Gmail makes it quite easy to attach files to your emails. All you have to do is drag and drop the file into the email, and it will be uploaded and attached. Adding files from Drive is even easier as both services are owned by Google and integrate well. Still, some users are having trouble because Gmail will not attach files to their emails for some reason.
The fastest way to resolve this issue is to use a different email account from another service provider. Another way can be to upload the file to different cloud storage spaces like Dropbox or even Drive and then share a public link. In the meantime, let’s find out why this is happening and how to fix it.
1. Limits of Gmail attachments
Gmail may be the king of email service providers, but it’s not without its flaws, or should I say limitations. Here they are in no particular order:
- Total attachment size is limited to 25MB (includes all attachments)
- Executable files ending in .EXE are not allowed for security reasons
- The list of supported browsers only includes Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari
Gmail will automatically upload the file to Google Drive and add a link to it instead of the attachment size exceeding what is prescribed. You can check the composed mail for Google Drive links.
2. Basic Gmail
3. Switch to private browsing mode
Be honest and tell me how many add-ons or extensions you have on your browser? Too much? Any of the extensions could interfere or interrupt the functionality of Gmail. Open the incognito or incognito window and sign in to your Gmail account again.
Check if you can now attach files to Gmail emails. If you can, the problem lies with one of the add-ons / extensions, and you will need to fix it. Otherwise, keep reading because we’re not done yet.
One way to reduce conflicting extensions is to disable half of them to check if the problem persists. Continue with the other half and then turn off the half (8> 4> 2> 1). Continue the halving process until you have one left.
4. Try the Gmail mobile app
What about the browser itself? Are you using an older version or maybe a beta version? Open Gmail on your smartphone and see if you can compose, attach files, and then send the email. There are many ways to transfer files between desktop and mobile.
There is a problem with your browser if you can attach files to Gmail email from Android / iOS app. Complete this email, then come back to read the next point.
5. Browser data and cache
Clearing browser cache and data can help solve many browser related issues including the one you are facing where Gmail will not attach files to your email. There is a nifty little shortcut to clear the browser cache if you’re using a Chrome or Chromium browser. All browsers also have this feature in the settings.
Can’t attach files to Gmail on Android? Clearing app cache and data can help on smartphones. Don’t worry, it won’t delete your emails or any other data. All this data is stored remotely on Google’s servers. You’ll need to log back into Gmail and allow it to sync, which shouldn’t take long.
6. Different browser / Update
Can you attach files to a Gmail email on another browser? Some users found that the issue persisted in incognito mode but worked fine on a different browser. I suggest you use an app like Revo Uninstaller to completely uninstall the browser and reinstall it from scratch to get rid of corrupt files and install the latest version.
7. Storage permissions
Gmail needs storage permissions to access and attach files from your mobile device.
Step 1: Open Settings> Applications> Gmail> Permissions> Storage. Make sure it’s set to Allow so that Gmail can access and attach files on your phone.
8. Corrupted files
Are you sure that the files you are trying to attach are not corrupted? I would recommend using an app like Malwarebytes to check its integrity.
Right click on the file, select Scan with Malwarebytes. You should try the free version of Malwarebytes on your Windows 10 PC or Mac.
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There are so many ways to send a file today that it shouldn’t be a big deal. Either way, you can’t attach large files to Gmail emails. You have the choice between cloud storage service providers and file sharing platforms. You have to be patient and choose the right one for you. Troubleshooting the Gmail attachment error is also fairly straightforward and not very technical, unlike some of the other errors we have encountered. It should work like new soon. Let us know in the comments section below if you still encounter this error.
Looking for an alternative to Gmail? Why not try Gmail Go which is a light version of the original app but works just as well. Click on the link below to find out how it differs from Gmail.
Last updated on Dec 11, 2020
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