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Here’s What To Do When you Can’t Attach Files in Gmail

Justin Cener ~ Modified: July 3rd, 2024 ~ Tips ~ 6 Minutes Reading
Unable to attach files in Gmail? We got you! To tackle the problem, we have brought various solutions that you can opt for. Along with that, you can also check out the prominent reasons behind why you are unable to attach files to Gmail. So, sit tight and read through the entire blog post obtain the best solutions.
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Gmail is the world’s largest email service, thanks to its simplicity and features like offline email drafting and spam filtering. Gmail users sometimes face issues with the Attachment icon (a paperclip icon next to the Formatting Options icon). Many users complain about not being able to attach files in Gmail i.e., they can’t attach files to Gmail emails using the attachment icon or the drag-and-drop option. The following user queries highlight this issue in more elaborate words:

“I have been using Gmail for five years and never faced this attachment icon issue. Why is Gmail not allowing me to attach files to my emails? I don’t wish to switch to Outlook or Yahoo, so I hope this issue gets solved soon.” – Jamie Smith, Canada.
“Why can I not attach a file in Gmail emails? This problem has been hampering my work for the last few days. I have tried the drag-and-drop option as well, but still, I’m unable to add PDF or Word files to my emails. Any suggestions for solving this problem are highly appreciated.” – Lauren McDonald, New Zealand.

Are you unable to attach files to Gmail like other users? This blog post has the answers for getting rid of this issue. But first, let’s know the reasons behind this.

Reasons Why You Cannot Attach Files in Gmail

  • Unsupported Web Browser – The primary reason for the attachment icon not functioning is you are using an unsupported web browser. Gmail supports only Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari as the official web browsers. If you are using the current version of Gmail on an unsupported browser, you are bound to face the issue.
  • Account Storage is Full – Gmail account space getting full is another reason for the “unable to attach files to Gmail” error. This situation is so frequent that users often find their Gmail storage full even after deleting emails.
  • Unstable Internet Connection – Another reason for this issue is an unsteady internet connection. Your Gmail account may face internet issues due to a backend problem from your internet provider or a power failure where you live. You can’t attach files to your Gmail emails without stable internet connectivity.
  • Firewall or Antivirus Interruption – Another reason you may see a greyed-out Attachment icon for your Gmail account is your computer’s firewall or antivirus interruption. This interruption also becomes an obstacle in saving the attachment file as well due to which users cannot download Gmail attachments easily.
  • Browser Extension or Add-ons – An extension or add-on you have added to your web browser may lead to the “unable to attach files to Gmail” error. For instance, if you have enabled a Chrome extension for writing emails, then this extension may interfere with your Gmail account, leading to the issue.
  • Outdated Web Browser – Using an out-of-date web browser for accessing your Gmail emails is another cause for attachments not being added to your emails. You may also confront challenges in sending emails or even receiving new ones.

These reasons show the importance of having a working attachment icon for your Gmail account. The following section explains the solutions for resolving the issue, so keep reading the blog!

“Unable to Attach Files to Gmail” Error: Resolved

  • Clear Cookies and Cache Data
  • Update your Web Browser
  • Try Out Another Web Browser
  • Clear Out your Account Storage
  • Opt for an Expert-Suggested Solution [Discussed later iin the blog!]

Now, let us explain each of these solutions further in the blog post.

#1 Clear Cookies/Cache

Web Cookies and Cache are the chief components of any web browser, but having too much data stored through them slows down the browser, leading to problems like not being able to attach files in Gmail.

Clearing them will solve the “unable to attach files to Gmail” error and restore the attachment icon.

#2 Update Web Browser

Another solution to resolve this error is to update the web browser you are using to access your Gmail emails. Be it Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge, regularly updating the browser is the simplest solution to restore the greyed-out attachment icon.

You can update your preferred web browser by going into the Settings menu, selecting the About option, and checking for updates. Don’t forget to save any crucial Gmail account data before updating the browser!

#3 Try Another Web Browser

Using another web browser for accessing your Gmail emails is the third alternate solution for resolving the “unable to attach files to Gmail” error. If you use Google Chrome, try switching to Firefox or Edge to see if you can attach documents or images to your emails using the attachment icon.

#4 Clear Account Storage

Clearing your Gmail account storage is another way of solving the issue. Delete all the emails you don’t require with the attachments saved in Google Drive. Clearing the Spam and Trash folders is another way to create space for new emails and restore the functioning of the attachment icon.

Corbett Suggestion on Not Being Able to Attach Files in Gmail

If you’re worried about losing access to attachments due to Gmail issues, having a backup of your files can provide peace of mind. We recommended the Corbett Gmail Backup Tool to safeguard your mailbox data. The application offers you multiple advanced data filters with a separate option to extract attachments, email addresses & contacts from Gmail. Also, on December 2023 Google announced that they will be deleting inactive Google accounts. So, make sure you have a strong backup channel.

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So There You Have It

Many Gmail users complain that the file attachment icon greys out in the email composing window, hampering their productivity. This blog discussed the reasons for the “unable to attach files to Gmail” error, and the solutions mentioned here are perfect for resolving the error. Gmail users should implement these solutions according to their preferences, restore the attachment icon, and solve the issue.

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