Attachments: View, download, and save


When you receive an email with attachments, you’ll see thumbnails of the attachments at the bottom of your message.

Attachment thumbnail

Click the thumbnail to view the attachment or see options like print and share.

Attachment thumbnail hover

Move your mouse over the thumbnail and use the buttons to Download attachment icon Download or Save to Drive icon Save to Drive.

Some attachments can be viewed or shared, but not downloaded or saved to Drive. If you’d rather view attachments in a new tab, hold Ctrl or while you click the attachment thumbnail.

Common questions

Where do my attachments go after downloading?

Attachments are saved in a download folder set by your browser. Check your browser’s settings to see where to find your downloads. If you use Google Chrome, learn more about your download location for Chrome.

What happens to my file after I save to Drive?

After you click the Save to Drive icon Save to Drive button on an attachment thumbnail, the attachment is saved to Google Drive. You can keep your file organized adding it to a Google Drive folder. After saving, click Show in Drive icon Show in Drive to find your file in Google Drive.

You can always access the files you’ve saved to Google Drive by going to

Learn more about Google Drive.

How do I download or share a photo if nothing happens when I click?

If you click or hover over a photo and nothing happens, the photo is probably an image within the body of the message, not an attachment. Here are a few options to access images within messages:

  • Download: Right-click the photo and choose the option to save the image.
  • Share: Some images can be shared directly with Google+. Hover over the image and look for the Share button in the bottom corner of the photo.
  • Save to Drive: Download the photo to your computer and then upload to Google Drive.

More options

Include attachments when replying or forwarding

By default, attachments are included when you forward a message, but aren’t included when you reply to a message.

To include the original attachments when replying, click the More options drop-down arrow small down arrow at the bottom of the reply box and select Include original attachments.

Gmail Compose More options screenshot

If you don’t want to include the original attachments, click the X to the right of the filename at the bottom of the message.

Gmail Compose Remove attachment

Download, save, or share all attachments at once

If you see icons in the corner directly above the attachments, that means you can download, save, or share all of the attachments at once.

Gmail bulk actions for attachments

Android 4.0+

When you receive an email with attachments, you’ll see the attachments at the bottom of your message.

Save photos and files

To save a picture to your device or to Google Drive, touch the Download Download attachment icon or Save to Drive Save to Drive icon buttons on the thumbnail.

For other options, like sharing or printing, touch the thumbnail to view the image and touch Menu ( or your device’s menu button).

If the photo thumbnail isn’t below the word “Attachments” at the bottom of the email, you’ll have to open the email on a computer and right-click the photo to save it.

For some files, like PDF or ZIP files, you may have to download an app from Google Play that can open that type of file.

Android 2.2—2.3

The Gmail app for Android allows you to view and download certain types of attachments on your device.

Supported file types

Support for attachments depends on your device and the applications you've installed.

  1. Images: On most devices, you can view image attachments (.jpg or .png files).
  2. Documents: On some devices, you can view document files (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls), and PDFs (.pdf).

Adding or sending attachments

It's only possible to add attachments from the Gallery app when composing a message in the Gmail app.

  1. While composing a message, press Menu and touch Attach to attach a photo to the message.
  2. To remove an attachment, touch the X to the right of the attachment.

If you forward a message, the Gmail app will keep and forward any attachments from the original message. Attachments won’t be included when you reply.

Saving attachments

Attachments you download are stored on your phone’s USB storage or SD card. Image files are added to albums in Gallery.

This information is for the official Gmail app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Save to your phone's photo gallery

  1. Open a message with an attachment.
  2. Touch the attached photo.
  3. Touch the Share button Share button.
  4. Choose Save to Photos.

To download a photo attachment for the first time, you’ll need to allow Gmail access to photos you’ve taken on your device.

Note: Photos that are embedded within the message can’t be saved to your Photo Gallery. The photo must be added as an attachment.

Save to Drive

  1. Open a message with an attachment.
  2. Click the Drive icon Drive on the image thumbnail.
  3. Wait for the Saved to Drive confirmation message at the bottom of the screen.

My photo wasn’t saved to my Photo Gallery

Your photos from Gmail may not save to your Photo Gallery if you haven’t allowed Gmail to access your photos. To allow access, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app for your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and choose Privacy, then Photos.
  3. Switch on Gmail.

Learn more about iOS 6 privacy settings.

Learn More

Vivian is a Gmail expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback about this help page.

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