Take the 2-minute tour ×
Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I want to send a zipped file to someone with a Gmail account, but it doesn't arrive. I get a Delivery Status Notification (Failure).

So how can you configure Gmail to receive zip files?

PS the file doesn't contain a virus or other malware.

share|improve this question
Perhaps the zip is too large? IIRC the maximum attachment size for GMail is 25Mb. –  pritaeas Aug 15 '12 at 14:09
No, I tried several, one as small as 100K. But apparently, Gmail blocks incoming ZIP files by default. And I just want to know how to change that. The receiver already added me as a contact, but that didn't do the trick. –  Mr Lister Aug 15 '12 at 15:12
are you sure that the compressed file has not one of this extensions: "ade", "adp", "bat", "chm", "cmd", "com", "cpl", "exe", "hta", "ins", "isp", "jse", "lib", "mde", "msc", "msp", "mst", "pif", "scr", "sct", "shb", "sys", "vb", "vbe", "vbs", "vxd", "wsc", "wsf" y "wsh". All this files are blocked in Gmail, even if they are compressed –  elunicotomas Aug 15 '12 at 16:40
And how do you unblock them? –  Mr Lister Aug 15 '12 at 18:35
I know with rar that you can encrypt the filenames. Perhaps that and setting a password may work. Never tried this though. Or perhaps you can upload it to google docs. –  pritaeas Aug 15 '12 at 19:41

5 Answers 5

Google blocks a specific set of executable file types. Zip files are only blocked when they contain any of these file types or if they are encrypted and contain another zip file [source].

You can continue to send zip files by:

  • Not sending zip files containing executable files
  • Renaming the extensions for the executable files or the zip files (which then needs to be renamed back before use)

Some of the executable file types that are current blocked include:

.ade, .adp, .bat, .chm, .cmd, .com, .cpl, .exe, .hta, .ins, 
.isp, .jse, .lib, .mde, .msc, .msp, .mst, .pif, .scr, .sct, 
.shb, .sys, .vb, .vbe, .vbs, .vxd, .wsc, .wsf, .wsh

The compression formats that are evaluated include:

.zip, .tar, .tgz, .taz, .z, .gz, .rar
share|improve this answer
As of today, this no longer works for me. Nor can you download attachments previously sent to/through Gmail this way. Posted a product question here: productforums.google.com/forum/#!mydiscussions/gmail/… –  mcw0933 Oct 9 '14 at 19:31

Google blocks zipped files only if they contain executable (or other not allowed extensions) files. That's why some zip are accepted while other zips are blocked.

share|improve this answer
Perhaps you can add a refence to your question, with the not allowed extensions? –  Jacob Jan Tuinstra May 17 '13 at 8:25

I have had the same problem. My solution was to change the file name from .zip to .zzz.

The recipient then merely changes the file name back to .zip.

Recently however, My zip files have gone through. (I accidentally forgot to change the file name.) Maybe Google has relaxed their policy.

share|improve this answer
" Maybe Google has relaxed their policy." More likely your zip file just didn't contain one of the blocked file types. –  Al E. Dec 31 '14 at 17:56

There are many ways to get this but I finally found a quick way to get blocked file from Gmail. Instead download all mail to your computer and search again mails you want to download.

  1. Create a new label in gmail (ex: Downloads).
  2. Labels mails that you want to download with new label (Downloads in my case).
  3. Go to https://www.google.com/takeout. Then remove all option except Gmail and choose only label Downloads. Next, next to final steps.
  4. Finally, extract .zip file downloaded from step 3, you will get .mbox file. import it to Outlook or ThunderBirds.
share|improve this answer
The Asker is trying to send a zip file, not download one that was sent to them. –  Al E. Dec 31 '14 at 11:42

Configure your MS Outlook with gmail account. You will be able to send and access all attachments.

share|improve this answer
Some indication of how might improve this answer. –  pnuts Oct 19 '14 at 17:09

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.