

After you disable the antivirus, try to download attachments again. It will fix your problem if your antivirus was the reason before.

3. Lack of Hard Disk storage

Sometimes an attachment may be bigger than the storage capacity available. If that’s the case, computer won’t download them and you have to remove some files to free up space for it. Alternatively, you can change the default download location to another partition. In Chrome, follow these steps:

1. Click on the three vertical dots icon at the top right of the screen (More icon).

2. Go to ‘Settings’.

3. Select the ‘Downloads’ option.

4. Hit the ‘Change’ button parallel to \’Location\’.

5. Switch to another partition and download folder.

6. Choose ‘Select Folder’.

This should solve the low storage capacity issue.

4. Disable Windows Firewall

Window firewall can sometimes interferes with downloading attachments. If any other fix didn\’t work for you and your problem is persisting, try disabling the firewall by this method:

1. Press Windows + R and open the Run window. Type firewall.cpl > OK.

2. Or go to the Start menu. Click the\’ Updates and Security\’ option.

3. Go to \’Windows and Security\’.

4. Select \’Firewall and Network Protection\’ menu.

5.  Turn off Firewall by toggling the blue switch for each section.

In addition to this, if you are using a third-party security tool, we suggest temporarily disabling it too. Now try to send or download the attachment again, it should work.

Note: Once you are done, make sure you enable the Firewall again.

5. Switch to the supported browser

Some browsers don’t support Google services. If you are using Maxthon, Opera, Vivaldi, etc., we recommend Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge, etc.

6. Update the Current Browser

After making sure to be on a supported browser, also keep in mind to update the browser. Go to help or Settings and update the latest version from there.

1. Open Google Chrome

2. Go to the three vertical dots on the top-right corner of the screen.

3. Select Help > About Google Chrome.

4. Wait for Chrome to check for updates.

5. If any are available you will be notified. Download and install the updates.

7. Use incognito mode to fix failed download email attachments error

Chances are one of your extensions is preventing Gmail from downloading attachments. To check if this is the case, we suggest using the Incognito mode of the browser. Then, try to attach or download attachments.

If this works it confirms that any of the extensions is causing this error. Next, you will have to disable each extension in normal mode respectively. Once you find the problematic attachment, remove it.

8. Disable Labs Settings

Gmail comes with many experimental settings in Gmail labs. If most of the lab settings are enabled then disabling a few settings might fix the failed to download email attachments issue. These are the steps to Disable Labs Settings in Gmail.

1. Open Gmail account.

2. Select Gear Icon, then go to Settings.

3. Go to lab options and disable some.

4. Hit Save Settings.


Why can’t I open attachments in my Gmail?

Even after downloading the Gmail emails, sometimes the user is unable to open the Gmail attachments. It may be because of the following reasons:

  • Unrecognized file format
  • Bad file association or problem with the program
  • Compressed file
  • The sender has a Mac computer and you have Windows
  • Corrupt file

Also Read: How to fix YouTube video not playing error


The solutions explained above will help attach files to Gmail and download the attached files without any problem. Just make sure you are using a compatible browser and the files are safe to download. In case you are unable to fix the problem, we suggest using a new email provider.

We hope with the help of this article you have found the fix!!

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