The following guide provides you with instructions on how to restore Gmail email attachments that are not properly downloaded to your devices.
Mike, the Linux guy here on Ghacks, sends his articles to my Gmail account. I retrieve these emails using the Thunderbird email client, and that works pretty well usually.
Recently though I noticed that some of the files attached to his emails, images especially, were not downloaded properly anymore.
The low file size of 47 Kilobytes or less was a dead giveaway, as Mike's fullscreen desktop images had a size of more than 1 Megabyte usually.
When I opened the image attachments, all I got was some content at the very top, and a blank, seemingly corrupt area underneath that. It looked cut off already, and it was clear that the attachment was not downloaded properly to the device.
Emails take the following way if you download them using a third-party program on a device you use:
Things can go wrong when the email is downloaded on your device. The best way of finding out whether this is indeed the case, is to go to the Gmail website to find out if the file attachments are corrupt there as well, or if they are not.
So, simply open Gmail in your web browser of choice, sign in to your Google account if you are not signed in already, and either browse the list of emails, or use the search to find the particular email you are looking for.
Gmail displays all image attachments, and some other formats such as documents, as inline previews. This enables you to quickly assess whether a file attachment is corrupt or not.
As you can see on the screenshot above, only one of the three image attachments was indeed corrupt, while the two other ones showed up just fine on Google's servers.
You can then use the download button to download the working attachments to your system. They are not linked when you open the email message in the program you are using, but it is better than nothing.
Some email clients may allow you to retrieve emails again, but Thunderbird does not support the feature it seems.
There is only one thing that you can do if file attachments on Gmail are corrupt as well: notify the sender about this, so that the attachments are sent again.
One thing that you can do if this happens regularly is to use Google Drive instead for storing the attachments.
This has the effect that the files are not attached to the email which in turn means that corruption cannot occur anymore. You may add links to these emails that point to the files on Google Drive, so that the recipient can download them right away.
This is done in the following way on Gmail:
The email includes links that point to each file attached to it on Google Drive. A Google account is not required to view the files.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.