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File types blocked in Gmail

There are a number of reasons why you may see the 'This message has been blocked because its content presents a potential security issue' error in Gmail. Gmail blocks messages that may spread viruses, such as messages that include executable files or certain links.

Messages that have attachments

To protect your account from potential viruses and harmful software, Gmail doesn't allow you to attach:

  • Certain types of files, including their compressed form (such as .gz or .bz2 files) or when found within archives (like .zip or .tgz files)
  • Documents with malicious macros
  • Password-protected archives with archived content

Tip: If you try to attach a document that is too large, your message won't send. Learn more about attachments and file size limits.

File types that you can't include as attachments

To protect your account, Gmail doesn't allow you to attach certain types of files. Gmail often updates the types of files not allowed to keep up with harmful software, which is constantly changing.

File types blocked by Gmail are: 

.ade, .adp, .apk, .appx, .appxbundle, .bat, .cab, .chm, .cmd, .com, .cpl, .dll, .dmg, .ex, .ex_, .exe, .hta, .ins, .isp, .iso, .jar, .js, .jse, .lib, .lnk, .mde, .msc, .msi, .msix, .msixbundle, .msp, .mst, .nsh, .pif, .ps1, .scr, .sct, .shb, .sys, .vb, .vbe, .vbs, .vxd, .wsc, .wsf, .wsh

Tip: If you're sure that the file is safe, you can ask the sender to upload the file to Google Drive. Then send it as a Drive attachment.

Messages that don't have attachments

Sometimes, messages are blocked when you don't include any attachments.

This can happen when you include content, images or links that might share viruses.

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