Can’t Attach Files in Gmail? Here’s How to Fix It

When composing emails in Gmail, you might want to add attachments. However, you may encounter an “Attachment failed” error while trying to do so. This issue generally occurs if the files you are trying to attach exceed the maximum size limit. But, there are several other potential causes as well.

Understanding the Common Issues

A corrupt browser cache and cookies are common causes for the attachment failure issue. Additionally, an outdated browser can also prevent you from attaching files. If you’re certain the problem isn’t with your browser, a proxy connection or firewall might be blocking the attachment process.

Check File Type and Size

Gmail restricts attaching files with specific extensions such as .exe and .zip for security reasons. Executable (.exe) files and most compressed files (except .rar) are blocked to prevent the spread of viruses or malware.

Moreover, Gmail imposes a file size limitation of 25 MB. Files exceeding this size cannot be uploaded. For files larger than 25 MB, Gmail provides the option to upload the file to Google Drive and share the link instead.

Clear Cache and Cookies

Your browser uses a cache to store data from sites you visit, making them load faster upon your return. Similarly, cookies store your site preferences for a better browsing experience. However, if these caches and cookies become corrupted, they can cause the webpage to malfunction. Clearing the corrupt cache and cookie data can resolve such issues.

To clear cache and cookies:

  • Open your browser.
  • Press Ctrl + H to open the browser history.
  • Look for an option to Clear browser history.
  • Tick the boxes labeled cookies and cache.
  • Click on Clear Data.

Update Your Browser

Browsers can release updates containing bugs and glitches, leading to issues with certain websites. Developers usually release fixes in subsequent updates. Ensuring your browser is updated to the latest version can help avoid such problems.

Older browser versions may not support new Gmail features, causing broken websites and functionalities, including file attachment services. Keeping your browser up-to-date can resolve these errors.

Use Incognito Mode or Switch Browser

Most modern browsers offer an incognito or private browsing mode, which runs without using existing caches and cookies. This mode can also help determine if browser extensions are interfering with Gmail.

To open incognito mode, press Ctrl + Shift + N or select the option from your browser menu. If file attachment works in this mode, the issue likely lies with your browser’s default settings or extensions. In such cases, try switching to a different browser.

If the problem began after installing a new browser extension, disable it to see if it resolves the issue. If not, switching to a different browser might help.

Disable the Proxy Server

A proxy server acts as an intermediary between your computer and websites to enhance security. Sometimes, using a proxy server can cause issues while uploading attachments to Gmail. Temporarily disabling it might solve the problem.

To disable the proxy server on a Windows PC:

  • Press Win + I to open settings.
  • Go to Network & Internet.
  • Select Proxy from the left panel.
  • Turn off the slider under Manual proxy setup.

Wrapping Up

Dealing with attachment issues in Gmail can be frustrating, but understanding the common causes and applying these solutions can help you resolve them effectively. Whether it’s a file type or size restriction, corrupt cache, outdated browser, or proxy server, addressing these factors can ensure smooth file attachments in Gmail.

If you’ve tried all these methods and still can’t attach files in Gmail, it might be time to seek further technical support to identify any underlying issues.

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