Downloading this attachment is disabled in Gmail [FIX]

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Sometimes, Gmail blocks attachments because of certain extensions they consider harmful.
  • There are some workarounds to open these attachments, though, so keep reading below.
  • For other tutorials on almost everything software-related, see the Troubleshooting page.
  • Check out the full collection of articles on Email clients in the Web & Cloud Hub.
Downloading this attachment is disabled

The rise of Android as a most-used OS platform brought lots of users to Google’s native email client. Gmail looks great, works great, and it has a lot to look for ahead.

However, there are certain details that can draw negative feedback from its users.

Namely, security measures and virus detection is something on which Google has been working for a long time, but disabling access to attachments is rather unexpected.

Similar to other Google features, Gmail is sometimes too strict when it comes to certain security details.

Indeed, a lot of spam mail comes with attachments which, if accessed, can infect your system with various sorts of malware. Consequently, Gmail blocks attachments with certain extensions as they suspect those are the most dangerous. This especially applies to archived files.

On some occasions, the restrictions still apply even when the users confirm that the files come from a trusted sender. On that note, a lot of user’s reports state that they were unable to download the RAR archives within the attachments.

Luckily, there’s a way to access your files by extracting them from the Gmail client and we’re showing you how.

Quick tip:

If you’re tired of Gmail unexpected errors, there are many great alternative email clients available that you can try. And our top suggestion in this particular case is Mailbird.

Currently, Mailbird is one of the most popular email clients focused on increasing productivity rates.  The tool brings a lot of easy-to-set customizable features and options to serve the mentioned purpose.

This said, not only you get all your emails and contacts from multiple accounts in one single place. Mailbird also supports integration with most popular email clients, as well as with a lot of productivity apps like Google Calendar, Twitter, or Asana.



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How to open disabled/blocked attachments in Gmail

  1. Open Gmail client in the browser.
  2. Open the flagged mail and click on the menu and select Show Original.downloading this attachment is disabled gmail
  3. Right-click on the Download Original link and choose Save as… from the menu.downloading this attachment is disabled gmail
  4. Change the .txt extension to .eml and save it.
  5. Open the saved file with any other email client (e.g. Mailbird, as suggested above).downloading this attachment is disabled gmail
  6. Right-click on the attachment and choose Save.downloading this attachment is disabled gmail
  7. Save the archive and extract it in the preferred location.

That’s it. Using these steps you should be able to access files from any attachment in Google’s Gmail.

Finally, we hope this was a helpful read. If you’ve tried other ways to access blocked attachments in Gmail, make sure to tell us in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2018 and was completely revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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