Where is my e-mail attachment saved after it is opened?

Updated: 04/01/2018 by Computer Hope

EmailThe location in which an e-mail is saved after it has been opened depends on the e-mail service or program. Choose yours from the list below and follow the instructions to locate your downloaded e-mail.

Tip: After an e-mail (online services only) has been downloaded, it can be accessed via the Downloads folder in any major browser by pressing Ctrl+J.

Online services like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Outlook.com

For online e-mail programs like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail (Outlook online), if a message that contains an attachment, it will look similar to one of the images below.

A few examples of e-mail attachment icons.

After downloading the attachment, you may view it by pressing Ctrl+J in any major browser. Once the attachment is open, you should move or save the file to another folder on your computer so that you can easily find and open it again if needed.

Outlook, IncrediMail, and Thunderbird

For many e-mail programs, those installed on your Windows computer locally (e.g., Microsoft Outlook, Eudora, IncrediMail, and Thunderbird), a folder is created for storing attachments to messages. This folder can be located within the User profile folder structure, usually in C:\Users\<profile_name>\ for Windows Vista and later, or in C:\Documents and Settings\ for Windows XP, and then in either the AppData or Application Data folder. While the attachments could be stored there long term, it is technically a temporary storage location.

Tip: If you have opened the attachment and need to edit or move the file, make sure to choose the Save As option and save the file to a more permanent location.

Attachment security concerns

If you receive an e-mail attachment from someone you do not know, don't open any attachments without scanning it for viruses or malware with an antivirus program. If a file contains malware, it will infect your computer once it's opened. The best practice for e-mail attachments is to not open the file from senders you do not know or attachments you are not expecting.

Additional information