How to Send Large Files as Email Attachments: 8 Solutions
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Many email servers prevent you from sending (or the recipient from receiving) large files over a certain size. When this problem happens most users don’t know how to email large files. To send large files via email, you can either upload your attachment to cloud storage and get a link to email the recipient or use a file sharing service.

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Whatever method you choose, in the long run, you won’t be restricted by size limits and you can reduce the clutter from your inbox too. We’ll show you some easy ways to send large files for free.

1. Google Drive: Use With Gmail

With Gmail, you can send attachments limited to 25MB and receive files of up to 50MB. It makes sense to use the built-in Google Drive to send big files. Open your Gmail account and click the Compose button. Click the Google Drive icon at the bottom of the compose window.

click the google drive icon to attach files

The Insert files using Google Drive window appears. Select the files you want to attach. At the bottom of the page, decide how you want to send the file.

  • Drive link works for any files stored in Drive, including files created using Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms.
  • Attachment only works for files that weren’t built using Docs, Sheets, or Slides.

Then click Insert.

insert files using google drive

Gmail checks to see if your recipients have access to the file. If they don’t, it’ll prompt you to change the sharing settings of your file stored in Drive Google Drive Sign In & File Sharing Made Easy Google Drive Sign In & File Sharing Made Easy Google Drive is a cloud storage and online office service that comes with 15GB free storage and ingenious collaboration options. We show you how to access it and share documents with others. Read More before sending the message. You can set permissions to prevent the file from getting misused and send them to selected recipients.

2. OneDrive: For Outlook and Outlook.com

When you try to attach one or more files that are over 33MB in size, Outlook.com will prompt you to upload the files to your OneDrive account. If you follow this prompt, the file gets uploaded to the OneDrive Email attachments folder. The recipient will receive a link to the file instead of the file. You can also share a file from OneDrive with a limit of 2GB.

upload attachment with onedrive

Once the file gets uploaded, choose if people can edit the file or only view it. Select Change permissions and decide what you want to do with a file you just shared. There are two options you can choose from.

  • Recipient can view: Others can copy or download your file without signing in.
  • Recipient can edit: Others can edit, add or delete files in a shared folder.

change permission of the file in onedrive

3. Dropbox: Integrate With Gmail

If you use Dropbox, then the Dropbox for Gmail Chrome extension can let you send, preview files and links without leaving your Gmail window. The extension adds a Dropbox icon to the compose window. Click the Dropbox icon and choose the file from your Dropbox account. A link gets attached, instead of a file in the email message.

As a recipient, you get rich previews of all Dropbox links shared in emails. Just like attachments, you can use these links to download the files directly from Gmail or add it to your Dropbox. With a free Dropbox account, you get a maximum file size limit of only 2GB.

send large files with dropbox

If your file transfer fails, then it could be due to multiple reasons— your shared link or request could have generated a large amount of traffic or exceeded the bandwidth and download limits. For more details, see the Dropbox bandwidth restrictions page.

4. iCloud Mail Drop: Use With Apple Mail

If you want to send large files via email, you can use iCloud Mail Drop feature. When you send an email of size more than 20MB, Mail Drop automatically kicks in. Instead of sending the file through the Apple email server, it uploads the file to iCloud and posts a link or preview to your recipients. The link is temporary and will expire after 30 days.

use mail drop for attaching large files in apple mail

If the recipient also has macOS 10.10 or later, the attachment gets quietly auto-downloaded in the background. And if you’re sending it to another email provider, the message contains an indication of the file’s expiration date and a Click to Download link.

With Mail Drop, you can send big files up to 5GB in size. You can send them from Apple Mail, the Mail app on iOS, and iCloud.com on Mac and PC. Mail Drop support every file types and attachments don’t count against your iCloud storage. For more details, see Apple’s Mail Drop limits page.

5. Firefox Send: Use With Any Web Browser

Firefox Send is a useful option to transfer big files with people who don’t want to rely on Google, Microsoft, or Apple. It lets you upload and encrypt large files (up to 1GB) to share online. To use Firefox Send, you don’t have to install an add-on. Point your web browser to the Firefox Send homepage and click the Select a file to upload button.

upload files with firefox send

Once the uploading gets completed, Send creates a link which you can then send it via email. At a time, you can send a link to 20 recipients (one download per recipient). You can also set a password to encrypt the file. Each link created by Send will expire after 24 hours. The file also gets deleted from the Mozilla server and leaves no traces.

sharing files with firefox send

6. pCloud Transfer: Simple Encrypted File Transfer

pCloud Transfer is a part of the pCloud storage that lets you send large files for free without any registration The 15 Best Ways to Share Files With Anyone Over the Web The 15 Best Ways to Share Files With Anyone Over the Web There are many ways to share files between people and devices. With these 15 tools, you can share files quickly without app downloads, account registrations, or any cloud storage setups. Read More . Go to pCloud Transfer page and add your files using the Click here to add files option.

You can email large files up to 5GB, and every single file should not exceed 200MB. Then click Encrypt Your Files option and set a password.

share files with pcloud transfer

pCloud will not send the password to your recipient on your behalf. You can share your files with 10 recipients at once. Type in their email addresses in the Send to field. Type an optional message and click Send Files. Your recipients will receive an email link after a few hours. The link remains valid for seven days. You’ll get a reminder a day before the expiration date.

7. DropSend: Send Large Files From Any Device

DropSend allows you to quickly send large files like videos How to Send Large Videos How to Send Large Videos Need to send a large video file but it keeps being stopped or sent back? Here's how to send large videos from your phone or PC. Read More from its homepage without signing up. Type the recipient’s and your email address, browse to the file location, and click the Send Your File button.

Before sending the file, make sure to complete the verification procedure. The free plan gives you a maximum file size limit of 4GB and five sends per month. The link remains valid for seven days.

share files with dropsend

The premium plan increases the limit to 8GB with 15–45 sends per month. There is no limit on the downloads, and you can specify the validity of the link from 1–14 days. DropSend uses 256-bit AES security to keep your files secure.

The paid plan also gives you access to DropSend Direct. It’s a nifty drag-and-drop uploader for Mac and PC to upload and send large files. DropSend also offers Outlook plugin and mobile apps for Android and iOS.

8. SendThisFile: End-to-End Encrypted Transfers

SendThisFile is a different kind of file sharing service. It places limits on the number of transfers you do rather than on the individual file size itself. Create a free account and click the Send Files button to start uploading files. Type in the recipient email address and click Send. The free plan lets you send files up to 2GB with unlimited file transfer.

share large files with sendthisfile

The premium plan starts with 25GB encrypted file transfer and remains valid for six days. The paid plan also includes Outlook plugin, option to use password protected download capabilities, and embed files on your website with access control features. All plans include AES–256 encryption and 128-bit TLS encryption for end-to-end-transmission.

Managing Large Email Attachments

When you want to send large files via email, it’s always wise to rely on specialized, secure cloud storage and transfer tools. The services discussed in this article are some of the best ways to send large files without any issues and for basic use they are free.

Also, remember that emails travel across multiple servers on its way to the recipient. An attachment you send from an email service can get rejected by another email provider. If you use Apple Mail, make sure to read this piece on how to avoid common issues with attachments 4 Tips for Avoiding Common Issues With Apple Mail Attachments 4 Tips for Avoiding Common Issues With Apple Mail Attachments Email attachments can run into all sorts of problems. Here's why this happens and how to avoid attachment issues in Apple Mail. Read More .

Image Credit: Fenton/Depositphotos

Explore more about: Email Tips, File Management, File Sharing, Gmail, .

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  1. Eddie G.
    January 20, 2019 at 6:56 am

    I guess because I don't send large files?...I have no need for any of these services? I stopped trusting outside companies for privacy a long time ago. And while I do still have email? It's a "disposable" one. In that I don't have anything that's "critical" residing in my Inbox, and most of the emails I send / receive are based on technology, or wishing family members Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday!......

  2. Evan
    January 14, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    I use Droplr and have never had trouble. It will send individual files or zip multiple files. you can set the number of days the files stay active.

  3. Mathias Conradt
    February 12, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Problem with the file drop services mentioned above are that the files are hosted on some unknown server and the service provider has access to your files. The same goes for Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. If you want a secure and private solution, even free of any costs due to open-source, you can just install Nextcloud (open-source Dropbox alternative) on your own server or shared hosting account - it only requires a simple LAMP stack - and you can share large files easily. Even comes with a free Outlook plugin. https://nextcloud.com

  4. panningona
    December 5, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Thank you this was very helpful insight I knew that there were old things like winzip, we transfer versus drop box had some issues with potential bugs, viruses, etc.

  5. mr jacob
    November 22, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Thank you for the tips! I would like to add MyAirBridge (www.myairbridge.com). With this service you can send up to 20 Gb totally for free and without any registration.

  6. playbak
    December 29, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    For Android devices, you can use PlayBak. Its really easy to send videos of any size to anyone via GMail, Email, Text Message, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Your recipients don't need any special apps to watch your video in HD

  7. Greg
    January 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Great article! Another great website to mention is http://www.clickandsend.com - it's free to send large files!

  8. Karl
    January 6, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I prefer to use Copy.com
    It has easy file sending and the file management, backup, and syncing features of Dropbox.

  9. John Hall
    December 30, 2012 at 5:08 am

    I don't always send large email attachments. . . .
    But when I do . . . .
    I prefer SkyDrive.

    • Sam Joseph
      October 21, 2016 at 9:51 am

      how to use it??? sorry i'm stupid ... i'm not native english speaker that's why i don't understand the instructions

  10. Michael Bratello
    December 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    i started using clickandsend.com. It allows you to send unlimited file size and has cool email tracking options such as remotely deleting an already sent email or if you forgot to attach a file you can attach it after the email was sent - pretty cool if you ask me!

  11. Deji Greg
    December 28, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Thanks a bunch for this.

  12. Rajaa Chowdhury
    December 28, 2012 at 2:39 am

    I guess YahooMail give a YouSendIt free service integration (file size limitation upto 100MB), which can be upgraded by paying, to attach big files.

  13. Scott Macmillan
    December 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I also use Gmail with Gdrive.Never have a problem.

  14. alice little
    December 27, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Google drive sucks! Will not load, will not sync!
    What a waste of time.

    • Tina Sieber
      December 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      Works totally fine for me. What browser are you using and how good is your internet connection?

    • Michael Alao
      December 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      Works fine for me, but I did have some problems as a result of previously using Google Cloud Connect, which was integrated with Microsoft Office. As a result, none of my Office files would sync, and I could not uninstall Google Cloud Connect. The solution? I re-installed Google Cloud Connect and then immediately uninstalled it. Now everything syncs perfectly. I love Gmail and Gdrive.

  15. Anonymous
    December 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Nice article.. Quite informative..
    I personally like Gmail + Gdrive... Provides more flexibility to the way I work.

  16. Rohit Jhawer
    December 23, 2012 at 5:47 am

    I would go with gmail with gdrive, best option for me as i want my data to be secure. I use Gdrive for all my documentation. The best part is you can edit the doc even after sending it.

  17. Dropper
    December 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Don't forget Dropcanvas.

  18. Simen
    December 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I mostly use Ubuntu's built-in solution: attach the file the normal way, and it uploads the file to Ubuntu One and inserts a link if it is too large.

  19. Gjergji Kokushta
    December 22, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    What about SendSpace (http://www.sendspace.com/) - it has a free plan:

    Single file size up to 300MB
    Basic Download Speed
    Limited - download within 30 days
    With Ads

  20. Flavius Graur
    December 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    There's also http://ge.tt

  21. Mac Witty
    December 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Do use Dropbox for sending both files and folder by public link to people who do not have Dropbox. Folders are great as user have problem with zip files

  22. Moon.berriHQ
    December 22, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Moonberri.com is also a cool site to send large files securely by setting up a password to protect your assets. Its free and very user friendly :)

  23. Dany Bouffard
    December 22, 2012 at 6:15 am

    You forgot to mention Dropbox, now it has a functionality to create a link to a file you want to share. SO you just share the link through the email and its done.

  24. Nikhil Chandak
    December 22, 2012 at 5:43 am

    some of the websites are mentioned here also !
    //www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-simple-ways-to-send-huge-files-over-the-web/
    or we can also use a digital pigeon ! - //www.makeuseof.com/dir/digital-pigeon-send-large-files-online-browser-desktop/
    but thanks for the great article !
    ;)

  25. Manish
    December 22, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Only site you need to know about - http://www.fileapartment.com