How To Open an Attachment in Email?

By Andrew Smith

Email users can paste letters, resumes and pictures in the text portion of a blank email template in order to send that information. Another way this information can be transmitted is through an email attachment. When you receive an attachment in an email, you are getting a copy of the original file. If you are new to email or email attachments, you may be unsure how to open these attachments. Regardless of which email service you use, you actually have the option of simply opening the attachment or saving the file to your computer.

Step 1

Log onto your email account. Click on the email that contains the attachment in order to open that particular email.

Step 2

Search for the attachment links. For most email accounts, these links will be found at the bottom of the email. Above those links will be the name of the file (e.g., attachment.doc).

Step 3

Select the "View as HTML" attachment link and the attachment will open in a new Web browser. The attachment will not be saved on your computer if you wish to view the file this way.

Step 4

Click on the "Download" attachment link. A box will appear. Select "Open With" in order to open the email attachment using a secondary program (such as Microsoft Word) or choose "Save File" in order to save the attachment to your computer. After you've made your selection, click "OK." If you chose to save the attachment, move on to the next step. Otherwise, the email attachment will automatically open.

Step 5

Double-click the name of the email attachment in the "Downloads" box that appeared after you chose to save the email attachment to your computer. Doing so will open the email attachment.

Tips & Warnings

  • It's wise to have an anti-virus program installed on your computer if you plan to open email attachments. This can help prevent any potential viruses from being saved onto your computer.
  • Never open an email attachment from a source you don't know or don't trust.