Google is blocking an apk (signed) file that I’m trying to attach to an email. It was working fine till the day before yesterday.

Blocked for security reasons!

But now, even the previously sent email attached with apk can't be downloaded

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Is this an update of Gmail to block these types of files? Is anyone also having the same issue?

How can I send apk files (without changing the extension) through Gmail?

  • Upload it somewhere and send the link by email. That's how you send any file.
    – simlev
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 8:26
  • Yeah, I know that solution. I was looking for a way to directly attach the apk in my gmail email. Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 9:07
  • I totally understand your question. I was suggesting you always send any files by link. While emails can contain attachments, they are not optimized for file transfer. File size increases by almost 35% and every server has an often unpublished size limit.
    – simlev
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 9:30

4 Answers 4


Google is blocking the apk because it detects it as a virus even though it could be a false positive.

You can compress the file first see you can upload it, or even encrypt the apk with a password so that you can attach it to Gmail. You can use WinRAR or 7zip for that.

  • I know it is possible by changing the extension. I wanted to know if this recent change Google has done or what? Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 7:43
  • 1
    I'm not a Google employee, it could very well be that Gmail is scans the apk and then denying sending/upload to avoid spreading malware.
    – sudo
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 8:01
  • changing the extension no longer works. Commented Apr 9 at 19:15

Three methods for transferring touchy files on Gmail :

  1. Compress/zip with a password. This may involve compressing twice, because even with a password Gmail can still see the names of the contained files. So to be safe compress once without password, then compress again the archive with a password.
  2. Send via Google Drive using the "Insert files using Drive" button and upload the file (see article).
  3. A bit farfetched : Append the archive to a small image. Some archive managers like WINRAR can still open the mangled archive (see article).
  • Sending by changing the extension is known. But the issue is arising from some previous days. I want to be sure if this is some update from Google because I was able to send previously. Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 7:45
  • It is no wonder that .apk entered the list, as Google is doing its best to force the use of only its Play Store. If you are having this problem, everyone must be having it.
    – harrymc
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 7:59

Just rename the file so that it's extension is AP_. Gmail won't have a problem with this, and when the recipient gets this file, he need only rename it back to an APK extension.

  • LoL. This won't work. GMail doesn't care what the file name is, it does a file scan to determine the contents of the file. As of 2024, even trying to attach a 7Zip-encrypted APK won't work; GMail still detects the encrypted APK within and blocks the message. Commented Apr 9 at 19:14

It could be done by zipping the file after removing the extension and at remote end just append the extension after unzipping it..

  • Doesn't work. GMail is too intelligent for that. Commented Apr 9 at 19:14

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