An ‘attachment’ is a file such as a document or a photo that’s attached to an email. Some viruses can be sent via an attachment, so it’s important to have up-to-date antivirus software if you are downloading attachments.
This guide shows you how to open an attachment using a Gmail account, but you’ll find this information relevant to most other types of email account.
a computer with internet connection
an email that is set up and ready to send and receive emails.
Follow these step-by-step instructions to open an attachment
Step 1: Log in to your email account.
Step 2: Make sure you’re in your inbox.
Step 3: An email with an attachment will have a paperclip icon next to it to show that there’s something attached to the email you’ve received. Click on the icon.
Step 4: The email will open up with the attachment shown at the bottom and you will be offered two options: view the attachment via an internet page or download the attachment to your computer. To download, click Download.
Step 5: Another box will pop up asking if you want to ‘Open’, ‘Save’ or ‘Cancel’ the download. Click Save.
You may see a box similar to this:
Step 6: Find a place to save your document and download it to your computer. Once the document has been downloaded, you may be offered another dialogue box with further options: open the document itself by clicking Open; or open the folder to which the document has been saved by clicking Open folder.
Step 7: Click Back to Inbox to go back to your list of received emails. You’ll now be able to access through your Windows folders the attachment saved on your computer .
Karen Maxwell is a Digital Unite tutor and assessor/trainer of computer accessibility.