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.
Click the thumbnail to view the attachment or see options like print and share.
Move your mouse over the thumbnail and use the buttons to Download or 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 questionsWhere 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.
After you click the 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 to find your file in Google Drive.
You can always access the files you’ve saved to Google Drive by going to drive.google.com.
Learn more about Google Drive.
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 optionsInclude 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 small down arrow at the bottom of the reply box and select Include original attachments.
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.
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.
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 or Save to Drive 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.
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.
- Images: On most devices, you can view image attachments (.jpg or .png files).
- 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.
- While composing a message, press Menu and touch Attach to attach a photo to the message.
- 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.
Attachments you download are stored on your phone’s USB storage or SD card. Image files are added to albums in Gallery.
Save to your phone's photo gallery
- Open a message with an attachment.
- Touch the attached photo.
- Touch the Share button .
- 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
- Open a message with an attachment.
- Click the Drive icon on the image thumbnail.
- 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:
- Open the Settings app for your iPhone or iPad.
- Scroll down and choose Privacy, then Photos.
- Switch on Gmail.
Learn more about iOS 6 privacy settings.
Vivian is a Gmail expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback about this help page.