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How to download any attachment in Gmail for Android

Add the ability to download all file types to your Gmail app in just a few steps.

The official Gmail client for Android is relatively complete; you can handle most of your e-mail tasks without ever needing to sit in front of a PC. Unfortunately, there's one specific task where the app falls short: downloading attachments.

Sometimes you'll be able to preview and download an attachment, and other times you won't. Instead of letting you grab an MP3, PDF, or even DLL from an e-mail, it just opens the files -- or worse, it's a file type you can't preview. So here's a look at a plug-in for the mobile Gmail client, which will allow you to download these types of files and any others you may need to save or pass on:

Note: This app will not work with EXE or ZIP files; these are blocked by Google.

This is how Gmail looks without the plug-in. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 1: Install a copy of Gmail Attachment Download

The extra buttons in your Gmail app after installing the app. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 2: Open an e-mail you need to save a file from and press on the Download button.

(Optional) Step 3: You may need to choose the Gmail Attachment Download app as the method for opening the file.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 4: Select the location you'd like to save the file. You can pick your SD or onboard memory.

Sent a name for the file. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 5: Type a name for the file (if you like), and then click Save file in the bottom left-hand corner.

Now you can save all types of files sent to your Gmail, while mobile. What features do you think the Gmail app for Android is missing?