Last Updated: October 15th, 2012

Ok, guys. Start your engines - here's the download and instructions you need to get the leaked Gmail 4.2 up and running on your device. Keep in mind that this is an unreleased version so some things may be buggy or broken, though I haven't run into any problems.

If you somehow don't know what I'm talking about, we have the next, unreleased version of Gmail, and we're finally allowed to share it with you. Gmail 4.2 finally has pinch-to-zoom, a nifty new swipe-to-archive/delete feature, and a bunch of other things. Just for fun I'll embed the video again:


Note: This APK should work on Android 4.0+. You do need to be rooted.

Update 10/15/12 6:21PM: Google asked us to take down the mirrors, and we have complied with their request.

  • Android Police mirror #1
  • Android Police mirror #2
  • Android Police mirror #3
  • Android Police multi-mirror


Disclaimer: Android Police isn't responsible for any harm to your device - proceed at your own risk.

The Gmail 4.2 APK is signed by Google, but with a different key than the one in the Play Store (we checked the signatures - they differ). One is probably the test key and the other the production key. For this reason, you can't simply install it as an update and therefore need to be rooted with the ability to mount the /system directory for writing in order to remove the existing Gmail APK.

Important: Once Google updates Gmail in the Play Store, you will want to revert this process or at the very least delete the Gmail 4.2 APK you installed here if you want to update it from the Play Store.

OK, let's get down to it. You'll probably need ADB installed on your computer (here's an easy way that doesn't require downloading the Android SDK). There is a chance that this might work without ADB by just removing the APKs mentioned below and installing the new one, but it didn't seem to work reliably for everyone. This should, though:

  1. Download Gmail 4.2 from one of the mirrors above.
  2. Rename it to Gmail2.apk.
  3. Make a Nandroid backup in case something goes wrong (this is always a good thing to do before messing with your device).
  4. Remount /system for writing (via your favorite root-aware file explorer).
  5. Delete (or move if you want to save the APKs) all other versions of Gmail.
    Update: We've seen multiple successful reports of simply uninstalling Gmail using Titanium Backup or ROM Toolbox instead of performing this and the next step. If that works for you, go directly to step 7. If not, proceed below.
    Usually there are 2 or 3 copies. One will be in /system/app (that's the original Gmail that was pre-installed on the device) and there may be a few in /data/app (these are the updates installed from the Play Store). They'll be called "Gmail.apk," or "com.google.android.gm-[number].apk,"  An easy way to tell is to look for the Gmail icon.
  6. You may need to delete the .odex files matching the APKs in step 5 too, if you have them. Neither I nor Artem had to do this, but there are many different ROMs out there, and we're trying to cover all bases. Ignore this step and only come back to it if something doesn't work later.
  7. Reboot. Once you do, you should have no Gmail as far as Android is concerned.
  8. You can try to install the Gmail 4.2 APK you downloaded at this point by tapping it in your favorite file explorer (move the APK to your device first, of course). If that doesn't work, or if you prefer ADB, fire up a command line and type adb install Gmail2.apk.

If you get an error message, you probably didn't delete all copies of Gmail. If you don't feel like playing with ADB for Step 8, I've also gotten it to work by just copying the APK to /data/app, but that's not as fool proof as "ADB install".

So far we've seen this work with a stock Galaxy Nexus and an EVO 4G LTE running CM10.

Enjoy and report your results in the comments!

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • TheFirstUniverseKing


  • Potato

    I am a potato.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Mind. Blown.

      • fixxmyhead

        thats what i thought AP. better do what we tell u lol

      • http://twitter.com/psych2L Joseph Lee

        The headphone jack is on the bottom!

        Mind. Blown. x2

    • Petrit Avdyli

      No. I'm a potato... now die ;)

    • Shizzle

      I lol'ed

  • aNYthing6

    I love you guys.

  • http://trevorsullivan.net/ Trevor Sullivan

    ZOMG! Gmail!

  • ZombieCow

    Brilliant job lads... hats off...

  • Allen Robberson

    I wonder if this could be added to gapps and then just install gapps

    • Bala

      it not that hard, rename the apk to gmail.apk, copy it to system/app, set permissions, clear cache and restart.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      You can add it to gapps and flash that instead, but then Gmail Play Store updates won't work.

  • aNYthing6

    I got it to install, but I had to move it to system/app myself, set permissions, and reboot. People may want to try that if they are having issues.

    • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann


  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    I think I'll just wait till Gapps has this, or till there is a flashable zip

    • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

      It's actually a really easy process. Takes about 5 minutes altogether.

      • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

        I'm sure it is. But something like this will move pretty fast anyway. I'm due to reset my GS3 soon anyway. I figure I'll update to 4.1.2 PA when that is ready with 4.2 Gmail. Typically I'm all gun hoe for setting this up but right now....dunno...

        • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

          Fair enough :)

        • http://twitter.com/KJay__ K.J

          I was right there with you and said I'll just wait but ranova's instructions above worked really well (I used File Expert instead of Solid Explorer) and it was more than worth it

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            just FYI I decided to break down and do the update. And it took me all of 2 min. glad I didn't wait.

    • http://youtagged.me/ pache71

      It is a lot easier than it sounds. But I can understand waiting! :)

  • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

    Ron, you're amazing. Thanks so much!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I'll second that.

  • http://twitter.com/cabbieBot cabbieBot

    Downloaded and installed the .APK straight up no problem. HTC EVO LTE on MeanROM 4.8. Probably didn't have any issues because updates to Gmail have (I believe) been included in /system/app, so no /data/app to worry about. Pinch/zoom and swipe-to-delete working as advertised. TYVM!

  • http://www.androidnext.de/ Frank Ritter | androidnext.de

    Thanks for that. Hint: You may have to to restart your device after deleting the old gmail version. It works now and it's great.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Hint: see step 7. :-]

      • http://www.androidnext.de/ Frank Ritter | androidnext.de

        Oh my, how could I oversee that? Apologies.

  • ranova

    For me it was this:
    - use Solid Explorer with root, go to /system/apps and delete gmail.apk
    - reboot
    - rename apk to Gmail.apk and move to /system/apps, set appropriate permissions
    - tap on apk and install it

    • blunden

      If you do your step 3, there is no reason to do step 4. :) At most, a reboot would've been needed. Pushing to /system/app and tapping the apk to install it both result in it being installed. The only difference is where it's stored. In your case, you probably have a duplicate in /data/app now too unless PackageManager saw that it was the same version already installed and did nothing.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Yeah, he didn't need to copy it to /system/app at all (it's app, not apps).

  • http://tinyroar.com Cats-R-Friend

    wow this is so much better

  • idtheftvictim

    I just installed on my T-Mobile Sensation running CM10, so far so good.

    • Eric

      did you follow the instructions provided or do something else?

  • blunden

    Thanks for posting the apk.

  • Jason Bouwmeester

    Same here:

    - go to /system/apps and delete gmail.apk
    - reboot
    - rename apk to Gmail.apk and move to /system/apps, set appropriate permissions (rw-r--r--)

    - reboot

    • Alex1x

      Installed and working fine. Question, my permission is set by default to:
      Should I change this?

      • http://twitter.com/Fayrarri Farhan Ahmad


  • airmaxx23

    Just uninstall your old gmail app then install the new one, it's that simple.

    • squiddy20

      No, it's not. The Gmail app that came pre-installed with your phone resides in /system/app and can't be "just uninstalled". What you suggest would only get rid of the updates to the app (that then reside in /data/app) since you got your phone. That's why root access is necessary.

      • Christopher Mason

        Rooted users CAN just uninstall and reinstall; most of us don't have it in /system/ app/

        • squiddy20

          I didn't say rooted users *couldn't* just uninstall and reinstall Gmail. By the way airmaxx23 wrote his comment, he made it sound like anyone (even those without root access) could just uninstall Gmail and install this version, which is not true. Merely clarifying/correcting. Sorry you didn't get that.
          Ummm, pretty sure Gmail comes loaded on gapps. So, unless you delete from /system/app after you've installed an updated version, you've got it in /system/app.

          • Christopher Mason

            oh. Sorry I was talking about the gapps package that doesn't come with apps already in the market (Gmail,Youtube).

          • yarrellray

            Oh brother not this losers squiddy20 again.. Blah blah blah blah.

          • squiddy20

            I'd like to see you make sense of what I just said considering you said you were "looking into" rooting your Galaxy Nexus over a period of 2 months and still couldn't do it.

  • Bill Stebbins

    I love you.

  • randyfromreno

    Works fine. I just un-installed Gmail with Rom Toolbox and installed this APK normaly. Pinch to Zoom is nice.

  • http://twitter.com/lasveso ihack community

    yeah its works on my samsung galaxy s3 :)

  • Johnathon Roman

    I can finally see the entire width of the email without having to swipe the screen left and right.

    Pinch to zoom is great, too, no question about it.

    Thank you guys for this!

  • unhappybirthday

    So no love for us Gingerbread folks :(

    Hopefully Google has mercy and releases an update on the store for the rest of us.

    • yarrellray

      Gingerbread??? That's still out there..

    • Keith Myers

      Its very possible that the Official Update may hit Gingerbread as there are still phones being sold with Gingerbread (not sure why)

    • superGear

      upgrade to ICS via CM9

      • http://www.facebook.com/regisknechtel Régis Knechtel

        there's no CM9 port to every device. I have a Galaxy S Advance and I feel alone in the dark lol

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Sorry, but this will never come to Gingerbread. Ice Cream Sandwich has all sorts of special developer stuff that enables apps like this to be made. Back-porting everything is just too much effort.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ts0Cha0tik Tre Goolsby

    Why so complicated... Just rename the APK use root explorer and copy the APK to /System/App then reboot. Worked for me

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Because it depends on whether you have updates installed from the Play Store, in which case you'd have more APKs in /data/app. Not everyone's systems are the same.

  • Gav456

    Confirmed working on sensation xe running cmX 4.1.2.
    Gmail > app details > remove updates > delete app from /system > reboot > open .apk and sideload (like any other app)
    Much simpler than I had thought.
    No text scaling though (Google don't seem keen on it *cough* chrome *cough*)

  • http://twitter.com/NeverEndingXsin NeverEndingXsin

    Working perfect on my samsung galaxy S3 running liquidsmooth RC5

  • saurabh khare

    Thanx a lot! :-)

  • Steven Caamano

    Mount /system for writing and all that? AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT.

  • nxtiak

    This is awesome, it automatically wraps the text of an html email into the size of your screen (like the old browser used to do before Google f'ed that up in 2.3 i think).

  • http://www.facebook.com/andreas.tillman Andreas Ante Sepúlveda

    works nicely using Paranoidandroid on Sgs3. had to move to /data/app manually though as it didn't want to install

  • Wolf M

    Damn, how important a reboot is!!! Ron - make the Step 7 Bold... :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/bella.pease.75 Bella Pease

    Androidandme = blah blah maybe, whereas Android Police = moar power really

  • John O’Connor

    to root or not to root.... hmm my GS3 has been great so far without any tweaking, but I can't say I don't want to have the latest and greatest. I will have to try it out on one of my other devices and see if it is ready for primetime

  • lensgrabber

    Does this support S/MIME?

  • warmaster

    I renamed the new gmail to Gmail.apk and it didn't work. I had deleted my previous Gmail apks, but it didn't work until I tried with Gmail2.apk, did everything with Solid Explorer. New Gmail is awesome! Thanks AP !!! You are the best Android blog !!!

    • warmaster

      I forgot: Samsung Galaxy SII GT-i9100 CyanogenMod 10 RILWLOCKS build

  • Keith Myers

    Cant you just adb install filename.apk? I could have sworn that this ignores signing keys

  • superGear

    works perfectly on my Galaxy Stellar

  • Andrew

    Anyone having issues with LightFlow not working for Gmail after installing this?

  • ConCal


  • http://www.stevenmattera.com Steven Mattera

    Is it sad that without reading the email I knew it was a Basecamp email by the structure. I think I work too much.

  • garychencool

    It seems like a lot of work ;)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      It's literally 2 steps if you use TB - uninstall Gmail and install the new one. Takes about a minute.

      • garychencool

        k then, BRB backing stuff up

      • garychencool

        A minute later and it works!

  • Khanh

    1. Download apk
    2. Navigate to folder with apk and copy the apk
    3. Navigate to /system/app/ and rename Gmail.apk to Gmail.bak (this way you preserve the apk for later just in case of update)
    4. Paste the apk you copied
    5. Rename to Gmail.apk then fix permissions.
    6. Reboot and enjoy

    • David Fleck

      This is my preferred method.

      • Jeff

        Agreed. Pretty simple. I used ES File Explorer.

        • http://twitter.com/USSENTERNCC1701 USSENTERNCC1701E

          I use Titanium backup, backup uninstall, then download and run apk. Installed fine for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1120074466 David LaCivita

    Installed on my Verizon Gnex by: uninstall with Titanium, reboot, copy to system/app, install, reboot. Super easy!

  • Mky300

    Works on Samsung galaxy S3

  • Nicholas Polydor

    Working great on a fresh install of CyanogenMod 10 M2 on Nexus S Crespo. I had to delete the existing Gmail2.apk in /system/app - simply renaming it caused the installation of the new version to flag up the error message as described - but given that it was a fresh install I didn't have any further instances in /data/app to remove, which also negated the need for me to follow step 6.

    Thanks Ron!

  • PHIL Growney

    Uhm... I just installed with the apk, and it worked just fine. I'm on my Flyer running a JB/CM10 port. Gmail version now reads 4.2-478. Might try it on my no root available Atrix HD...lol

  • http://twitter.com/Hurleyint2000 Erik Hutchinson

    Titanium backup un-install then install APK no issues ONE X

  • http://profiles.google.com/snoopyods Kevin Mcclain

    Works on Kexec and stock CM10 ROM for RAZR.

  • http://twitter.com/Lesilent77 Lorenzo Ravaioli

    Working on my Nexus 7 !

    I uninstalled 'old' Gmail apk with titanium backup then installed the new one.

    I like it !

  • nexus666

    Uninstalled from Market then installed with adb. Thanks guys! Great job... what's next ;)

  • Troy Leonard

    Working great on my a500 with thor's jellybean rom. I deleted gmail withe titanium backup. The copied the apk over with Solid Explorer. It is working great thank guys for the apk

  • LjHe80

    Thanks! Rocking this on my Galaxy Note.

  • Yousuf Al-Nedabi

    the best way is ti uninstall old one through titanium and install the new one.. its working great in SGS2 JB 4.1.2 CyanogenMod
    thanks a lot AndroidPolice

  • Debadatta Bose

    Working with stock Samsung ROM. On an I9100. I renamed the stock apk to .bak and copied this to /system/app and set permissions.

  • garychencool

    It works on my SE Xperia Mini Pro on ICS stock.

  • http://twitter.com/Siemser_ Patrick

    Just renamed original mail apk in/system/app and /data/app to xxx.bak. Then copied ur apk to these two folders. Renamed it and gave permipermissions. After reboot everything is working as it should :-) thank you

  • androidmikey

    Awesome! Worked perfectly! I just followed the steps exactly and used titanium backup (skipped to step 7) and now I have PITCH TO ZOOM! :-)


    very nice ...tnx the best web site....


    its work very speed nice ..the best web site ...lol

  • http://drhack.net/ Dr-Hack

    still on Gingerbread :/

    • http://www.facebook.com/regisknechtel Régis Knechtel

      Me too. Damn you samsung

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=588732906 Christian Collet

    what I don't get is why it's either archive or delete. Couldn't it have been swipe left: archive, swipe right: delete?

  • Dino Quinzani

    Great! Worked fine with Titanium, basically just remove gmail from TB, reboot and install the new APK.
    Works like a breeze on my rooted GNote!

  • http://profiles.google.com/kwillsrepsbk Kevin Williams

    Installed pretty easily since I never had the Gmail app as a system app,

  • bobbutts

    Why not put it in a flashable zip file? I did, and it installed perfectly through cwm. Just use this tutorial and replace market with gmail. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1268661
    I would share my zip, but I'm afraid of distributing software that's not mine.

  • Guest

    I successfully installed it by just uninstalling it via Titanium backup, and just installing it from my SD card. I thought I had to install it from my app/data or system/data, but it can install just as you download it from sd/downloads/

  • Chris Jenkins

    My process (Root browser lite):
    - Uninstall apk via Titanium backup (I have the paid version, not sure if that matters.)
    - Open Root Browser lite.- Navigate to system folder. Give permissions to write in in the folder by long clicking and pressing permissions; All are checked.- navigate to the APP folder. - Paste Gmail app in the folder.- Rename it to gmail.apk. - Navigate to data/app folder, paste the gmail.apk in here as well
    - Install the app from SD card.
    - Set permissions on your system and data folder back to their original. Uncheck the middle checkbox, and the checkbox directly underneath it, for system. I believe data was set as default.

  • fonseca898

    Pinch to zoom? I had given up hope. Google just zoomed its way back into my heart. <3

  • bootruss

    New to this custom Rom lark, but just updated after uninstalling the stock gmail and installing the apk..all good! Thanks guys!

  • Specter2009

    Strange I downloaded it renamed it made a nandroid back up went to go install it but when I went to the system/app folder the Gmail app shows that it's been updated to 4.2

    Not complaining.

  • jah06

    if i install this APk, can i keep Gmail in french ?

  • http://BGR.COM/ riggs

    Im rocking Bugless beast on my Gnex and all i had to do is delete one thing. And i used root explorer system>app>gmail.apk... then rebooted and installed gmail...profit. Boom! thanks for the update AP!

  • Jeff

    So I installed this but I'm saddened they didn't include the option for you to choose an action for each direction. On the stock Motorola email app you can swipe one direction moving an email to a different folder and the other direction to delete it. I would love to be able to just delete with a certain direction. Perhaps i haven't messed with it enough to find that option.

  • Pandasaurus12

    Thank you! The titanium backup way worked and was super easy. Just uninstall Gmail from Titanium Backup, reboot, and install the Gmail.apk and it works!

  • dingo

    Easiest way 1.uninstall Gmail 2.inatall Gmail version 2 3. Reboot and enjoy!!

  • dick johnson

    When using gmail pinch to zoom, my text will not autoreflow unless I push the screen twice. No autoreflow option?

  • SherrifDK

    THX everybody

  • http://twitter.com/ArtVandelay440 Nathaniel Webb

    can't you simply use adb push ./"Gmail.apk" /system/app to overwrite the old one? I do this all the time with other system apps that are signed with a public debugging key.

  • mstreet28

    Might be experiencing the "bugginess" After installed none of the message headers appeared or the option to show pictures per sender :(.

    Uninstalled old version via Ti Backup > rebooted > copied Gmail.apk to systemapp > changed permissions > rebooted

  • Bold_Babe

    My company used to produce software with basic features (like pinch-to-zoom) totally left out.
    Then we would (maybe) include them months/years later.

    Now you know what we call our programmers that do that? Fired.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/psycho_maniac_ Jerry Lange

    Uninstalled using TiBa and installed the new apk from the mirror. Worked perfect. Thanks1

  • Jey Wright

    Flawless! I have this installed on my Sammy Fascinate running Helly Bean 4.1.1 rom. This should have been stock on Jelly Bean/Nexus and every upgrade from here on out. Nice touch

  • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

    Wow. When did Google start getting a rod up their rectum about leaked APKs? How many times have we installed leaked Market and Play Store APKs? What's the difference with this Gmail one? Jerks!

    • http://twitter.com/USSENTERNCC1701 USSENTERNCC1701E

      Could be they're not certain of the security, I'd think that may be more of an issue for email.

    • http://richworks.in Richie

      don't start dissing them so soon. Google have never been like this before. Perhaps(as the user below me said), this may be a matter of security than anything else.

    • http://twitter.com/apa1102 Apa Chen

      Not the same situation.
      Android Market and Google Play Store: someone got official update and shared to us.
      Gmail 4.2: leaked

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    FYI: Google asked us to take down the Gmail apk mirrors, and we have complied with their request.

    • http://richworks.in Richie

      Did they mention why?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Because we don't have the license to distribute it.

    • http://twitter.com/jeffaandrews Jeff Andrews

      Very classy, that's why you're one of my faves.

    • John

      I'm surprised it took them this long to ask you to take it down. Oh well, we'll all get it soon enough. =)

    • AJ

      But i still have it !! :P :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/donald.fournier Donald Fournier

    Wow...Pinch to Zoom...That's new...Wait. No it's not. iPhone has been doing that for years.

  • http://twitter.com/AthoraX athorax

    Well now I want it...

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003386080045 John doe

    working on Galaxy S III running CM10 jelly bean.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1175544308 Ahmed Khalil

    "Google asked us to take down the mirrors "

    more like "biyatch if that isnt down in 10 seconds your whole world will be over" LOL

  • Bill Ramseyer

    Mind blown

  • Mark

    will this work on gingerbread?

  • clive

    I use Titanium backup, backup uninstall, then download and run apk Gmail from the g store then uninstalled it via the G Store Then just installed the Gmail2.apk from within file explore all good works great

  • pirthty