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10/20/14
Original Poster
Ryan Marin

How to download attachments deemed as viruses

I have old source code saved for years in my gmail. Just recently I've not been able to download my source code because the .zip or .tar.gz has binaries as well from the build. I'm kind of frustrated that something like this can happen without my consent.
 
Right now it's saying that my files contain viruses which I know not to be true because it's source code that I've written and compiled. When I uploaded them Gmail didn't have policies on binaries.
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All Replies (6)
bkc56
10/20/14
bkc56
Google appears to have changed it’s attachment policy causing past attachments to no longer download or be sent.  The following options may allow access to these lost attachments.
1.  Connect an e-mail client (like Outlook or Thunderbird) to your Gmail account (I'd suggest POP3) to download the messages.  Once on your computer, you should be able to access them.
2.  Use a Gmail backup/restore utility to backup everything on your computer where you should be able to get to the attachments:  https://github.com/jay0lee/got-your-back/wiki - free Gmail backup/restore utility, currently command-line only
3.  Use Google Takeout to create an archive of your Gmail account.  But it's not totally clear what to do next once you have that archive on your computer.
4.  Use a tool like the following that allows one to download attachments to your computer:  http://download.cnet.com/Mail-Attachment-Downloader/3000-2369_4-10971605.html
lossanaght
10/23/14
lossanaght
I have the exact same problem. Were you ever able to download the attachments?
bkc56
10/24/14
bkc56
I have the exact same problem.

Then I'm sure your will be interested in reading what was already posted above.
lossanaght
10/24/14
lossanaght
Interested yes, but the information is incomplete. It would have been nice to have some assurance I wasn't wasting my time.
 
I tested the GYB option https://github.com/jay0lee/got-your-back and it does indeed download the messages with MIME attachments inline. But it does not decode them into binary files. So I pasted together some python examples from around the web and now have my long lost files. The script is attached, but don't anyone download it... it's executable and might harm your computer :P
 
The command I used was of the form:
gyb.exe --email your...@gmail.com --action backup --batch-size 10 --search "has:attachment"
 
The script should be run from the same directory as the gyb.exe. It makes a folder called "attachments" with subfolders for each email containing the decoded files.
 
I normally like new features in gmail, and I understand the good intentions here but this is pretty annoying. Since the "download anyway" option probably isn't coming back, my preferred solution would be to move files affected by the implementation change to a folder marked "unsafe attachments" in my google drive and let me decide what is and isn't a virus.
bkc56
10/24/14
bkc56
So I pasted together some python examples from around the web and now have my long lost files.

VERY cool.  Thanks for posting this.  I'm going to add a pointer to your post for people who do not have an e-mail client installed to read the messages as downloaded by GYB.  Your script will replace that missing link for people.
lossanaght
10/24/14
lossanaght
Looks like I didn't post the last version of the script I used, this one keeps going if there are errors and it cleans up some invalid characters in file names. The directory it runs in should actually be the backup folder GYB creates (the one with the sqlite database and folders). Hope this helps someone out.
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