Why is my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 unable to open or view email attachments and how to fix it? [Troubleshooting Guide]

There are several reasons why you may not be able to open or view an email attachment on your mobile device. It can be due to an issue with the email server, the email app, unsupported file type, as well as bugs and glitches on the device firmware. To sum it up, the underlying cause can either be within the app or device firmware itself.

In response to our readers’ query as to why email attachments won’t load or open on the Galaxy Note 8, I have explicated the common culprits along with a rundown of potential solutions and workarounds to applicable when troubleshooting the problem. Read on to learn what prevents you from opening or viewing email attachments on your Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and what needs to be done on your end as remedy.

Before we move on to our guide, if you have other issues with your device make sure you visit our Note 8 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. Find problems that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then fill up our questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

Possible reasons why you cannot open or view email attachments on your Galaxy Note 8

As mentioned earlier, several factors can lead you towards having this issue. So let’s get started and tackle them one by one. Among the possibilities is that the attached file may not be supported by your device. This means that there might be no compatible application or tool installed on your phone that is able to open the file type attached in the mail. Usually, you’ll get an alert message saying so in this case. So let’s say for instance the attachment is a PDF file and you don’t have a PDF viewer installed on your device. Apparently the attached file will not open because no app is recognizes it in the first place. As resolution, you’ll have to install the required software to view and access the email attachment on your Galaxy Note 8.

The same thing can happen when the attached file happens to be corrupted. Even if there is a compatible software or app on your phone that is capable of running it, the attachment may still not be accessible because it is broken. You may be able to download it but most likely you’ll be prompted with an error the moment you tried to open it.

Software bugs affecting the device firmware can also prevent certain file attachments from loading through the Mail app or other particular email application in use. This typically occurs when a faulty update is installed. Generally all these possible causes are software-related thus you’ll likely be able to fix them when you troubleshoot.

Should you wish to proceed with problem troubleshooting, read on to learn what options you have as potential solutions.

What to do if you cannot view or open email attachments on your Samsung Galaxy Note 8?

Highlighted below is a rundown of applicable workarounds and potential solutions for you to try on. Be sure try opening the problematic email attachment after performing each method to determine if the problem is already fixed. Otherwise, proceed to the next possible solution.

Troubleshoot your email app

Again you have to note that the main issue can either be within the device firmware or email  app in use. Thus, these should be the first things you should consider looking into beforehand. Among the most commonly used email apps are Gmail, Outlook, Mailbox. If you are using other email clients than the ones mentioned, consider it among them then begin troubleshooting the app with the following workarounds:

Quit and restart the email app. To rule out the possibility of a random glitch preventing you from opening the email attachment, restarting the email app can help rectify that glitch and get your email back up and working as intended. Restarting the app also clears up any glitch from the app. With that said, close your email app and then open it again. Once it fully restarts, try to open the email containing the attachment that you want to view and then see if you are now able to open or access the file.


  • From any screen, press the Recent apps key, located on the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • To close an individual recent application, touch an application (email app) from the list and drag it to the right or left or tap the ‘X‘.
  • To close all recent applications, tap the Clear all icon.


Download the necessary software to view or open the attached file (if necessary). File attachments must be in formats which your device recognizes, otherwise, you won’t be able to view or open these files. In the case where the file attachment is not supported on your device like when the required app is not installed, verify what type of file the email attachment is then try to look for a compatible application that can process the file. You will know what type of file an email attachment is by looking on the filename extension or like filename.pdf (PDF file) or filename.bmp (bitmap image), etc. In this case, you need to access Google Play Store to look for the required software or application.


Update your email app. Developers usually rollout periodic updates to keep their apps optimized and stable. Other updates are also pushed to keep apps at pace with the new changes brought by new versions of Android firmware issued. If an app is not set to automatically install updates, then you need to configure it manually instead. Here’s how:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Play Store.
  3. Tap the Menu key and then tap My Apps. To keep your apps automatically updated, tap the Menu > Settings then tap Auto-update apps to select the check box.
  4. Choose one of the following options:
  5. Tap Update [xx] to update all applications with updates available.
  6. Tap an individual application (your email app) and then tap Update to update a single application.

Clear cache and data from your email app. Temporary files stored on the email app as cache can also caused pertinent issues to arise. When some files in the email app gets corrupted, the app’s overall function might as well be affected. Thus, getting rid of these corrupted contents is necessary. Follow these steps to clear cache and data from your Galaxy Note 8 email app.

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Apps.
  3. Tap the desired application in the default list or tap 3 dots icon > Show system apps to display pre-installed apps.
  4. Tap Storage.
  5. Tap Clear data and then tap OK.
  6. Tap Clear cache.

Uninstall and reinstall your email app (if applicable). If clearing cache and data on the app doesn’t do any good, it’s possible that the email app itself gets corrupted thus unable to perform specific functions like opening email attachments. Should this be the case, uninstalling and reinstalling the email app can potential fix it. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Apps.
  3. Tap the desired application in the default list or tap 3 dots icon > Show system apps to display pre-installed apps.
  4. Tap the desired application (email app).
  5. Tap Uninstall.
  6. Tap Uninstall again to confirm.

Remove and set up your email account again. If none of the prior methods is able to fix the problem and that you still cannot open or view email attachments, then you should now consider removing and re-adding your email account. It is possible that the email account itself is the problem and therefore needs to be reset or set up as new. Before you remove your email account, be sure to take note of your account information as you’ll be needing it later during the email account setup process. Once everything is set, proceed with these subsequent steps.

Steps to remove your email account:

  1. Tap Apps from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Scroll to and then tap Accounts.
  4. Tap the Email account that you are having trouble with.
  5. Tap More.
  6. Tap the option to Remove account.

If the email you received through that account is using an app that is downloaded from Google Play Store or Samsung apps, tap Settings-> Applications-> Application Manager. Then search for the email app you used like Yahoo Mail, for example. Finally, tap the Uninstall button to remove the email app.

To add the account again, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Apps-> Settings-> Accounts-> then tap Add account option beneath your other accounts on the settings menu.
  2. Select Email.
  3. Enter the information to register the email account again.

If you are using a third-party email app, then you can just install the apps and set up the account again.

Once the account has been successfully setup, restart your Galaxy Note 8 then retry to open the attachment in the email message.

Troubleshoot your device.

If the problem persists after troubleshooting the email app and your email account, then your next option is to troubleshoot your Galaxy Note 8. Something in your device might have inflicted problems on the email app and thereby affects some of the app’s functions, particularly on email attachment processing. To eliminate this from the possible culprits, you can try the following workarounds. Before you do anything else, make sure that your Galaxy Note 8 firmware is updated. Otherwise, consider installing the latest update available.  If your device firmware is already up-to-date and the problem persists, try these methods.

Perform a soft reset. A soft reset r reboot on the device can help rectify minor glitches causing the device or an app to become rogue or dysfunctional at times. If this is the first time you encounter problem viewing or opening email attachments on your Galaxy Note 8, restarting the phone might be the remedy.  

In the case where the device becomes unresponsive as the email app crashes or misbehaves, a force restart would be necessary. Similar to a soft reset, a force restart will not affect any data stored on your device thus it’s likewise safe.  Here’s how to force your Galaxy Note 8 to restart, if necessary:

  1. Press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously for about 10 seconds until the device powers off.
  2. Wait until the Maintenance Boot Mode screen appears.
  3. On the Maintenance Boot Mode screen, select Normal Boot option.
  4. You can use the Volume buttons to scroll through the menu options and the lower left button below the Volume button to select.
  5. Wait until your device has completed the reset.

Wipe cache partition. Some device issues are triggered by complex bugs infiltrating certain partition of your phone system. In this case, wiping the cache partition can be the required solution. Unlike a master reset, wiping cache partition won’t erase your critical data saved on your phone. However, creating a backup of your data on the internal memory is still highly recommended before you proceed with these steps:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  4. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe cache partition‘.
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key until ‘yes’ is highlighted and press the Power button.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

After the restart, open the email app and try to access the file attachment to see if you are now able to do so.

Factory reset (optional). Consider a factory reset or master reset as your last resort  if wiping the cache partition fails to eradicate the glitch and that you still cannot open email attachment on your Galaxy Note 8. Most likely what you are dealing with is a complex firmware issue that can only be remedied by a complete reset on the device. You have to note though that all your personal information will be erased in the process. Should you wish to proceed with a master reset, backup your device before you proceed with these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > Cloud and accounts.
  3. Tap Backup and restore.
  4. If desired, tap Back up my data to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  5. If desired, tap Restore to move the slider to ON or OFF.
  6. Tap the back button to the Settings menu and tap General Management > Reset > Factory data reset.
  7. Tap Reset to confirm.
  8. If you have screen lock turned on, enter your credentials.
  9. Tap Continue.
  10. Tap Delete all

You will need your Google credentials to complete the master reset if anti-theft is enabled on your device or if you have signed to your Google account on your phone..

Seek further assistance

Still cannot open or view email attachments on your Galaxy Note 8?  If so, then contact your email provider support team, escalate the problem and try to ask further assistance in performing advanced troubleshooting methods using the necessary email processing tools on their end. If you have ActiveSync or MS Outlook as your email client, you may contact Microsoft support or Google Support if you are using a Gmail account. They will most likely be able to do something on their end like reset your email account settings with a dedicated email software. In the case where the problem instigated after installing a software update  on your Galaxy Note 8 or mail app update, you may have to consider contacting Samsung Support for more help and other options. It’s possible that the update has messed up device firmware or the mail app structure, thus preventing you from viewing or accessing email attachments.

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1 thought on “Why is my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 unable to open or view email attachments and how to fix it? [Troubleshooting Guide]”

  1. None of these solutions were effective. Neither my Galaxy S8 nor my Tab S2 allow a attachment (e.g. pictures or PDF files) to be downloaded and/or moved to device storage folders. BOTH were recently capable of this seemingly easy task, but now both fail in the identical manner. The ONLY way I can add pictures or PDF documents is to connect each Galaxy device to my PC or laptop via USB. Then and only then am I able to copy desired files to the phone or tablet.

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