The GMail app in Android pretty much offers the best Gmail experience possible on any mobile device. Considering Google owns both Gmail and Android, this should come as no surprise.
However, one sore point of the Gmail app for Android is its insanely stupid file type download restriction. The app only allows certain email attachments to be downloaded on any Android device including docs, PDFs, APKs and images. For pretty much any other file attachment, including ZIP files, the Gmail app will not allow users to download it because the file type is natively not supported in Android.
While Google may have done it for safety reasons, it can frustrate a lot of people when they find out they cannot download a simple file on their so called ‘smartphone’.
Thankfully, thanks to Android’s open nature, an app or plugin can register itself as the default intent for all the various file types, indirectly allowing the Gmail app to download the files.
How To Download Unsupported Files From The Gmail App In Android
Step 1: Head over to the Play Store and install ‘Download All Files‘.
Step 2: The app acts as a plugin to the Gmail app, and there is no way to start it.
Step 3: Once you have installed the app, you can open any unsupported file format from Gmail directly into the app and then save it on your phone’s SD card. To do so, click on the ‘Preview’ button in Gmail. Download All Files will then directly open and allow you to specify a folder where you can save the file.
Download All Files will also allow users to download unsupported file formats from the default browser. The app is pretty simple and does not have any fancy settings or preferences to tinker around with. Keep in mind that Download All Files and other similar apps work only when the Gmail app or Android web browser does not find any supported file intent for the file type that you are downloading.
Keep in mind that the above method will not allow you to download files that have been detected as malicious by Google.