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How can I send a windows executable via Gmail?

Why doesn't Gmail allow to attach EXE files? It's very annoying.
Gmail even denies if I archive the .exe file to .zip.
Why did they decide to do that?

How do you do it when you want to attach an EXE file?

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    Since you are not comfortable with any of the solutions below(Mehper C. Palavuzlar's), I think you should ask the person in the receiving end to download necessary file from where you downloaded originally. – Chethan S. May 8 '11 at 15:27

Thanks to the new GMail AntiVirus Scanner, you cannot send or receive emails with exe, dll, ocx, com or bat attachments even if they are sent in a zipped (.zip, .tar, .tgz, .taz, .z, .gz) format (The .rar format is still allowed).

Since you cannot Turn Off GMail AntiVirus Scanning, you can use these GMail hacks to send program file (exe), virus samples and other blocked formats with GMail:

  1. Use a free file hosing online service like Rapidshare, Megaupload or Yousendit to upload your file and send the link of the uploaded file in your GMail message.

  2. Rename the file: Change the file extension to fool the GMail scanner. The new attachment could contain instructions making it easier for the recepient to derive the actuall attachment type. For instance,

    Rename Adobe-Reader.exe to Adobe-Reader.exe.removeme

  3. If you have lot of exe files to send, put them in a zip file and change the extension of the zip file as mentioned in the previous step. Remember that GMail denies zip attachments that contain exe files. Pass-Protection won't work either since GMail can examine exe filenames even in password protected zipped files as the archived filename listings are not encrypted by the Zip program.

  4. Use a different compression software like WinRAR which compresses files in .rar format. GMail is currently not scanning or blocking .rar filetypes. But there is a high probability that GMail might support rar formats in future. In that case, you can consider splitting the rar files and attaching them separately (like .r1, .r2..)

Important: I would recommend only the first technique since all others violate Google policies and Google could even terminate your GMail account.

Source: Attach and Send Any File Type with GMail Like EXE, ZIP, Videos; Trick GMail Antivirus Scanner

On 05/14/2012 (today), I attempted to upload a .rar file that contained a .vb file - one of Googles banned file types. gmail does not allow .rar files containing banned file types anymore either.

  • Thanks Mehper. IMO, tip1 has big drawback. It depends on other services. I want to save attachment file in gmail but not other service. tip2,3,4 makes people who receive mail uncomfortable. They should rename again, and have to install RAR if they don't have it. Any better idea? – Benjamin May 8 '11 at 13:10
  • @Benjamin: Sorry but I can't think of any other solutions better than these... – Mehper C. Palavuzlar May 8 '11 at 13:39
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    I don't think that you're violating anything.. (correct me if I'm wrong) It's against their policy to rename the files or use other archiving tools than Zip? They just want to protect the users by accidentally opening the file right away.. but if it is renamed is stopping being executable and it's up to the user what to do with the file! They are not going to terminate your account because of that..(I think) – Lipis May 8 '11 at 17:04
  • ya, we change zips to .piz files at work, and it seems fine – Neil McGuigan May 8 '11 at 18:59
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    @Mehper C. Palavuzlar: the .rar and .zip are no longer allowed with or without password and/or filename encryption. I had this problem and as someone suggested, .7z is they way to go. About the terminating your account because of policy violation: you should remember that the internet should be free, just create another email account and you're done. – machineaddict May 28 '15 at 9:56

Another method glossed over in @Mehper's article - zip it with a password. The .zip format supports encrypting the filenames in addition to the files, so gmail will not be able to tell the file contains an executable.

Just make sure you tell the recipient the password!

  • Pass-Protection won't work either since GMail can examine exe filenames even in password protected zipped files as the archived filename listings are not encrypted by the Zip program. – Mehper C. Palavuzlar May 8 '11 at 19:30
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    @Mehper: That is not true; I use this method to transfer .exe files through gmail. You just need to have a zip-program that supports encrypting the filenames as well (I know Winrar and Winzip do) – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft May 8 '11 at 19:48
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    ZIP files does not support filename protection by definition, no matter what software you use. You probably compressed your files to RAR that supports this feature. – Isaac Jun 1 '11 at 16:03
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    @Isaac: Nope, it's definitely zip. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jun 1 '11 at 16:46
  • @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft Open one of your password protected files in WinRAR - You'll be able to see the filenames before entering a password. It's part of the Zip file spec. It's possible that Google just sees the password and gives up, but the filenames are definitely not encrypted – Basic Jul 4 '16 at 16:15

Apart from the two answers already given...

I recommend simply giving a link to the original host of the EXE file, if it exists: you don't have to upload the file and if it gets shared again everyone will save on upload bandwidth and time. Makes it easier and faster for both ends if the file is already hosted somewhere.

Or, in case it's an original EXE that you've created, either get your own host or use a 3rd party service such as Dropbox or CloudApp. It will even look more professional, as it probably should be.

A last option would be using Google Docs. Hopefully this will get integrated with gmail someday.

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    +1 for Hopefully this will get integrated with gmail someday. – Benjamin May 12 '11 at 3:54

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