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Since .apk is a regular executable file, I was more than sure that I will be able to trick mobile Gmail in the same way as I was able to trick PC version of Gmail years ago to force it to send a PC executable (.exe) which it prevented as well. Turned out, I was wrong.

Usually changing file extension to .dat or some other or compressing it with password (encrypting file) was enough for PC version of Gmail.

However, for mobile version, everything that I have ready at a hand and tried failed as well:

  • sending as plain file (obviously),

  • changing .apk extension to .dat or some other,

  • compressing with ZIP with no password,

  • compressing with ZIP (ultra compression) and encrypting archive with a password,

  • compressing with 7ZIP (ultra compression) and encrypting archive with a password,

  • using an 7 years old idea of double compression:

    • compress .apk file into .zip file without password,
    • compress resulting .zip file again into another .zip file with password / encryption.

If mobile Gmail is able to detect that I am sending .apk executable file even in 7zip compressed file with password (or it can prevent me from sending such file for any other reasons) do I have any option left? Is there any way to send .apk file over mobile Gmail (attach them to message composed in mobile Gmail)?

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  • If you pack it with 7zip and enable filename encryption everybody need to know the password to read anything from the created archive. Please note that your question is off-topic here as it can be shortened to "How do I send any data via GMail in a way that it can not be read by Google".
    – Robert
    Nov 3, 2020 at 8:23
  • Are other methods acceptable? Most of us just upload the APK to Google Drive, use the Share link, and state it on Gmail...
    – Andrew T.
    Nov 3, 2020 at 11:13
  • Try GPG encryption. Nov 3, 2020 at 11:26
  • @Robert I totally agree with you (on both solution and the fact that it makes my question off-topic), so I'll most likely VTC my own question as well. However, to clarify. Not every 7zip client offers this option. The one that I am currently using (Solid Explorer 2) does not. It only password-protects 7zip archives but does not use filename encryption and so, such files fails on Gmail.
    – trejder
    Nov 3, 2020 at 14:37
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    @trejder sir blocking .apk files and encrypted archives as email attachments is clearly mentioned in GMail policy: support.google.com/mail/answer/6590. No one here can help you with that. Better ask Google. What I suggested is definitely going to work (if email attachment is the only option you want to go with). It's because GPG encryption is very common in emails. Don't limit your options. Some explorer app can't be the ultimate solution to all of your problems. You may look for something else. E.g. use Termux or OpenKeychain for GPG/PGP encryption. Both are open-source and free. Nov 3, 2020 at 17:55

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Blocking .apk files and encrypted archives as email attachments is clearly mentioned in GMail policy:

To protect you against potential viruses and harmful software, Gmail doesn't allow you to attach certain types of files, including:
...

  • Password protected archives whose content is an archive

To protect your account, Gmail doesn't allow you to attach certain types of files...:
.ade, .adp, .apk, ...

So no one can help with that except Google. You can go with file sharing as suggested by others here, and Google as well:

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

Source: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6590

But if email attachment is the only option you want to go with, use GPG/PGP encryption which is very commonly used in emails, even to encrypt whole emails including subject and body. Many e-mail clients provide OpenPGP-compliant email security. On Android you can use Termux or OpenKeychain for GPG file encryption. Both are open-source and free (I've no affiliation with either).

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