Android Attaching a file to GMAIL – Can't attach empty file-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

I had a program that would always attach the same file to GMAIL (Compose > Attach File > Open From > “MyProgram”). It would always select the same file.

What it was doing was:

String path = Environment.getExternalStorageDirectory() + "/file.3gp";
File f = new File(path);
Uri data = Uri.fromFile(f);
Intent i = new Intent();
setResult(Activity.RESULT_OK, i);

This was working fine until Android 6.0.
Now, I receive the following error when trying to use it:

Can’t attach empty file

Astro File Sharing is giving me the same error (can be an old build).

However, I installed ES File Explorer, and when I do the same routine, and select the file, I receive a Dialog which says:

Pick up file as

  • Normal Android Way (For MMS,Gmail,…)
  • File Way (Try this if above fails)

The “File Way” will fail as my program does. The “Normal Android Way” will work fine.

Does anyone have any idea on what it does, so I can replicate?

Thanks in advance!

OBS: Already tried the putExtra(STREAM, path) a lot of times, but without success.

How to solve:

Ok, got it to work now, after a lot of research and intercepting some Intents.

What I had to do was change the file:/// to content://.

I did this following this information from Android:

The only major change was that I used a hard-coded path to /sdcard/file.ext.
Also, the line

getUriForFile(getContext(), "com.mydomain.fileprovider", newFile);

was changed to

Uri contentUri = FileProvider.getUriForFile(this, "com.mydomain.fileprovider", newFile);

Also had to include:


I do not really understand why I had to change from File to Content, but after this, the file is now being attached again! See the link if you face this issue, and don’t forget about the new .xml that needs to be created.


See the following question:


This behavior is with Android 6.0 and Gmail. Please see the following thread.

Issue 3141 – android-developer-preview

If you go to Settings->Apps->Gmail->Permissions and enable the
“Storage” permission manually, then the share works.

Gmail should ask for “Storage” permission in this scenario and it
would work as it did in all the past version of Android.

Other email apps should handle attachments correctly.


Here is how to fix it.

Go to Settings -> Apps -> Gmail -> Permissions
Turn on the permission for “Storage”
That work-around solved the issue for me.


I couldn’t find a clear answer(sending an attachment on gmail without SD card) I tried to copy to another file name but no cigar. The way I got it to work was copy to the Downloads folder and go from there.

Get the path for Downloads with this

pulls the full path to downlaods folder copy the attachemnt to there and we are good. Files over 20M don’t go

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