Why does my Apple iPhone 7 won’t open email attachments and how to fix it? [Troubleshooting Guide]

Someone sent you an email containing an important file attachment. You tried to open the email on your iPhone 7 through the Mail app but for some reasons the attachment won’t open. What could have possibly gone wrong and what should be done as remedy? If you’re here while searching for answers to the same questions, then this content is for you. Read on to find out why you cannot open email attachments on your iPhone 7 and learn your options to troubleshoot the underlying cause.

Before we proceed with our troubleshooting, if you have other concerns with your phone, make sure you drop by our iPhone 7 troubleshooting page as we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that might be similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then feel free to contact us by filling up our questionnaire.

Possible reasons why you are unable to view file attachments through the iPhone 7 Mail app

Among the things that you need to consider when dealing with problems viewing email attachments on your iPhone are as follow:

  • The attachment is not compatible or not supported by the iPhone 7 mail app. Unsupported files won’t be able to open because there is no place for them to load on your iPhone in the first place. Let’s say for instance the attached file type is a compressed archive (BIN) which can only be read and used by CD-ROMs and Java. If there is no similar app on the iPhone can open that file, then you won’t be able to view it.
  • The attached file is corrupted or broken. Another possibility is the attached file might have been corrupted or broken so it won’t be able to load up completely. The same thing happens when an app gets corrupted. It may open but unable to work as intended. In this case, try to contact the sender and tell that person to create another email with the file attachment that’s working.
  • The file is too large. If your internal storage is already running low like when you’ve already downloaded many apps and multimedia contents, it is possible that the device itself is no longer able to allocate more files due to insufficient memory space. If the file attachment you are trying to open happens to be a large file, then it might be the main reason why you can’t download or view it on your iPhone. Try to free up some space by removing all unwanted contents then try to open the email attachment afterwards.
  • An email account problem. Problems like viewing file attachments can also be isolated to an email account. Sometimes, email accounts can become glitchy especially when bugged or afflicted by some malware. In this case, you may be able to fix the problem by deleting and re-adding the problematic email account on your iPhone 7.

Generally, all probable causes are related to the software so you’ll have a higher chance of fixing the problem on your end. Read on to learn your options.

How to fix your iPhone 7 that won’t open email attachment?

Here is a rundown of possible solutions you can try on if you wish to troubleshoot the problem right now.

Before troubleshooting be sure to check if the attached file is compatible or supported by the Mail app on your iPhone 7. To assist you further in checking the attachment’s compatibility, here’s a list of attachments that your iPhone supports:

  • Web pages in .htm and .html formats.
  • Word, PowerPoint and Excel files.
  • Apple Pages, Numbers and Keynote files.
  • Images with .jpg, .gif and .tiff extensions.
  • Adobe Acrobat PDFs.
  • Text files with .txt and .rtf extensions.
  • Contact files in the .vcf format.
  • ZIP files.
  • iCalendar .ics files.

If the attachment you are trying to view or open is not on the list, then that’s the problem. Unfortunately, Mail app doesn’t support the file so you’re likewise unable to view it. Your other option in this case is to use a different app or third-party email app that can open the attachment on your iPhone 7. If the attachment is supported but still won’t open, then proceed with the following troubleshooting procedures.

Make sure the download process is complete

You won’t be able to open or view an email attachment on your iPhone until it has downloaded completely. If you see that the attachment is still Downloading or when the download circle is not yet complete, then wait until it finished before opening the file. Large files may take longer to download completely so be patient. If the download takes too much time than usual, try to pull down on your iPhone’s screen to refresh the Mail app. If that doesn’t work either, proceed to the next method.

Exit Mail app then launch it again

Similar to other apps, the Mail app can also succumb into minor glitches thus it may be a little buggy at times. To rectify the glitch, try to close the app and then open it again. That will give the app a fresh start. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press the Home button to exit the app.
  2. Double-tap the Home button.
  3. Navigate to the Mail app in the list of recently closed apps then swipe it up.

After a few seconds, restart the Mail app then try to open the attachment again. If the problem persists, continue to the next method.

Reboot your iPhone 7 (soft reset)

Minor software glitches are often rectified by a reset on the device so if you haven’t already, give it a shot then see what happens. A soft reset won’t affect any data stored on your iPhone so it’s safe.

  • To restart your iPhone 7, press and hold the Power button for a few seconds until the Slide to Power Off screen appears. Drag the slider to power off your device completely. After 30 seconds, press the Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

In the case where your device becomes unresponsive as the Mail app gets frozen, you can do a force restart instead. It works the same as soft reset but only that the reboot is done with the hardware keys.

  • To force restart your iPhone 7, press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously for about 10 seconds and then release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

In some cases, you may need to press the buttons a little longer like 20 to 30 seconds until the Apple logo shows up on the display.

After it boots up completely, try to open the Mail app then open the email with the attachment you wish to view. Try viewing it again and see if you are able to do so.

Troubleshoot your email account

If none of the prior methods is able to fix the problem, then it’s time to scrutinize your email account. There is a possibility that the main issue lies within the email account itself and that is what we are going to find out next. If the attachment problem only occurs on one email account, then try to delete the problematic account from your iPhone and then re-add it. Make sure you take note of your email account password before removing it because you’ll need it later when re-adding the add. Proceed with these steps whenever you’re ready:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll to and tap Mail.
  3. Tap Accounts.
  4. Tap the email account you want to remove or delete.
  5. Tap Delete Account.
  6. Tap Delete from My iPhone to confirm action.

The email account will then be removed. Reboot (soft reset) your iPhone 7 then add the email account again. Here’s how:

  1. Head over to Settings-> Mail-> Accounts-> then tap Add Account. If you’re iPhone is already running the latest iOS 11 platform, you may notice some changes on the menu options.
  2. In this case, try to go to Settings-> Accounts & Passwords-> then tap Add Account.
  3. Select your email provider from the list then follow these onscreen instructions to complete the email account setup process.

Once you’re done setting up your email account, you’ll see mails populating your Inbox. Try to open the email containing the attachment you want to view. See if you are now able to view the attached file.

Seek more help

If none of the prior methods is able to fix the problem and that you are still unable to view or open the email attachment on your iPhone 7, then your next option is to contact your email provider and ask further assistance and other options. They may be able to reset your email account if necessary using appropriate tools on their end. Or you may also try to use third-party email app to view the attachment instead.

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