How can I send an executable file

Send an exe file (etc.) through Gmail * without the recipient taking any special action

I read: How can I send a Windows executable through Gmail? (and similar questions here and on SO), but all of the answers I have come across depend on the email recipient doing something special, such as:

  • Change the file name extensions or
  • Access to cloud storage services.

First the link is to another cloud service Not the sending via Gmail . There are reasons why you might not want to use an outside service.

Second ... what about sending email to people who are not tech savvy?

There are many types of files that Google doesn't want attached directly (described here, but you should still be able to send them to one conscience Way,

  • Leaves them accessible to casual computer users (e.g. with possibly hidden file extensions)
  • does not require the use of other cloud services.


Create a self-extracting archive with 7-Zip, make sure it is password protected and the file names are encrypted:

Google doesn't recognize the inside and lets it through. The recipient just needs to know the password (don't send it with Gmail :)).

Gmail allows you to send EXE files. And you don't have to do anything outside of Gmail.

Instead of clicking the Clipper icon (attachment), click the disclosure triangle next to it (Google Drive icon). That's it - from then on it's more or less the same procedure.

Gmail doesn't allow any EXE attachments, but it does offer the ability to add / attach Google Drive files to your email.

Additional Information:
After clicking the Google Drive icon, simply select an already uploaded file or select it from your local files to upload it. If the recipient is not a Google / Gmail user, a private "share link" will be sent. If the recipient is a Google / Gmail user, the file will be further secured by assigning stricter permissions.

The following worked for me:

  1. Add your EXE file to a (new) encrypted ZIP file (the "inner file").

  2. Change the file extension from to. (Of course, other extensions will likely work as well. You could even create the extension!)

  3. "Adding" the ZIPX file to a (new) unencrypted ZIP file (the "outer file").

  4. Email the outer (.zip) file along with the inner file password.

That's it.

If you open the outer (.zip) file in Windows File Explorer, which is likely being used by a non-technical user, the inner (.zipx) file will automatically be recognized as a valid .zip file. That said, it can be opened by simply double-clicking it and entering the password when prompted.

You can change the extension if you want, but it is not mandatory !

This is what it looks like to the recipient after opening the ZIP file and then double-clicking the ZIPX file

All of the above answers (July 25th 13th through July 16th 13th) don't seem to work. It looks like Google has refined its filters so that it will recognize EXE files (and other executable files) in zip or other compressed files, even if they are renamed to a different file extension. Encrypting the file will immediately reject it, so this will not work. I even tried 7-Zip (.7z file extension) as that extension wasn't listed under the link that was in the top post on the Google support page ( 6590? Hl = de) is specified). But it was also discovered! (Also double-zipping the file, as suggested in the post of October 30, 13, does not work!) *

The following procedure worked for me: Take the exe file and compress it; Rename the zip file from .zip to .txt. Attach the "text" file (.txt) to an email and send it. (In the email, of course, describe what you did to have the recipient undo the steps!) I tested this by getting an email from my Yahoo! Mail account to my Gmail address and it worked!

I just (Nov 2015) sent a compressed folder (over 8MB when compressed) via Gmail by changing its file extension to .txt. Looks like it worked because I just opened the email from my Sent folder, downloaded the attachment, selected Show in Folder, changed the extension back to .zip, and started WinZip doing that apparently did not object. Too easy to be true

The trick is to just compress the already compressed file and Gmail won't recognize the exe file. To compress the already compressed file, simply add an additional file, e.g. For example, a text file, and then compress it.

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our website, to show you personalized content and targeted ads, to analyze our website traffic, and to understand where our visitors are coming from.

By continuing, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies and affirm you're at least 16 years old or have consent from a parent or guardian.

You can read details in our Cookie policy and Privacy policy.