How to send large files via email – 4 easy ways

Emails are a widely-used channel for sending information, marketing collateral, and other communications from one person to another. It’s also possible to send files through emails. But this can be problematic for senders looking to send large files as emails cap at 25MBs of data (because text emails cannot exceed 25MBs). 

With organizations sending large files and presentations, it begs the question: “How can I email a file larger than 25MB?” This article will present the available solutions that can help you send large files through email as well as explain how cloud services are at the forefront of these solutions.

Use integrated cloud services 

Cloud services can help users send large files via email. All you have to do is upload the file to your cloud storage then put its link in your email. For some email providers that have an integrated cloud service, the process is even easier. The recipient can click on the link to view or download the file at their end from the cloud. 

The benefits of using integrated cloud services include the speed of transfer, the document’s security, and the lack of storage constraints. Moreover, sending a file via the cloud can be safer and more convenient than using a USB.

Google Drive

Google Drive - send large files via email

Whether you’re using your email for business or personal purposes, the popularity of Gmail has made Google Drive nearly ubiquitous. And when you try to attach a file that’s over Google’s 25MB email file size limit, Gmail will automatically ask if you want to upload that file to Google Drive and share that link in your email instead. 

A nice feature of Google Drive is that you can organize your file into a Drive folder right there in your email window without having to open Google Drive. Moreover, because the program belongs to Google, Google Drive can be the simplest solution for sending large files for Gmail users. 

However, it’s not for everyone. Google Drive takes up quite a lot of memory, and if you’re using a computer without much processing power, it can be a hassle to drag your whole system down by going into Google Drive just to grab an email attachment.

OneDrive

OneDrive - send large files via email

​If you use Microsoft Outlook, OneDrive is a native cloud storage service for sending large files. Much like with Google Drive, OneDrive allows you to share documents through either a link that you can copy and paste or by actually emailing the document. OneDrive is convenient for individuals, but it gets clunky fast when used as a more collaborative tool amongst teams.

One bonus is that OneDrive is also integrated into Outlook. When sending a large file with Outlook, the program will automatically give the user an option to save the file to  OneDrive. This reduces the need to manually upload files to the cloud service.

iCloud and Mail Drop

iCloud and Mail Drop - send large files via email

Apple’s solution to the email attachment size limit is Mail Drop, a component of their iCloud cloud storage system that allows Apple users to sync content across different Apple devices. 

Mail Drop works differently from Google Drive and OneDrive. When you want to attach a large file to your email with Mail Drop, your file will be hosted on iCloud; however, the link will expire after thirty days. 

This can be an advantage if you know that you don’t want your files permanently hosted in iCloud but simply need to send them via email. What’s more, files that are temporarily uploaded through Mail Drop are not included in your iCloud storage limits. However, beware of letting your files accidentally expire if you need to keep them organized in the cloud long-term.

The above three solutions to the problem of how to send large files via email could work well if your whole team uses Gmail, Outlook, or iCloud email. But if you need an option for sending large files that work with a wider variety of platforms, another option might be better.

Use a collaborative online platform 

There are several online platforms out there that can help you share and send large files easily. Consider them the loading docks where you can store your files and ask the receiver to pick them up later.

The following are some of the solutions that allow you to share files in this manner.

Filestage

Filestage - collaborative online platform

Filestage is an online platform that enables users to share their videos, documents, and images with stakeholders for review. Once a file is uploaded to the platform, you can invite reviewers by adding their email addresses (see image below) or by copying the review link to share it via chat. Now stakeholders can view, comment, and approve the file without having to sign up for any kind of service. 

To increase security, Filestage users can ask reviewers to verify their email addresses or even add password protection to files.   

Furthermore, Filestage users can enable stakeholders to download shared files or upload new files, such as an updated version of a proposal. This removes the inefficiency of sending emails back and forth and also keeps everything in one place. 

Dropbox

Dropbox - collaborative online platform

Dropbox is one of the most commonly used cloud storage systems, and it is designed to work well for anyone who needs a central file hub that’s accessible to all team members. It doesn’t offer as much review and approval functionality as Filestage, but it does make it easy to transfer large files. 

After uploading your files to Dropbox, you can email a link to your file by clicking on “Share;” then anyone you’ve emailed the link to can download it. The good thing is that the other person doesn’t need a Dropbox account to view or download the shared file. 

Hightail

Hightail - collaborative online platform

Hightail is similar to Dropbox but offers a better tracking function. It allows users to send large files to several recipients and also notifies the user when a recipient has actually accessed the documents. 

Furthermore, Hightail also provides a space to manage all your visual assets for a project while allowing you to send and receive files instantly. Finally, it includes cloud capability, which means you can access these files and send them from anywhere in the world from any device.

Use a file-transfer tool 

File transfer tools are the most commonly used solutions for transferring large files. These are easy to use, fast, and appropriate for both personal and professional situations. When looking for a file transfer tool, there are several options to consider. 

WeTransfer

WeTransfer - file-transfer tool

WeTransfer is a popular file-sharing service. You can easily send files directly through the WeTransfer website; you just need to upload files, type in the relevant email addresses, and a short message. This web application uses a cloud storage service to transfer a large file to your recipient with a few simple clicks.

An advantage of WeTransfer is that you don’t even need to create an account on the site. Your recipients do not need an account to download your file either. You can create a shareable link to any file that you upload and send large files via WeTransfer with ease. 

Send Anywhere

Send Anywhere - file-transfer tool

Send Anywhere is another tool that can send large files to people. The unique selling point of this tool is security. You create a free account and generate a unique 6-digit key that’s used to access the file. The receiver is then sent a shared link; however, they can’t access the file without the key. It makes for a smooth transfer where the sender can rest assured that the data is secure.

DropSend

DropSend - file-transfer tool

DropSend is another simple yet effective tool that comes in handy when your files are too large to be sent as email attachments. 

You only need to upload the files to DropSend and fill in the recipient’s email address. Then, they get an email with a download link to retrieve the sent files. It is a simple process. Plus, with no size restrictions, you can send several GBs of files through this tool. However, one negative aspect of this platform is its lack of security. DropSend grants access to the file to anyone that has access to the recipient’s email.

Compress large files 

Another way to send large files through email is by first compressing the file size. These compressed files become a fraction of the original file, and if under the attachment limit, they are ready to be sent through email. The only drawback of using this method is the loss of quality when a file is compressed, especially videos or images.

7-Zip

7-Zip - Compress large files

7-zip is a file compression software with high compression rates. It allows you to compress files down to a tenth of their original size. This application can easily be installed and can compress as many files as needed. It also allows you to expand any compressed files you may have received. Moreover, 7-zip includes a file manager to keep track of all your larger files.

All you need to do is open the 7-zip File Manager, select the file you want to compress and then choose “Add to Archive” while ensuring that the Archive format is set at Zip. Click “Ok” to compress the file which is then saved in the same location as the original file.

WinZip

WinZip - Compress large files

WinZip is the world’s leading file archiver utility for compression, encryption, file-sharing, and backup. It also offers a file management system, easy sharing via email, PDF conversion, and bank-level encryption to protect your files. WinZip can help you save time and space while quickly zipping and unzipping files owing to its simple interface.

To compress files using this tool, open WinZip, choose the file you want to compress, click “Add to Zip” and then save the compressed zip file. 

FileZilla (FTP solution)

FileZilla (FTP Solution) - Compress large files

FileZilla is a free, open-source FTP solution. It allows you to compress large files into compact versions that can easily be sent via email. FileZilla also offers encryption to protect your data and avoid any data sprawl when sending and receiving files. 

Moreover, the program is easy to use, making it a powerful tool for people who are not as tech-savvy. FileZilla is widely used in the market today due to its ease of compression and high security. Most sensitive data can be transferred through FileZilla due to its strong encryption protocols. 

Conclusion

If you need to share huge files with collaborators regularly for your job, it’s essential that you are able to send emails without a second thought. Daily tasks, such as sending emails as part of your larger creative workflow, should enhance your productivity instead of wasting your time on a problem that’s easy to solve.

By taking the time to research the best solution for your business, you will avoid headaches and wasted time down the line. A streamlined and easy process for sending large files will positively affect the rest of your workflow and allow for greater productivity and collaboration with less stress.

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