How to download a file with Anti-virus warning on Gmail [updated April 2017]


Yesterday, I was searching in my Gmail for old files that I wanted to download. Once the email opened, I had a particular surprise: Anti-virus warning – 2 attachments contain a virus or blocked file. Downloading these attachments is disabled.


Why do we have this anti-virus warning?

Like I said, this error was kind of surprising since I know for sure those files don’t contain viruses. After reading the Learn more link, I realized that those files were marked as a virus because they contained another .zip file in it. According to this link again, it is also possible to have a file blocked if it figures in the list of the Gmail blocked file type (for example a .bat file). You can take a look to the banned files type list here.

I think this is good that an anti-virus has been implemented into Gmail, but it should let the user choose if they want to be able to download their files anyway. They should only put a warning and let the download happens if this is what the user want. Since this is not the case, we need to think outside of the box to be able to download those files!

How to download the blocked files anyway

UPDATE: My original solution doesn’t seems to work anymore. You can still find it at the bottom of this page, but I updated this post with a new solution.

Available solutions:
1- Save email and open it in Outlook or any other email client (new solution, working)
2- Enable Google Drive button (doesn’t work anymore?)

Method 1: Save email and open it in Outlook

1- Click on the “More” arrow at the top right of the email and click on “Show original”.


2- Click on “Download original” at the bottom left.


3- Save the file as “email.eml“. The file extension needs to be .eml.

4- Open the file with outlook, or any other email client. You will now be able to download your files.


UPDATE: I will include Sara’s comment here, since it seems to have helped many people.
I tried this and it worked ;). Just open the email on gmail app. Here you can download the files without restrictions, then just send the files from your phone to your PC using USB conection or another message app which allows to attatch documents (like whatsapp or telegram). Hope it helps! 😉


Method #2: Enable Google Drive button and save file to drive (outdated)

When I saw this error yesterday, I first made a Google search to try to find a solution. I fall into many blog posts with solutions which weren’t working for me, or was simply too much work. Since I’m lazy, I tried to find a solution that could be simpler and I found one. To download your blocked files, simply follow the following steps.

1- Hover your file, right click on the download button and select Inspect in the menu.


2- The inspector will then show up with the element selected. Below the selected element, you will have a div with the title Save to drive. Select that element.


3- Now, double click on the style attribute of the element. The style attribute should be selected. Erase it by pressing the backspace.


4- Now go back in your browser and hover your file again. The save to drive button should have appears. Click on it and the file will be saved in your Google drive!


5- Tadaaaa. Go on Google drive and you should have no problems to download your file from there now.


I hope this little trick will help you have a better day!