How to Download Attachments on an iPhone

by Kefa Olang
Jupiterimages/ Images

IPhone can download and save email attachments such as music, videos and documents. Although you can view most attachments within the email, downloading them directly to your iPhone is useful if you want to review them later. As long as the attachment is in an iPhone-compatible format, downloading, saving and opening attached files is quick and simple.

Step 1

Open Mail on your iPhone by touching the "Mail" icon on the home screen.

Step 2

Touch the email containing the attachment to download. Emails with attachments have a paper clip icon indicating a file has been included with the email.

Step 3

Tap the attached file and wait for it to download and open with Quick Look, the iPhone's file display utility. To open the file with a specific app, touch and hold the attachment, and then select the app to use. If the attachment is a photo or video, touch and hold the attachment, and then select "Save Image or Video" from the drop-down menu. The file is saved to your Camera Roll.

Tap "Photos" from the home screen to open your Camera Roll and view your saved file.


  • If the attached file is in an incompatible format, it will not open. If Quick Look can't open it, it's in an incompatible format.
  • Currently, an iPhone can download and open attached documents in the following formats: .doc, .docx .htm, .html, .key, .numbers, .pages, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .rtf, .txt, .vcf, .xls and .xlsx. It also opens images and audio attachments only in the following formats. JPEG, GIF, TIFF, MP3, AAC, WAV and AIFF.


Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images

About the Author

Kefa Olang has been writing articles online since April 2009. He has been published in the "Celebration of Young Poets" and has an associate degree in communication and media arts from Dutchess Community College, and a bachelor's degree in broadcasting and mass communication from the State University of New York, Oswego.

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