Why Can't I Open Attachments of Yahoo Mail on My Cell Phone?

A failure to be able to open email attachments while using the Yahoo Mail application on your cell phone could be due to one of several issues, most of which can be easily fixed. Although most mobile phones support email applications from a variety of third-party clients, it is not uncommon to experience difficulty while opening attachments to these email programs’ email messages.

Boy with cell phone
Opening Yahoo Mail attachments can be problematic.
credit: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

File Type

To open a Yahoo Mail attachment using your cell phone, you must have an application installed on your device that supports the attachment’s file type. For instance, if you are attempting to open a Microsoft Word document attachment, you must have the mobile version of Microsoft Word installed on your mobile phone. Or, if you are attempting to open a PDF file, you must have an application that is able to read and display this type of file’s content. Some types of picture attachments, such as JPG, display within the body of the email, but if you want to open the file, you must have a picture-viewing application that supports JPG content.

Yahoo Mail

In spite of its convenience, the Yahoo Mail mobile application is subject to occasional malfunctions, which can be manifested in several ways, including not allowing you to open attachments. Typically, when the Yahoo Mail application malfunctions, you will experience a longer than usual wait time before a screen appears informing you the application has failed to execute the operation. At this point, you are given the opportunity to send an email notification directly to Yahoo to report the issue. Shutting the application down and restarting it can also help resolve email-related problems.

File Size

Although the regular online version of Yahoo Mail has no file size limitations, the mobile version of the application can because of the device’s available memory, which can prevent you from being able to open email attachments. For instance, if your cellphone has a limited amount of internal memory, you cannot open files that are larger than the amount of available memory. However, most mobile phones come with built-in card slots that support large amounts of expanded memory, which will increase the chances of opening large-sized email attachments.

Random-Access Memory

Random-access memory, better known as RAM, can also prevent you from opening a Yahoo Mail email attachment. RAM is the part of the phone’s internal memory that stores copies of application files for faster processing. If you go long periods of time without turning the phone off, the RAM can become full, at which point the phone begins to experience slow processing speeds. This can affect your ability to open file attachments. Turning the phone off and back on again clears the RAM and gives the device more room to perform its many functions, including opening attachments.