Google Gmail Logo on Rainbow Background

In Google Chrome 90 and later, you can attach files to an email in Gmail by copying the file in your file manager in Windows, Mac, Linux, or Chrome OS and pasting it into the email window. Here’s how to do it.

How It Works

Chrome 90 includes an experimental flag called “Clipboard Filenames.” When this flag is enabled, you can attach files to your email in Gmail by just pasting the file (as in pasting a file in your file manager using Ctrl+V or Command+V).

This flag is supposed to work on Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, and Android. We tested it on our Windows and Mac machines and it worked just fine on Windows. For some reason, it didn’t work on our particular Mac. Since this feature is still experimental, any current issues with the feature may change in future updates to Chrome.

How to Quickly Paste Attachments into Gmail

If you want to try this feature, you’ll have to update Chrome to make sure that you have version 90 or later. Then launch it.

RELATED: How to Update Google Chrome

In the Chrome window, click the address bar at the top. Type the following and press Enter:


Type "chrome://flags" into Chrome's address bar

The “Experiments” tab will open. In the search box at the top of the page, type this:

Clipboard filenames

Search for Clipboard filenames in Chrome's "Experiments" tab.

In the search results, click the drop-down menu beside “Clipboard filenames” and select “Enabled.”

Enable "Clipboard filenames" in Chrome's "Experiments" tab.

To make this change take effect, you’ll have to restart Chrome. Click “Relaunch” at the bottom of the Chrome window.

Chrome will quickly restart. In any Chrome tab, visit the Gmail site. Click “Compose” in Gmail to compose a new email.

Next, open your computer’s file manager and find the file that you want to add as an attachment to your email. Use File Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac to do this.

Right-click your file and select “Copy.”

Select "Copy" from your system's file manager context menu.

Now, switch back to Chrome. In the “New Message” window, right-click the area where you type the body of your email message and select “Paste” from the menu. Alternately, you can click the body area and press Ctrl+V (on Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS) or Command+V (on Mac) to paste the attachment file.

After pasting, you’ll see the attachment file listed at the bottom of the “New Message” pop-up window.

When you paste non-image files into Gmail's compose window, they will appear in a list at the bottom of the message.

If you paste an image file, it will appear in-line. This means that the image will be displayed within the email text and won’t be treated as an attachment. If this is a problem, click the paperclip icon in the “New Message” window and attach the file using the traditional method.

And that’s it! Attach as many files as you like using this method. Speaking of Gmail attachments, did you know that you can save your Gmail attachments to Google Drive? That way, you can access them from any supported device.

RELATED: How to Save Gmail Attachments to Google Drive

Profile Photo for Mahesh Makvana Mahesh Makvana
Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
Read Full Bio »