How to Fix Can’t Download Attachments from Gmail

Need to download a report or document, but you can’t download attachments from Gmail?

Emails have been one of the primary modes of communication for businesses, schools, and families. Through emails, we can share small documents, follow up proposals, and even promote our businesses. 

One of the most used emailing services globally is Gmail. It’s a platform developed by Google with advanced features that promotes convenience and reliability. 

While Gmail works 99% of the time, it doesn’t mean that it’s flawless and unexpected issues could occur at some point. One of the most common problems users face on Gmail is attachments that refuse to download. 

This can be a problem, especially if you need to get a document from your Gmail account. 

Most of the time, this issue is caused by server-related problems. However, it can also be due to slow network connections, firewalls, third-party software, or improper device configurations. 

Today, we’ll show you what to do if you can’t download attachments from your Gmail account. 

Let’s begin!

1. Check Gmail Servers. 

Before changing your device settings, we suggest checking Gmail’s servers first if you can’t download attachments. Since the files you want to download are coming from the servers, they must be working correctly. 

To do this, visit Google’s dedicated status page and see if there’s an issue with Gmail. 

Google Workspace Status

If the platform is currently down, there’s nothing you can do but wait. On the other hand, you can head to the following solution below to start troubleshooting the issue if Gmail’s servers are up and running. 

2. Restart Your Device. 

One of the easiest ways to fix most issues on any platform is to restart your device. This should clear your system’s cache and eliminate temporary bugs and glitches that may have occurred during use. 

For Windows users, follow the steps below to reboot your system: 

  1. First, open the Start Menu on your Taskbar
  2. Next, click the Power icon to access the Power Options tab. 
  3. Lastly, choose Restart to reboot your device. 
cant download attachments from Gmail

If you’re using a Mac computer, here’s how you can restart it: 

  1. On your main screen, access the Apple Menu
  2. After that, choose the Restart option. 
  3. Finally, confirm your action by clicking the Restart button on the dialog box. 
cant download attachments from Gmail

After restarting your device, go back to Gmail and see if you can download the attachments. 

3. Use A Different Email Client. 

Besides Gmail’s integrated website, you can also access your Gmail account using third-party clients. For instance, Windows and macOS both offer a dedicated mail app that you can use to view emails from your email addresses. 

If you can’t download attachments from Gmail’s website, try using the dedicated mail app on your Windows or Mac PC. 

4. Turn Off Gmail Labs. 

If you don’t want to use third-party email clients, you can try turning off Gmail Labs. This is a beta feature on Gmail, which allows you to access unreleased features. However, they are still under development and could cause issues with your account. 

To avoid issues, we suggest turning off Gmail Labs on your account. Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. First, click the Gear icon on the top right corner of your page and choose See All Settings
  2. Now, go to the Advanced tab. 
  3. Lastly, disable all the features under it. 
cant download attachments from Gmail

Go back to your feed and check if you can now download attachments from emails.

5. Check Your Network Connection. 

When downloading a file over the internet, you’ll need a stable connection to avoid issues. If you can’t download attachments from Gmail, it may indicate that your network is running slow or unstable. 

To confirm this, run a test using to measure your network’s upload and download bandwidth. 

Speed Test

If the result indicates that your network is the problem, restart your modem to re-establish the connection with your service provider. Unplug your router from the outlet and wait for 5 to 10 seconds before plugging it back in. 

Restart Router

Once done, perform another test to check if the problem is solved. If not, contact your ISP and ask them to fix the issue. 

6. Disable Your Antivirus. 

Antivirus are third-party tools that help protect your system from viruses and malware. However, some of them can get too protective and restrict your browser from downloading even legitimate files. 

If you can’t download attachments from Gmail, turn off your VPN first. 

Now, don’t forget to re-enable your antivirus after downloading your files to keep your system safe. 

7. Report the Problem to Google. 

At this point, the last thing you can do if you still can’t download attachments from Gmail is to let the experts take over. 

Go to Google’s Support page and contact their team to ask for assistance regarding the issue you’ve been experiencing. Provide all the necessary details on your report to make it easier for their team to resolve the problem.

cant download attachments from Gmail

That wraps up our guide on what you should do if you can’t download attachments from Gmail. If you have clarifications about the steps, please let us know in the comment section, and we’ll be here to help. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter)

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