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Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back

Grafter
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Registered: ‎19-10-2018

Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back

For the first time today, I'm having problems sending emails from my .plus.com address to recipients using Gmail.

The problem arises only if I attach a Word document.

The message then bounces back with an error message saying the attachment is "a potential security risk".

I have scanned the relevant Word documents using Bullguard antivirus and they are reported clean.

Bizarrely, if I convert a Word document from .doc format to .docx format, the attachment does not seem to bounce back.

Any ideas?

Anybody tried sending an email to a Gmail recipient with a Word .doc attachment recently?

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Re: Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back

My question would be why are you sending a .doc format?
That hasn’t been the default for word documents since office 2003. The problem could be that .doc is a binary file and gmail just doesn’t like them. Docx are not binary files which is why they can probably be scanned / verified more easily by gmail.
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Grafter
Posts: 46
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Registered: ‎19-10-2018

Re: Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back

It's a fair question, Dvorak. The answer is convenience. I have a number of friends still using legacy versions of MS Word who can't read .docx files. I have Office 365, but since I can do everything I want to do in .doc format, its just been easier sometimes to save in ,.doc format to make documents easily accessible to everyone.

None of this is the end of the world, of course, but it does seem there's new glitch with Gmail's virus scanner. The problem didn't happen until two days ago - and .doc files are not on Google's list of blocked file formats. If Gmail has an aversion to binary files, that would surely have been evident long ago?

All the .doc attachments flagged by Gmail have scanned clean - and I can attach them to emails sent from and to non-Gmail addresses without a problem.

Hero
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Re: Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back


@PeterB1 wrote:

Anybody tried sending an email to a Gmail recipient with a Word .doc attachment recently?


Not recently, but intrigued by your question, I've just sent a Word 'doc.' attachment from my Plusnet address to my Gmail address - no problem.

The older I get, the earlier it gets late.

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Grafter
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Registered: ‎19-10-2018

Re: Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back

Thanks for trying that, 198kHz.

Could you try sending the .doc attachment from your  Gmail address?

In my case, Gmail flags the attachment at the very start and refuses to send the email unless the attachment is removed., although it will send a version  of the same document in .docx format quite happily.

Hero
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Re: Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back

@PeterB1 

Very odd.

Just sent a doc attachment from Gmail to Gmail, and from Gmail to Plusnet - all OK.

Any thoughts @Townman ?

The older I get, the earlier it gets late.

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Grafter
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Re: Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back

Weird.

I have just created a simple one-line text document in MS Word (Office 365) which I saved in both .doc and .docx formats.

I sent the doc.x version from my Gmail account to my Gmail account and from my Plusnet account to my Gmail account.

No problem.

I then sent the .doc version from Gmail and it was blocked when I clicked Send.

Next, I sent the .doc version from Plusnet to Gmail and it bounced back.

Finally, I sent the same .doc version from Plusnet to myself at Plusnet and it arrived immediately with the attachment intact.

Meanwhile, my daughter who works in IT has put the 'offending'; .doc veriosn through two separate heavy-duty virus scanners and it's come up clean, as it does with my own Bullguard antivurus

So I think we now know:

1) It is Google who are blocking my .doc files, but not identical .docx files

2) My .doc files blocked by Gmail are not infected, so there's some sort of fault with the Gmail  virus scanner

2) Google are not blocking .doc files sent by 19i8kHz

3) I can send exactly the same .doc file from and to my Plusnet address with no problem.

As I said earlier, this is not exactly the end of the world for me, but it would be nice to sort it out !

Aspiring Pro
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Re: Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back

No idea of the tech behind this but I do know that Google scans everything so it can store details away for later cross-reference or use them to send targetted advertising. A friend discovered this when he G-mailed me with details of a certain product and we both received ads for said product over the next couple of days. Same thing happens on Chrome, I'm told, which is why we've used Firefox and independent email for years.

Superuser
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Re: Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back

@198kHz

I’ve nothing to add here. Gmail dumbfounds me, I just do not see why anyone - who thought hard about it - would want to use Gmail. One fundamental question to as is why does Google offer free email? I think @Longliner answers that question very clearly - to snoop on what you are doing and then to bombard you with unsolicited advertising.

Even when acting as an email client for other mailboxes it insists on POP3 only do that it can down load your email and store it on its own servers.

In general we have seen nothing but problems exchanging emails with Google ... recall them bouncing emails being sent to their free accounts, but not paid for ones?
Hero
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Re: Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back

@Townman OK, thanks for taking a look.

The older I get, the earlier it gets late.

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Grafter
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Re: Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back

Hi Townman,

Good to hear from you.

Agreed re Gmail. (I have a Gmail account, but only use it as a convenient backup if there's ever a problem with my Plusnet email).

However, the fact is that Gmail is widely used. I'd guess almost half of all my contacts have a Gmail address.

That's why the blocked attachments  problem is such a bloody nuisance!

Superuser
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Re: Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back

Have you looked at trying to save the document as .rtf which retains most of the formatting and is universally compatible?

Do these correspondents need to edit the document? If not save as .pdf for distribution. That is a practice well worth adopting as.pdf is fixed in every aspect, whilst opening a raw .doc or .docx will re-render in the user’s own environment. Subtle things such as the choice of measurement units can in the wrong circumstances wreak havoc with your nicely arranged layout, especially if there are embedded graphics.

Another alternative to emailing documents... is this a fairly small group sharing a limited number of documents? If yes then a shared folder on Dropbox might be a better solution.
Grafter
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Registered: ‎19-10-2018

Re: Emails to Gmail recipients bouncing back

Thanks.

All good ideas which I'll deploy as required.

Most of the time I'll actually be OK using .docx format - unless I'm sending to a Gmail user who also has an old version of Word and can' easily read .docx.

What really upsets me about all this is not so much the practical impact but Gmail falsely  "accusing" me of trying to distribute virus-infected documents. It  leaves that little seed of doubt in the mind, however much all the available evidence and scans show the files are clean.