Emails are useful for communication and, if necessary, for file sharing. However, if you tried to send a relatively large file via email, the result was likely to be frustrating. Email services like Gmail or Yahoo Mail have huge customer bases and can’t afford to clog up their traffic with larger files. Therefore, the size of the attachment is limited to 25 MB.

But this limitation does not mean that you have to resort to file sharing services that require a subscription. There are other file sharing options on each platform. This article explains how to send large files via email using different operating systems and apps.

How to send large files via email for free

If your files are just over the limit, there are two methods to make them meet the size requirement. You can compress or shrink the files so that they are small enough to be attached to an email message.

Compressing a file is done quickly on a computer whether it has Windows or Mac OS.

For windows:

  1. Right-click on the desired file.
  2. Navigate to ‘Send to’.
  3. Choose “Compressed (zipped) folder.”

For macOS:

  1. Right-click on the file.
  2. Choose the “Compress” option.

Both actions have a similar result and create a new compressed file. If that file is small enough for email, you can attach it to the message and it will be sent without any problems.

Note that the recipient needs an app to open and extract compressed files.

When it comes to resizing, this method mainly applies to photo and video files.

Modern cameras and smartphones capture high-resolution images, which can be quite massive. If you don’t need to send the file in its original resolution, you can make it smaller before sending.

For experienced users of photo and video editing software, shrinking such media files is not a problem. However, if you don’t have the right tools or are not proficient in using them, you can use some free online tools.

There are web-based services where you can upload images or videos and shrink them to the desired size and file size. Of course, if the original files are huge, you need a good internet connection for this task.

Keep in mind that the quality of the resized files will also deteriorate, so you won’t want to use this technique if you need to send high-resolution photos or videos.

Send large files via email – OneDrive

Microsoft 365 users have a very easy way to send large files via email using OneDrive. This online storage service is available for free, although there are subscription models that offer more storage space. With the free version you get 5 GB, which is enough for all but the largest files.

Follow these steps to send large files with OneDrive:

  1. Go to the OneDrive web app and sign in with your credentials.
  2. Upload the files to your account.
  3. Select the uploaded file and click “Share”.
  4. Choose the “Get Link” button and then click the “Copy” option next to the link.
  5. Open your email and paste the OneDrive link in the message body.

With this method you can send files up to 5 GB without any problems. The recipient can download the file by clicking the link you sent them.

Send large files via email with Google Drive

Using Google Drive for file sharing and cloud storage is one of the most common options these days. All Gmail users automatically have Google Drive available and receive 15 GB of storage for free.

If you have a Gmail account and want to use it to send large files, you don’t need to take any extra steps. Instead, automation will take over.

As soon as you try to upload an attachment larger than 25MB, Gmail will link it and upload it to Google Drive. Once the file is uploaded to the cloud storage, a download link will appear in the email you write.

Google Drive has a similar integration with various email apps. So if you’re properly logged into your account, you don’t need to visit Gmail directly to take advantage of this functionality.

You can also use Google Drive in the same way as OneDrive:

  1. Visit Google Drive on the web.
  2. Upload the file you want to send.
  3. Right-click on the file and choose “Get Link” to copy the link to the clipboard.
  4. Paste the link into the email message.

It is important to remember that files uploaded to Google Drive are not automatically deleted. Instead, they continue to fill up the available storage space. So if you don’t need them readily available, you have to delete large files manually.

Send large files via email – Android

Android users have many of the same tools at their disposal as those using a computer. To send large files via email on an Android device, you can:

  • Use Google Drive or another cloud storage service
  • Compress the files
  • Upload videos to YouTube

Here’s how each method works.

Google Drive or other cloud services

If you have a Gmail account, you can take advantage of 15 GB of free Google Drive storage. This storage is automatically linked to your email account.

When you try to attach a file over 25 MB to a Gmail message on your Android phone, the file is uploaded to Google Drive. Instead of the attachment, a download link appears in the message.

After the email is sent, the recipient must click the link to go to the download page.

The method will be slightly different if you have a Google Drive account but don’t use Gmail or want to use another cloud service.

  1. Go to your cloud app of choice.
  2. Upload any files you want to send via email.
  3. Depending on the app, find and copy the download link for the file.
  4. Open your email and paste the link into the message body.

Compress the files

File compression apps are available for Android devices through the Play Store. These can be useful if the files you are trying to send are only slightly larger than 25MB. However, compression cannot shrink a huge file to an acceptable size for emails, so this method is only useful for situations.

Upload videos to YouTube

One of the easiest ways to have larger video files sent via email is to upload them to your YouTube channel.

You can have those videos on your channel as private or hidden so no one else on the platform can see them. At that point, YouTube can serve more as free storage than a video platform. When you upload the video, simply copy the link and send it to the recipient in an email message.

Send large files via email on iPhone

There is a special service on iPhone and iPad designed for sending large files called Mail Drop. It’s probably your best bet for sending files that are too large for average email assignments.

Here’s how to send large files via email on iPhone using Mail Drop:

  1. Go to your email app and compose a message.
  2. Add the desired file and wait for a pop-up window to appear.
  3. In the pop-up, select “Mail Drop” as the preferred method.

The Mail Drop link will be forwarded to the recipient. They should have no problem downloading the files sent.

Send large files via email on a Mac or Windows PC

Sending large files on your computer is relatively easy due to various options and online services.

Whether on a Mac or Windows PC, you can compress the files or use a cloud storage service. Compressing the files will be very easy.

For macOS:

  1. Find the file you want to send and right-click.
  2. Select “Compress”.

For windows:

  1. Find the large files you want to share.
  2. Open the context menu by right-clicking on a file.
  3. Choose ‘Send to’ and then ‘Compressed (zipped) folder’.

Compressed files will be slightly smaller than the originals. However, this method will not shrink files significantly larger than 25MB to a sufficient size.

Cloud storage is a much safer bet. The method is the same regardless of your operating system.

  1. Open your cloud storage app or website.
  2. Upload the large files.
  3. Request a copy of the download link. This step depends on the service.
  4. Paste the link into the email message.

Easily send large files

Fortunately, there are many options for sending large files via email from any device. You probably already have an account with a number of services that will help you accomplish this task. And now that you know the exact methods, your files should be on their way in no time.

Did you manage to send a large file via email? Which method did you use? Let us know in the comments below.


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