8 Ways to Email Large Attachments
Whatsapp Pinterest

The email was never made for large file attachments. Many email servers won’t even accept emails with attachments over 10 MB in size. But that’s not bad news at all.

Here’s the solution.

To send large files via email, you’ll need to upload your email attachments to a file storage and sharing service. The email recipient will receive a link they can click to download the email attachment, allowing you to send gigabytes of attachments without clogging up inboxes How to Archive All Old Emails in Gmail and Reach Inbox Zero How to Archive All Old Emails in Gmail and Reach Inbox Zero This simple email habit will help you reach Inbox Zero without all the effort. Let's look at a few tips and tricks of archiving emails in Gmail. Read More and running into size limits.

There are quite a few services you can use here to email large attachments, and most of them are free. Exercise some basic caution when you use these services: encrypt any sensitive files How to Encrypt Gmail Messages Before They Reach Google's Servers How to Encrypt Gmail Messages Before They Reach Google's Servers Are you wary of Google's prying eyes but can't get yourself to quit Gmail? Use this nifty extension to encrypt your messages and prevent Google from reading them. Read More (such as financial documents) before uploading them.

1. Google Drive: Use With Gmail

Upload files up to: 25GB

With Gmail, you can receive files of up to 50MB in size. Though, the file attachment you send is still limited to 25MB. So, it makes sense to use Google Drive to do the heavy lifting for you.

Gmail gives you the ability to attach files stored in your Google Drive to emails. If you use Google Drive The Only Google Drive Guide You'll Ever Need to Read The Only Google Drive Guide You'll Ever Need to Read Google Drive is the perfect combination of online file storage and document management tools. We explain how to best use Google Drive on- and offline, by yourself and in collaboration with others. Read More on your computer, you can place a large file in your Google Drive folder and it will be automatically uploaded to your Google Drive account.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Open your Gmail account.
  2. Click the Compose button.
  3. Click the Google Drive icon at the foot of the compose window.
  4. The Insert Files using Google Drive window appears. Select the files you want to attach.
  5. At the bottom of the page, decide how you want to send the file:
    Attach files in Google Drive
  6. 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 created using Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms.
  7. Click Insert.

Gmail will check to see if your recipients have access to the file. If they don’t, you’ll be prompted to change the sharing settings of the file before you send your message.

2. OneDrive: For Outlook and Outlook.com

Upload files up to: 5GB (Free)

Microsoft had beaten Google to this feature with its OneDrive (earlier called SkyDrive) integration for Outlook 2016 and Outlook.com. OneDrive is seamlessly connected to Office apps and Office Online.

When you try to attach one or more files that are over 20 MB in size Outlook.com will prompt you to upload the files to your OneDrive account. The recipient will receive a link to the file instead of the file itself in their inbox.

OneDrive with Outlook

The Microsoft account you use to sign in to Outlook.com automatically signs you into OneDrive as well. Upload your large file to your OneDrive account. To access your OneDrive, click the paperclip icon and select your file from the OneDrive location.

Choose from Share as OneDrive link or Attach as a Copy.

3. Dropbox: Integrate With Gmail

Upload files up to: 5GB (Dropbox Free)

Not everyone wants to add another cloud storage account to their toolbox. But don’t Dropbox because it comes with several useful collaborative features 15 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Dropbox 15 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Dropbox Cloud storage services have come and gone, but Dropbox is probably the one that's been here the longest. And now it has upped its game with a host of new features. Let's explore. Read More . Sharing an email attachment is just one of them.

Store the attachment in Dropbox and use the Dropbox for Gmail Chrome extension to send and preview files and links without leaving your Gmail window. The extension adds a Dropbox icon to the compose window. Click the icon and select the file from your Dropbox contents. The attachment is actually a link and not a physical file included in the email.

dropbox gmail extension

As a recipient, you can rich previews of all Dropbox links shared in emails. Just like attachments, you can use these links to download the file directly from Gmail or add it to your Dropbox. If your file transfer fails, look through these bandwidth restrictions.

4. File Dropper: Simple and Hassle Free

Upload files up to: 5GB

File Dropper isn’t integrated with any email program, but it allows you to upload files up to 5GB in size each. You don’t even have to create an account. Upload a single file or a set of files. You’ll receive a link to each file you upload and you can paste that link into an email to email the file to someone. Files will be deleted if they aren’t downloaded at least once every 30 days.

File Dropper

There are no restrictions on the maximum number of downloads or monthly bandwidth usage. File Dropper has been among the more popular minimal no-sign up services 15 Excellent No-Sign Up Websites for Everyday Use 15 Excellent No-Sign Up Websites for Everyday Use Do you like websites which have no sign-ups, no registerations, and no downloads? Then, you will like these hassle free web apps and sites which make daily productivity a lot easier. Read More for a long time. Bookmark it.

5. WeTransfer: A Beautiful Way to Send Large Files

Upload files up to: 2GB (Free), 20GB (Paid)

WeTransfer appeals with a well-designed interface. Opt for the free WeTransfer that allows you to send 2GB of files to up to 20 people without a signup if you feel like it. But, even with the free account, you can send files as many times as you want. Add the recipient’s email, your email, and a small message if you want to. Send the file as an email or a link.


The paid WeTransfer Plus ($12 monthly) comes with more benefits and a bigger transfer quota of 20GB. You can not only send bigger files but also set delete dates, and password protect all files.

It might not be immediately relevant, but don’t miss the fantastic wallpapers which come from different artists around the world.

6. Transfer Big Files

Upload files up to: 30MB (Free), 20GB (Paid)

TransferBigFiles offers a few more features, such as a Chrome extension (and some apps) that gives you a button in Gmail for easy file uploads. There are several flavors of the service. The free account is a bit limited but it offers secure transfers.

The paid plans give you a 20GB per file upload limit. And a host of other features. You can protect your downloads with a password, set a custom expiry date, or get notified when the files are downloaded. The service supports multiple files and more than one recipient per email.

Transfer Big Files

You’ll need to sign up to use the advanced features – you can use Transfer Big Files without signing up, but files will expire in 5 days. If you don’t want to sign up, you’re better off using one of the above services.

7. DropSend: File Transfer & Online Storage

Upload files up to: 4GB (Free), 8 GB (Paid)

DropSend allows you to quickly send files from its homepage without signing up. You can also open an account and choose the free or the paid plans. The free plan gives you max file size of 4GB and five sends per month. Its most unique features are its file transfer tools. The Microsoft Outlook plugin allows you to attach large files to your email via your DropSend account.


DropSend Direct apps for Mac and Windows are drag-and-drop uploaders for easy file sharing. You can use it with the online storage space the service offers with its paid plans. DropSend also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS that work as interfaces for the cloud storage account.

File transfers are protected with 256-bit AES encryption as standard across the service.

8. EmailLargeFile: Track the Delivery

Upload files up to: 200MB each for 10 transfers daily (Free), 10GB to Unlimited (Paid Plan)

EmailLargeFile is another mixed bag of free and paid file transfer service. Just 200MB per file with the free plan doesn’t sound much but you can send ten files every day to maximum three recipients. Email confirmations alert you when the files are downloaded. Files are encrypted and kept online for at least 15 days.

The service’s main distinguishing features are the Android [No longer available] and iPhone [No longer available] apps it offers. This can help you easily send large files from an Android or iOS device. If you want to email a video or another large file 4 Best Apps for Sharing Large Files Instantly 4 Best Apps for Sharing Large Files Instantly With these apps, sharing large files with someone in a split second will be the easiest thing you've ever done. Read More without transferring it to your computer first, give EmailLargeFile a go.

Do You Manage Your Large Email Attachments?

It is always wise to rely on the specialized cloud storage and transfer tools. Also, do remember that an email travels across multiple servers on its way to the recipient. Your Gmail attachment can be rejected for your file attachment if it is sent to a non-Gmail user. Request the sender to give you a delivery confirmation for important email attachments.

And if you use Apple Mail, make sure you know how to avoid 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 .

Which tool do you use to send large attachments? Do you prefer a large file-sending app or one of the popular cloud storage services?

Image Credit: Fenton/Depositphotos

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

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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!

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

    Thanks a bunch for this.

  10. 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.

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

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Don't forget Dropcanvas. http://dropcanvas.com/

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    There's also http://ge.tt

  19. 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

  20. 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 :)

  21. 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.

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

    some of the websites are mentioned here also !
    or we can also use a digital pigeon ! - http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/digital-pigeon-send-large-files-online-browser-desktop/
    but thanks for the great article !

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

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