Why Can’t I Attach Files in Gmail and How to Fix This

Gmail makes attaching files to your emails pretty easy. All you have to do is drag and drop the file to 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 face issues since Gmail won’t attach files to their emails for some reason.


The fastest way to deal with this problem is to use another email account from a different service provider. Another way can be to upload the file on different cloud storage like Dropbox or even Drive and then share a public link. Meanwhile, let’s find out why this is happening and how to fix it.

Why Can’t I Send Attachments in Gmail

Here are some of the possible reasons why you cannot attach files in Gmail on mobile or desktop.

  • The attachment size is too big to be included in your email.
  • Your internet connection is not working properly.
  • The file extension of your attachment is not supported by Gmail.
  • You have not enabled storage permissions for the Gmail app on your mobile.
  • Your Gmail cloud storage is full.

Let us now start with the solutions to fix this problem of Gmail not letting you attach files.

1. Gmail Attachment Limits

Gmail might be the king of email service providers, but it does have its limits. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Total attachment size is restricted to 25MB (includes all files attached)
  • Executable files ending in .EXE are not allowed for security reasons
  • The list of supported browsers only includes Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Safari

Gmail will automatically upload the file to Google Drive and add a link to it instead of the attachment size going beyond what is prescribed. You can check the composed mail for Google Drive links.

2. Check Your Gmail Cloud Storage

The next reason why you cannot attach your file in Gmail is because you have reached the storage limit on your Gmail account. Your Gmail account offers 15GB of free cloud storage for your emails and Google Drive. So if you have reached the storage limit, you need to remove some email conversations from your inbox to free up space. You can read our post to learn how to mass delete emails in Gmail.

3. Clear Cache and Cookies for Gmail

If you are still unable to attach files to your Gmail, try clearing the Cache and Cookies in your browser on your computer or for the Gmail app on your Android. Cache and Cookies are meant to improve your browsing experience but can get corrupted over time. You can remove them and log in again to your Gmail account to check if the problem gets solved.

You can check our posts to learn how to clear cache and cookies in Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox.

For Gmail users on Android, here’s how to clear the app cache.

Step 1: Long-press the Gmail app icon and tap on App Info.

app info gmail android

Step 2: Select Storage and Cache from the list of options.

storage and cache gmail android

Step 3: Tap on Clear Cache.

clear cache gmail android

Step 4: Close App Info and open Gmail to check if the problem gets solved.

open gmail android

Do note that there is no option to clear cache and cookies for the Gmail app on iPhone. You can just delete and reinstall the app.

4. Update Your Web Browser and Gmail App

If your Gmail account is still not sending emails with attachments, try updating the web browser and Gmail app on your mobile.

Update Google Chrome

Step 1: Open Google Chrome on your computer and click the three dots in the top-right corner.

three dots chrome browser mac

Step 2: Select Help and click on About Google Chrome.

about google chrome 1

Step 3: If a new version is available, click on Relaunch to install it.

relaunch chrome to update mac

Step 4: Once done, check if the problem is solved.

Update Safari

Step 1: Press Command + Spacebar on your Mac to open Spotlight Search, type Check For Software Updates, and press Return.

check for software updates mac

Step 2: If an update is available, download and install it.

Step 3: Once done, relaunch Safari and check if the problem is solved.

open safari on mac

You can use the following links to update Gmail on iPhone or Android.

5. Switch to Basic Gmail

6. Try Incognito Mode

If you are using too many browser extensions, one of those extensions could be interfering with or breaking Gmail functionality. Open an Incognito or private browsing window on your browser and sign in to your Gmail account again. Then, check if the issue of the Gmail attach button not working is fixed.

Fix Gmail Wont Attach Files Error 4

7. Storage Permissions

Gmail needs storage permissions to access and attach files from your mobile device. Here’s how to check the same on your Android or iPhone.

On Android

Step 1: Long-press the Gmail app icon and select App Info.

app info gmail android

Step 2: Tap on Permissions.

permissions gmail app info android

Step 3: Select Files and Media from the list of options.

files and media gmail app info android

Step 4: Tap on ‘Allow Access to Media Only’.

allow media access gmail app info android

Step 5: Close App Info and open Gmail to check if the problem is solved.

open gmail android

On iPhone

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone and select Gmail.

Step 2: Tap on Photos at the top.

photos gmail settings iphone

Step 3: Allow permission to access your photos.

allow file access gmail iphone

Step 4: Close Settings and open Gmail to check if the problem is solved.

open gmail on iPhone

8. Corrupt Files

Are you sure that the files you are trying to attach are not corrupt? If your multiple attachments in Gmail are still not working, we recommend using an app like Malwarebytes to check the integrity of your files.

Fix Gmail Wont Attach Files Error 5

Right-click on the file and select Scan with Malwarebytes. You should try out the free version of Malwarebytes on your Windows 11 PC or Mac.


1. Can I send videos in Gmail?

Yes, you can send videos via Gmail. Just ensure that they are below 25MB in size. Otherwise, they will get shared as Google Drive links.

2. Can I upgrade my Gmail account storage?

You can use the Google One subscription to add extra storage to your Gmail account.

3. Can I add my Outlook account to Gmail?

You can log in with your Outlook account using the Gmail app on mobile or by accessing Gmail on your computer.

Google Mail

These solutions will help you to fix attach not working in Gmail. But there are so many ways to send a file today that this shouldn’t be a major issue. You can’t attach large files to Gmail email anyway. There are cloud storage service providers and file-sharing platforms to choose from. You have to be patient and choose one that works for you.

Last updated on 29 September, 2023

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