Open & download attachments in Gmail

When you get an email with an attachment, you can download the attachment to your device.

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Downloading options

Open & download attachments in Gmail

Download an attachment to your computer
  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. Open a message.
  3. At the bottom of the message, hover over the attachment.
  4. Click Download .


  • If you use Google Chrome, learn how to download a file on Chrome.
  • Your browser saves attachments to a download folder. Check your browser’s settings to find your downloads.
  • If your computer supports it, you can also drag photos and attachments to your desktop.
Download to Google Drive

Important: You can’t add certain attachments to Google Drive. Learn about files you can store in Drive.

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. Open a message.
  3. At the bottom of the message, hover over the attachment.
  4. Click Add to Drive .
Download a photo inside an email

Some photos are sent inside an email message, and not as attachments.

Here are a few ways to save photos from inside emails:

  • Download: Right-click the photo and choose the option to save the photo.
  • Save to Drive: Download the photo to your computer and then upload to Google Drive.

Open an Office file attachment in Docs, Sheets, or Slides

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. Open an email with an Office file attachment.
  3. Hover your mouse over the thumbnail.
  4. Click Edit with Google Docs / Edit with Google Sheets / Edit with Google Slides .
A copy of the new Office attachment is stored in Drive.
You can now:
  • Edit
  • Share
  • View version history
  • Collaborate in real time

For other email options, click File and then Email.

Include attachments when replying or forwarding

Attachments are included when you forward a message, but aren’t automatically included when you reply to a message.

To include the original attachments when replying:

  1. On your computer, at the bottom of the reply box, click the Down arrow Down arrow.
  2. Click Include original attachments.

To remove original attachments when replying, go to the right of the attachment, then click Remove.

Attachments won't open or download

Important: If the sender turned on confidential mode, you won't be able to copy or download the message text and attachments. 

If attachments won't upload or download, try these steps in order:

  1. On your computer, check that you're using a supported browser.
  2. Try turning off extensions you have on your browser one at a time.
  3. Clear your browser's cache and cookies.

Learn about suspicious attachments

To protect your account from potential viruses and harmful software, Gmail notifies you about suspicious attachments in the email. An attachment may be suspicious because:

  • The attachment allows unverified scripts: We can't confirm that the message's attachments are safe to open. If you open the attachments, there's a chance malicious software will run on your computer or device.
  • The attachment is encrypted: Some attachments, like documents that require a password to open, are encrypted and can't be scanned for viruses.
  • The attachment includes emails (.eml): While we check the message and .eml attachments for spam and viruses, we can't confirm that the sender in the .eml files actually sent those emails. Learn more about authentication.

If the email looks suspicious, don't reply and don't download the attachment. You can:

If the email is from someone you know and trust, ignore the warning.

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